At the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup champion Robin Frijns took the final pole position of the 2017 season at the wheel of the #17 Team WRT Audi. Endurance Cup and overall title candidate Mirko Bortolotti put the #63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini in second, with their main contenders of the #8 Bentley Team M-Sport Continental only in 28th.
The final qualifying session of the 2017 Blancpain GT Series season was held in difficult conditions, Rain had hit the circuit in the early morning, and the track was still slippery at the start of the session. This resulted in a catastrophic start for Bentley Team M-Sport, leaders in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup team standings. Coming out of the final corner, Guy Smith lost control over the #7 Bentley Continental GT3 and hit the inside wall. Heavy damage to the car means that it will probably not participate in this afternoon’s race.
With the track drying more and more all the time, it was clear that the fastest times would be set at the end of Q3. It looked like Mirko Bortolotti’s 1’46.257 would be enough to take pole – and a possible important single point for the championship – but Robin Frijns had left his final attempt very late. The Dutchman, crowned 2017 Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup two weeks ago, clocked a 1’46.019, which was enough to take the final pole position of the 2017 season.
Andy Soucek, together with Maxime Soulet and Vincent Abril leader in the Endurance Cup standings, tried to get among the frontrunners at the end of Q3, but due to the intense traffic at the end of the session, the #8 Bentley Team M-Sport Continental will only start in 28th.
In the Pro-Am Cup Total 24 Hours of Spa winner Jules Gounon proved to be quickest at the wheel of the #87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG, setting seventh time overall as well. Gounon was two tenths of a second quicker than Jonny Adam in the #97 Oman Racing Team with TF Sport Aston Martin, already certain of the Pro-Am Cup Endurance title.
Newly crowned 2017 Blancpain GT Series Am Cup champion David Perel added another point to his tally, setting 35th time overall.
The 3-hour season finale starts on Sunday afternoon at 15.00 CEST.
Robin Frijns (#17 Team WRT Audi): “We left it late because we knew the track would improve all the time. It was difficult to get a clear lap, but that was always going to be the case with so many cars on track. Title-wise we have nothing to lose or gain in the race, so we will try to have fun for this last race.”