GT3 Europe: Audi’s dominate Zolder GT3 Qualifying

Audi drivers Cesaro Campanico and Dino Lunardi were quickest in the two qualifying sessions for the FIA GT3 European Championship at Zolder. The Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS was the fastest car of a field of 11 cars in Q1. In Q2 Lunardi beat his Sainteloc Racing teammate Gregory Guilvert.

A blown engine in practice yesterday meant the field was reduced to just eleven cars. Reiter had no spare engine available at Zolder and as a result the team was forced to withdraw from the event.

Early in the first session Gaetano Ardagna Perez set the fastest time in the AF Corse Ferrari and when it started to rain only a couple of minutes into the session most drivers returned to the pit. Fortunately the weather improved and the battle for pole position was restarted.

Stefano Gai was the first driver to beat the fastest time set by his teammate and soon Campanico, Hari Proczyk (Leipert-Lamborghini) and Dominik Baumann (Heico-Mercedes) joined the fight for pole. In his last lap Proczyk moved into second place behind Gai. Moments later it was Campanico who crossed the line to take provisional pole. Baumann then pushed Gai down to third on the grid, but the Italian had one last lap and managed to beat the Mercedes driver again to take second.

However, a penalty for Team Novadriver for using a set of tyres from the previous race means Campanico will not start from pole position but from third on the grid.

In Q2 the Sainteloc Racing Audi’s repeated their Nogaro performance. Early in the session Lunardi and Guilvert took first and second. AF Corse’s Giuseppe Cirò managed to split the two Audi’s for a couple of moments, but it would be an Audi 1-2 in the end.

With Lunardi still in first place Guilvert went quicker than the Ferrari, but the stewards of the meeting decided to delete his fastest lap time as the Audi driver had cut the corner at turn 9. At his next attempt Guilvert was once again quicker than Cirò and moved back into second position. The other drivers were unable to improve and as the chequered flag came out the Sainteloc Racing team secured another 1-2.

(Image: Gerlach Delissen)