Anthony Pons continued its successful run on the 2017 Blancpain GT Sports Club season-opening weekend by securing pole position for Saturday’s evening Qualifying Race with a 1:35.647 flyer in the AKKA ASP-entered #72 Mercedes AMG GT3.
The Frenchman, who had already topped both free practice sessions at the 4.226km venue, extended his dominance to outpace Autovitesse Garage R.Affolter’s Cedric Leimer and the #963 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in a shortened session.
Third fastest was Pierre Hirschi’s CMR-run #21 BMW Z4 GT3 by 0.585s, while Pons’ AKKA team-mate Daniele Perfetti slotted into fourth in the French team’s second Mercedes AMG GT3.
Reigning double Iron Cup champion Martin Lanting will line up an impressive fifth on tonight’s 25-minute Qualifying contest. The Monegasque will have Christoph Ulrich and his #51 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 alongside him on the grid. The AF Corse driver also triggered a late red flag period when he made contact with Deborah Mayer’s #108 Kessel Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
The fourth row will be occupied by Team Malucelli’s Marco Galassi and Iron Cup hopeful Klaus Dieter Frers, while last year’s runner-up Nico Vandierendonck had to settle for P9 in the #63 Shipex by Ombra Racing-run Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Wrapping up the top-10 in the first qualifying of the season was Oliver Baumann, whose son is none other than reigning Overall Blancpain GT Series champion Dominik, in the #68 DB-Motorsport Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.
Anthony Pons: “Believe it or not but I am slightly disappointed with my qualifying effort since I had gone three tenths faster on older tyres during free practice. I just made a couple of mistakes and did not manage to put in a clean this afternoon. That said, I am naturally very happy to be lining up on pole position for the first race of the season. The Blancpain GT Sports Club is a great racing platform and it’s a pleasure to be competing among friends.”
Saturday’s 25-minute Blancpain GT Sports Club Qualifying Race gets under way this evening at 18:35, local time. It will be streamed live with both English and French commentary on: http://blancpainsportsclub.com/live.
Full qualifying results are below: