Local hero Laurens Vanthoor has put the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8 on pole position for the Qualifying Race of the Zolder round of the 2015 Blancpain Sprint Series. The Belgian shares the front with last year's Zolder winner Maxi Buhk in the #84 Team HTP Bentley. Norbert Siedler in the #333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari is in third, Stephane Richelmi in the #3 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8 in fourth.
Blancpain Sprint Series rookie Tom Dillmann (#83 Bentley Team HTP Continental) managed to clinch pole position in the Silver Cup, while Marko Asmer (#71 GT Russian Team Mercedes) did the same in Pro-Am.
Far cooler temperatures greeted the teams and drivers in Zolder this morning, which was reflected in quicker lap times than yesterday's. The fight for the nine positions in Q3 was pretty hectic, with some of the favorites for pole position not making the cut. Championship leader Laurens Vanthoor did go through, but claiming the best starting position was not that obvious. The Belgian needed to give it all to top the rankings, because the competition was never far away. It was no surprise then that the nine drivers in Q3 were separated by less than eight tenths of a second.
The surprise performance of the day was set by Bentley-driver Tom Dillmann, making his GT debut this weekend. The Frenchman, who started his car racing career in Zolder ten years ago, claimed a top-3 in Q2, but a puncture made a repeat performance in Q3 impossible.
Laurens Vanthoor (#1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8): "I nearly crashed twice in my fast lap, proof that I really had to give my all to set this time. So it certainly was not that easy."
Maxi Buhk (#84 Bentley Team HTP Continental): "The team has been doing a great job all weekend, but I was still surprised to be able to set such good times. The Bentley is quite a big car, and I never expected to be on the front row. I am mega happy with this result."
Norbert Siedler (#333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari): "Ferrari told us that the Zolder track would not suit our car, so we did not expect to be this high up the grid. The speed in the race should be good as well, so hopefully we can be on the podium."
Tom Dillmann (#83 Bentley Team HTP Continental): "Before this weekend, my only GT3 experience was half a day testing on a wet track, so I have quite a lot to learn this weekend. Fortunately I know this track a bit, and Q2 went really well. In Q3 I had a puncture on the rear left, so I could not set the best of times."
Marko Asmer (# GT Russian Team Mercedes): "I am a bit disappointed not to be able to make it into Q3, because I am certain that we have a car that is capable of doing so. Unfortunately, I was hindered by Audi #4 on my fast lap, so I could not improve my lap time."
The Qualifying Race of this afternoon starts at 14.45.