Nogaro GT Series: Rene Rast earns Audi opening pole
|By Gary Watkins||Saturday, March 30th 2013, 16:20 GMT|
Three-time Porsche Supercup champion Rene Rast started his first season as a full-time Audi driver by claiming pole position at the opening round of the new FIA GT Series at Nogaro.
WRT driver Rast headed the timesheets by just one hundredth of a second with a time of 1m26.091 aboard the Pro-Am Cup class Audi R8 LMS ultra he shares with Nikolas Mayr-Melnhof.
The German edged out local driver Mike Parisy in the best of the Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP4-12Cs in the Superpole session, during which the fastest 10 cars from the first two qualifying sessions each have two flying laps to set a time.
Rast, who has become one of Audi's pool of GT drivers for this season, said: "I'm very happy because the conditions were difficult. The first session was wet, it was drying for the second session and then it was completely dry.
"It looks like it is going to be very close between all the cars, especially the Audi and the McLaren."
Parisy, who shared his McLaren with Andreas Zuber, was a tenth quicker than team-mate Alvaro Parente, who is paired with team owner Sebastien Loeb.
The two Pro Cup WRT entries, which like all the Audis are running in 2012 specification for homologation reasons, ended up fourth and fifth in the hands of Frank Stippler and Stephane Ortelli.
Cesar Campanico made it four Audis in the top six at the wheel of his Novadriver R8.
The make-up of the Superpole session is decided by the aggregate times set by the two drivers in each car from Qualifying 1 and 2.
The two one-hour races that make up the opening round of the FIA GT Series, which has superseded the FIA GT1 World Championship, take place on tomorrow (Sunday) and on Monday.
Pos Class Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Pro-Am Rast/Mayr-Melnhof WRT Audi 1m26.091s 2. Pro Zuber/Parisy Loeb McLaren 1m26.100s + 0.009s 3. Pro Loeb/Parente Loeb McLaren 1m26.210s + 0.119s 4. Pro Stippler/Sandstrom WRT Audi 1m26.528s + 0.437s 5. Pro Ortelli/Vanthoor WRT Audi 1m26.779s + 0.668s 6. Pro-Am Campanico/Vieira Novadriver Audi 1m26.862s + 0.771s 7. Pro Bueno/Khodair Brazil BMW 1m27.110s + 1.019s 8. Pro-Am Buncombe/Ordonez RJN Nissan 1m27.436s + 1.345s 9. Pro Ide/Kumpen Phoenix Audi 1m27.474s + 1.383s 10. Pro Buhk/Day Gravity Mercedes - - 11. Pro Zonta/Jimenez Brazil BMW 1m27.860s Q2 12. Pro Chandhok/Seyffarth Seyffarth Mercedes 1m27.920s Q2 13. Pro-Am Proczyk/Baumann Grasser Lamborghini 1m28.147s Q2 14. Pro-Am Stumpf/Ricci Rodrive Ford 1m28.334s Q2 15. Pro-Am Afanasiev/Simonsen Gravity Mercedes 1m28.397s Q2 16. Pro-Am Schulzhitskiy/Reip RJN Nissan 1m29.050s Q2 17. Pro-Am Ebrahim/Jousse India BMW 1m29.145s Q2 18. Gent Barthez/Tonelli SOFREV Ferrari 1m29.426s Q2 19. Pro Kentenich/Keilwitz Doer McLaren 1m29.463s Q2 20. Pro-Am Ayari/Beaubelique SOFREV Ferrari 1m29.656s Q2 21. Gent Mascarello/Tozzo Rodrive Ford 1m31.522s Q2 22. Gent Stovicek/Charouz Gravity Mercedes 1m39.063s Q2 23. Pro-Am Salaquarda/Onidi AF Ferrari - Q2