Laurens Vanthoor blitzes to pole in Brands Hatch

Laurens Vanthoor blitzes to pole in Brands Hatch
An almost perfect lap gave Laurens Vanthoor pole position for the qualifying race in Brands Hatch. With his #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi, he was over four tenths of a second quicker than Nick Catsburg in the #88 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini and Christopher Mies in the #2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi. Joe Osborne (#888 Triple Eight Racing BMW) set the quickest time in Pro-Am, with Jules Szymkowiak in the #83 Bentley Team HTP Continental taking the best starting position in the Silver Cup.

Even though the fastest Audi in Q1 was only in sixth position, the R8 LMS ultra armada stormed to the front in the second and third parts of the qualifying session. Laurens Vanthoor was already three tenths quicker than last year’s pole time in Q2; the Belgian needed only one lap in Q3 to shave off another three tenths. His 1:23.269 proved to be unbeatable.

The fight for the second position on the front row proved to be a lot closer. When the dust settled it was clear that Nick Catsburg had put the #88 Lamborghini next to Vanthoor’s Audi, with the R8 of Christopher Mies and the #73 MRS GT Racing Nissan sharing the second row of the grid. The three cars were separated by just over two hundredths of a second.

Right behind the fellow Z4’s of BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil – occupying the third row on the grid – Joe Osborne put his Triple Eight Racing BMW on the seventh starting spot, as the fastest of the Pro-Am cars. Jules Szymkowiak and the #83 Bentley Team HTP Continental did not make into Q3, but the Dutchman still took pole position in Silver Cup.

The #83 Bentley will be the only Continental GT3 on the grid tomorrow, after the sister car was involved in a heavy shunt during the first free practice session on Saturday morning. Maximilian Buhk lost control of the Bentley coming out of Paddock Hill Bend and hit the tyre wall on the inside of the corner. The German driver was fine, but the Bentley suffered unrepairable damage.

The Qualifying Race for the second round of the 2015 Blancpain Sprint Series will start on Sunday morning at 11.10, the Main Race at Brands Hatch gets underway at 15.25.


Laurens Vanthoor (#1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi): “That one lap on Q3 was near perfect and since the new tyres were past their peak after that one lap, I did not want to put any unnecessary mileage on them. This one is for the mechanics, because after my going off at the start of FP2 they had to work hard to get the car ready in time.”

Nick Catsburg (#88 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini): “I know the gap from Laurens is quite big, but I am happier than ever. We did not expect this result, especially since we struggled a lot during the previous round in Nogaro. I am really, really happy with P2.

Christopher Mies (#2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi): “Third is not a bad position to start the race from. Laurens had a perfect lap, and mine was anything but. But it is very tight at the front, so this should produce an interesting race.

Joe Osborne (#888 Triple Eight Racing BMW): “I messed up my quick lap a bit, I think we could have ended up higher on the grid. The first laps of the race will decide whether we can have a go at a good result overall, or if we will focus on staying in front in Pro-Am.

Jules Szymkowiak (#83 Bentley Team HTP Continental): “I am a bit disappointed with our overall starting position, but during troublesome free practice sessions I could hardly do any laps on a track that is completely new to me. Considering, this result is not that bad.

Weekend Schedule

Sunday 10 May

09:05 - 09:45 Pit Walk & Drivers Autograph session
11:10 - 12:10 Qualifying Race
15:25 - 16:25 Main Race


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