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Marciello puts AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG on top in Barcelona pre-qualifying

10 October 2020

Raffaele Marciello put the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG on top in pre-qualifying at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, continuing the German marque's impressive form at the Sprint Cup finale. 

The Italian set a 1m44.964s lap early in the 80-minute session and remained at the head of the order until the chequered flag. Marciello cannot claim the title this weekend having missed the trio to Zandvoort, but could still help teammate Timur Boguslavskiy to do so.

Dries Vanthoor was second in the #32 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT entry, showing strong pace in the squad's replacement car following an accident in official testing. Vanthoor and teammate Charles Weerts lead the Sprint Cup standings ahead of the deciding weekend. 

The #25 Sainteloc Racing Audi was third in the hands of Christopher Haase, followed by leading Silver Cup runner Oscar Tunjo in the #2 Toksport Mercedes. The #14 Emil Frey Lamborghini maintained its strong Friday pace by placing fifth overall and second among the Silver crews, Ricardo Feller setting the time for the Swiss squad.  

Phil Keen led the Pro-Am class in the #18 ERC Sport Mercedes. The Brit was 13th overall, edging the #20 SPS Mercedes by 0.018s. The full result can be accessed via the link at the bottom of this page. 

The session was stopped briefly during the opening 15 minutes after Steven Palette hit the barriers in the #26 Sainteloc Audi. The Frenchman later reported that the accident had been caused by an ABS failure. Fortunately the damage was not extensive and, thanks to the efforts of the Sainteloc crew, the car was able to resume running late in the session.

Light rain fell during the closing stages, though not nearly enough to necessitate a switch to wet-compound Pirelli tyres. More rain is possible later today, however. Qualifying 1 gets underway at 12.50, setting the grid for the weekend's opening race at 17.15. All of the action will be streamed live on the official  GT World Challenge Europe website and Facebook pages, as well as the GT World YouTube channel.