Raffaele Marciello comfortably topped Qualifying 1 at Misano to secure a record-extending 14th Fanatec GT Europe Sprint Cup pole.
The Akkodis ASP driver posted a 1m30.762s at the wheel of the #88 Mercedes-AMG to beat Giacomo Altoé (#14 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari) by 0.307s. He did so on his second run, having taken fresh Pirelli tyres after his first effort fell short.
Altoé earned a second front-row start of the season for the new Ferrari 296 GT3, while Henrique Chaves was a fine third overall in the #188 Garage 59 McLaren. The Portuguese ace put up a 1m31.161s, ensuring Bronze Cup pole in the process.
Fred Vervisch was fourth and the best of the Audi runners at the wheel of the #12 Comtoyou Racing entry, followed by Nicolai Kjærgaard in the #159 Garage 59 McLaren. Local expert Loris Spinelli was a superb sixth and second among the Bronze runners in the #126 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini.
Gold Cup pole went to Gilles Magnus, who was seventh overall thanks to a 1m31.485s in the #21 Comtoyou Audi. Jordan Love gave HRT a first Silver Cup pole of 2023 by qualifying 14th overall in the #77 Mercedes-AMG.
Six of the eight competing brands were present in the overall top-10, with the aforementioned Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari, McLaren, Audi and Lamborghini joined by Porsche. The best BMW runner was Charles Weerts, who could only qualify 22nd in the #32 Team WRT entry, while the top Honda was 34th.
Qualifying was split into two 10-minute segments to reduce traffic. The first half featured Pro and Gold Cup crews, while the second brought out the Silver and Bronze runners. The only notable problem saw the #99 Tresor Attempto Audi of Lorenzo Patrese find the barriers on his first push lap, ending his session on the spot. The #25 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi also failed to run due to engine trouble.
Race 1 will take place this afternoon, with the start scheduled for 14:00 CEST. As ever, the action will be streamed live in English, French, German and Italian on the GT World YouTube channel.