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FIA GT Series Round 5: Qualifying Report and Result from Navarra
Posted by: newsla on Sep 29, 2013 - 06:36 AM
Sports Cars
FIA GT Series Round 5: Qualifying Report and Result from Navarra


LAMBORGHINI BLANCPAIN REITER GRAB DRAMATIC POLE The Lamborghini Blancpain Reiter team will start from pole position for tomorrow morning’s qualifying race at Circuito de Navarra, Spain after coming out on top in an exciting, wet Superpole session this evening.

 

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Stefan Rosina (SLK) set the best time of 1m49.595s in the Reiter Engineering-run Lamborghini LP560-4 to head the field and ensure that in the land of bull running, it will be the rest of the spectacular supercar pack that will be chasing the Italian supercar tomorrow morning.

With conditions improving slightly for the two-lap Superpole session, Rosina used his reflexes to the full, taming several lurid moments to complete a polished performance and seal his and the team’s second pole position of the season (after Zolder back in April). It was especially satisfying for the German team as they had worked around the clock to fit a new gearbox to the car after a driveshaft breakage in the first of this morning’s free practice sessions. Earlier, Rosina’s team mate – reigning FIA GT1 World Champion - Marc Basseng (DEU), had just as skilfully taken the Lamborghini through to the Superpole session by taking the fastest time in the first segment of qualifying.

Alongside Rosina on the front row of the qualifying race grid will be title protagonists Edward Sandström (SWE) and Frank Stippler (DEU) in the #13 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT entry. Sandström set the Superpole time of 1m49.660s to ensure he and Stippler will start ahead of their Pro Cup championship rivals in the #11 Audi R8 LMS ultra – Stéphane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor. They line up in 7th position after Ortelli suffered a spin on one of his allocated two Superpole laps.

On the second row of the grid will be the Team WRT Audi of Niki Mayr-Melnhof (AUT) and Oliver Jarvis (GBR). The British racer, who is standing in for the unavailable René Rast this weekend was just one hundredth of a second from achieving a front row start. The #9 Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP4-12C will start from the outside of the second row after setting a best of 1m49.746s with Alvaro Parente (PRT) setting the time.

One of many new faces in the FIA GT Series paddock this weekend made a major mark on Superpole by claiming 5th place overall and 1st in the Pro-Am class today. Michael Ammermüller (DEU), driving the Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS ultra revelled in the tricky conditions and was the only Pro-Am class car to compete in Superpole session. He shares the Portuguese Audi with team owner Cesar Campanico (PRT).

Making it in to Superpole but not able to take part due to a turbo problem at the end of the second session of qualifying was the #35 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN pairing of Lucas Ordonez (ESP) and Alex Buncombe (GBR). The Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 will start from 10th on the grid overall and 2nd in Pro-Am with the dedicated British team set to work a long night repairing the car this evening. The team will also have to take a drive through penalty between laps 1-4 for changing the engine.

With the Pro-Am titles set for a thrilling conclusion in the final rounds of the series it was a tough day for the top two in the driver’s title chase. The #2 HTP Gravity Charouz Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 of Sergei Afanasiev (RUS) and Andreas Simonsen (SWE) will start only 17th after a difficult first two qualifying sessions. GRT Grasser Racing will start just two places ahead of them in 15th place with Hari Proczyk (AUT) determined to close the point’s gap with the assistance of new team mate Gerhard Tweraser (AUT).
One of the standout performances of the day came from the sole Gentlemen Trophy class entry of AF Corse and in particular, Michele Rugolo (ITA). Claiming 8th overall and becoming the first of their class to make the Superpole session this season, the scarlet Ferrari 458 Italia will start in 8th overall after a heroic effort by Rugolo, who races with German team mate – Claudio Sdanewitsch.

The qualifying race is scheduled to begin at 10.15cet and with variable weather forecast to return to the track tomorrow an eventful and enthralling FIA GT Series sprint race is in prospect at the Circuito de Navarra.

You can follow live timing and streaming here - http://www.fiagtseries.com/pages/live
Get the latest news as it happens from the track using #EspanaGT at www.twitter.com/FIAGTSeries

TOP 10 STARTING POSITIONS FOR QUALIFYING RACE
1. PRO Rosina/Basseng Reiter Lamborghini 1m49.595s
2. PRO Stippler/Sandstrom Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1m49.600s
3. PRO Mayr-Melnhof/Jarvis Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1m49.670s
4. PRO Parente/Loeb Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren 1m49.746
5. PRO-AM Campanico/Ammermuller Team Novadriver Audi 1m49.776s
6. PRO Bueno/Khodair BMW Sports Trophy Team Brazil 1m49.939s
7. PRO Ortelli/Vanthoor Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1m50.087s
8. GENT Sdanewitsch/Rugolo AF Corse Ferrari 1m50.715s
9. PRO Day/Dusseldorp HTP Gravity Charouz Mercedes 1m50.392s
10. PAM Ordonez/Buncombe Nissan GT Academy No Time

Catch up with the action by watching the qualifying sessions again here - http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x137hhs_fia-gt-series-live-navarra-spain-2013_auto

QUOTES
Stefan Rosina (SVK), Lamborghini Blancpain by Reiter Engineering – Lamborghini LP560-4 #24 (Pro)
“Today was quite difficult for us because we had mechanical issues (gearbox change in FP1). Marc (Basseng) did a very good job earlier and was fastest, so I had a bit of pressure for the Superpole! But it all turned out well and it is really unbelievable when I looked at the times and saw P1.I have to be grateful to the team because the Lamborghini is getting better and better. We will see tomorrow what happens during the races because we have some strong cars behind us. I hope it will not rain because wet conditions are difficult for everyone!”

Michael Ammermüller (DEU), Novadriver – Audi R8 LMS Ultra #14 (Pro Am)
“I am happy with this result, because we drove a lot during Free Practice sessions and did not manage to be in the Top 10 at all. We have a very good car and being first in Pro-Am is great as our target is to be on top of the class and make good points for the championship. I like driving in FIA GT Series because there are a lot of good drivers and this is a very good and tough competition.”

Michele Rugolo (ITA), AF Corse - Ferrari 458 Italia #50 (Gentlemen Trophy)
“The Superpole was pretty good, especially my first flying lap. I did a mistake in the hairpin after the long straight during the second lap and I think I missed the opportunity to be a bit higher up the field. I think I did the best last sector overall, which is pretty good. The car was OK but it was really well balanced for dry conditions, so the rain did not make any difference for us really. We will see what tomorrow brings and what happens during the races. My teammate (Claudio Sdanewitsch) still needs to practice because he does not know the track that well but if I manage to stay at the front during my stint it will be good for the team.”

CLICK HERE FOR QUALIFYING RESULT

All you need to know about the big races this weekend at Navarra
FIA GT Series: Round 5 – 28/29 September
Circuit: Circuito de Navarra, 3.933km, 15 turns.
Location: Los Arcos, Northern Spain
Race Duration: 2 x 60mins Qualifying and Main Races
Get up to date with the current points tables here - http://www.fiagtseries.com/results/season/2013-standings
Get all the latest news from the pits and paddock instantly by following #EspanaGT at www.twitter.com/FIAGTSeries
Sunday, 29th September 2013
Warm-Up: 09.00-09.20
Qualifying Race: 10.15-11.15
Main Race: 14.15-15.15
For image downloads please log-in here http://www.fiagtseries.com/admin.php and enter:
User: FIAGTSeries
Pass: F1AGT*2013
Blancpain - Over 275 years of tradition in motion

Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit.

From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past seven years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 26 new calibres.

Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the feminine Women models.

Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier to the FIA GT Series
Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.

Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world.

The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of the FIA GT Championship while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.

The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded P Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.

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