Orange1 FFF Racing Lamborghini on top at Circuit Paul Ricard to secure second successive Endurance Cup pole

Orange1 FFF Racing Lamborghini on top at Circuit Paul Ricard to secure second successive Endurance Cup pole

Orange1 FFF will start today's Circuit Paul Ricard 1000km from the front of the grid after securing a second successive Endurance Cup pole position with its #63 Lamborghini.

The Chinese squad rose to the top in a typically competitive session, fending off the #71 Iron Lynx Ferrari and a pair of Mercedes-AMG entries with an unbeatable average time of 1m53.937s.  

Mirko Bortolotti laid the foundations by posting the fifth-best effort in an ultra-close Q1 session before Marco Mapelli moved the #63 Lamborghini firmly into contention by topping Q2. 

The FFF crew was second on combined times heading into the deciding 15-minute session, just 0.018s shy of the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW, and it quickly became clear that the Lamborghini was heading for pole as Andrea Caldarelli reeled off a succession of fast times. 

The Italian ultimately delivered the best lap across all three sessions – a 1m57.719s – to put a firm grasp on top spot. The result makes FFF the first team to secure back-to-back Endurance Cup poles since fellow Lamborghini squad Grasser Racing in 2019, a line-up that also featured Bortolotti. 

The #71 Iron Lynx Ferrari took second on the grid. Antonio Fuoco and Callum Illot ran the opening sessions before Davide Rigon did a fine job in Q3 to move the car on to the front row. The Italian marque's 488 GT3 is a proven winner at Circuit Paul Ricard and should be a major factor this evening. 

A pair of Mercedes-AMGs will start behind the two Italian machines. The #4 HRT entry edged the #88 AKKA ASP car by 0.001s on average times and both will feel very confident of contending for victory in the main event.

The #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW will start from fifth after slipping down the order in Q3, but also looks to be among the leading pack at Circuit Paul Ricard. A pair of Emil Frey Racing Lamborghinis were next, with the #163 Huracan edging the sister #114. 

The #159 Garage 59 Aston Martin secured Silver Cup pole and ninth spot overall thanks to an outstanding performance from the crew of Valentin Hasse-Clot, Nicolai Kjergaard and Alex Macdowall. They will start seven places clear of the #87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG, which is one spot clear of the #14 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini. 

The #188 Aston Martin completed a perfect qualifying session for Garage 59 by topping Pro-Am. Chris Goodwin and then Alex West began the bid for pole before Jonny Adam completed the job. They will start 24th overall, eight spots clear of the #93 Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari, while the #52 AF Corse Ferrari took third in class. Full session times can be viewed here

Today's six-hour race gets underway at 18:00. All of action will be free to view on the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS website and across the championship's social media channels.