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Audi grabs crucial pole in thrilling Budapest Qualifying

26 August 2017

Audi will start Saturday afternoon’s Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup Qualifying Race from pole position after the #5 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT charger of Dries Vanthoor and Marcel Fässler topped an incredibly tight Qualifying session at the Hungaroring.

Having already dominated both practice sessions on Friday, Vanthoor unfurled a 1:42.359 flyer to pip the #63 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart by 0.171s.

In the Pro-Am category, Total 24 Hours of Spa winner Jules Gounon claimed the class pole position aboard the #87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 he shares with Jean-Luc Beaubelique.

The highest-ranked Silver Cup entrant on the Qualifying Race grid will be the #55 AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GT3 of Phil Quaife and Lorenzo Case.

Kessel Racing’s David Perel and Stephen Earle delivered another strong performance in the #888 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, as the only Am Cup-entered car competing at the Hungaroring this weekend slotted into 20th in the overall standings. 

Saturday’s Qualifying Race gets under way at 15:50, local time. Enjoy live coverage of the hour-long event, which determines the grid for Sunday’s main contest, on our official Facebook page as well as on SRO Motorsports Group’s GT Word YouTube channel. Live timing is also available on our website, with Twitter updates keeping you informed of how the race unfolds as well.

Dries Vanthoor, #5 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, Audi R8 LMS: “WRT have given us a really good car for this weekend and we did already good in FP1 and FP2 so we knew we had a strong car for qualifying.  I have been struggling in quali this year so I am happy to change the trend. The #63 Lamborghini guys have been strong and proved they are quick, they are at the front in the championship standings but we have worked hard this season and finally found something so we can be really competitive.”

Jules Gounon, #87 AKKA ASP, Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It was really tight, Daniel [Keilwitz] was just a few hundredths behind me. I am a bit disappointed because there was a bit of traffic. Otherwise I think I could have challenged Dries [Vanthoor]."

Phil Quaife, #55 AF Corse, Ferrari 488 GT3: “We had a good weekend so far, we missed Q3 just by a couple of tenths but I think it’s our best qualifying to date. We’ve seen what can happen during races since the beginning of the season so we have to keep our noses clean.”

David Perel, #888 Kessel Racing, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3: “We can win the Sprint Cup Championship in our class and I can secure the overall AM Cup if we finish the race. So 'don’t crash' is the mindset!”