Slovakia FIA GT: Rene Rast's Audi beats Loeb McLarens to pole
|By Gary Watkins||Saturday, August 17th 2013, 15:51 GMT|
Rene Rast claimed pole position for the WRT Audi squad for the first of this weekend's two FIA GT Series races at the Slovakia Ring.
The German driver set a best time of 2m01.717s in the Audi R8 LMS ultra he shares with Niki Mayr-Melnhof, which put him just over two tenths clear of Mike Parisy in the fastest of the two Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP4-12Cs.
Rast said: "This is my first time at the Slovakia Ring, so I needed a bit of practice. We improved the car session by session and it seemed to work out.
"I must say my lap was good; I didn't make any mistakes."
Audi claimed its first FIA GT pole since the opening weekend of the season at Nogaro after WRT reverted its trio of R8s to 2012 specification.
The move followed the failure of the FIA to alter the Balance of Performance in the wake of the Spa 24 Hours Blancpain Endurance Series round, in which the Audis were off the pace by more than a second a lap.
Rast's Nogaro pole was also set with his Audi in 2012-spec after delays homologating this year's version of the R8.
Alvaro Parente was third fastest in the second of the Loeb McLarens with a time less than a tenth slower than team-mate Parisy.
The Portuguese finished up just ahead of Laurens Vanthoor in the second WRT Audi.
Local driver Stefan Rosina was fifth fastest in the best of the Reiter-run Lamborghini Gallardo LP560s.
Both FIA GT races take place on Sunday, with the qualifying race beginning at 10:15am local time (09.15 BST) and the championship race getting underway four hours later. AUTOSPORT will stream both races live.
Pos Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. Mayr-Melnhof/Rast WRT Audi 2m01.717s 2. Zuber/Parisy Loeb McLaren 2m01.956s +0.239s 3. Loeb/Parente Loeb McLaren 2m02.019s +0.302s 4. Ortelli/Vanthoor WRT Audi 2m02.095s +0.378s 5. Kox/Rosina Reiter Lamborghini 2m02.149s +0.432s 6. Simonsen/Afanasiev Gravity Charouz Mercedes 2m02.623s +0.906s 7. Khodair/Bueno Brasil BMW 2m02.791s +1.074s 8. Proczyk/Baumann Grasser Lamborghini 2m03.044s +1.327s 9. Day/Buhk Gravity Charouz Mercedes 2m03.078s +1.361s 10. von Thurn und Taxis/Basseng Reiter Lamborghini 2m03.334s +1.617s 11. Sandstrom/Stippler WRT Audi 2m03.642s Q1/Q2 12. Reip/Buncombe RJN Nissan 2m03.644s Q1/Q2 13. Salaquarda/Onidi AF Ferrari 2m04.042s Q1/Q2 14. Sdanewitsch/Rugolo AF Ferrari 2m04.428s Q1/Q2 15. Chandhok/Seyffarth Seyffarth Mercedes 2m04.466s Q1/Q2 16. Stumpf/Cunha Rodrive Lamborghini 2m04.480s Q1/Q2 17. Sladecka/Ebrahim India BMW 2m04.768s Q1/Q2 18. Vieira/Campanico Novadriver Audi 2m04.862s Q1/Q2 19. Zonta/Simenez Brasil BMW 2m05.933s Q1/Q2 20. Charouz/Stovicek Gravity Charouz Mercedes 2m05.958s Q1/Q2 21. Michael/Haupt Seyffarth Mercedes Q1/Q2