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Monza Blancpain: Parente's McLaren claims pole for season opener


Alvaro Parente claimed pole position at the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza with the ART McLaren team.

The McLaren factory driver put in two lap times good enough for the pole in the MP4-12C he shares with Alex Premat and Gregoire Demoustier.

His best of 1m47.603s, set like all the top times in the third of the three qualifying segments, put him four tenths clear of second-placed Giacomo Petrobelli in the best of the Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italias.

Parente said: "We decided to give it our all in the third session and it paid off.

"I got two clear laps and was really able to attack."

Third place was taken Francesco Castellacci in the Villbora Corse Ferrari with a time a further two tenths behind Petrobelli.

Fourth place behind the two Pro Am Ferraris - and therefore second in the Pro Cup - was the best of the M-Sport Bentleys driven by Steven Kane.

He had just set a best time of 1m48.322s when he went off at the Ascari chicane in the dying minutes of the session, causing front-end damage to his Continental GT3.

Laurens Vanthoor ended up fifth in the best of the WRT Audi R8 LMS ultras with Gregory Guilvert sixth in the Sainteloc Audi.

Pos  Cl  Drivers                           Team/Car         Time       Gap    
 1.  PRO Demoustier/Premat/Parente         ART McLaren      1m47.603s         
 2.  PAM Broniszewski/Bonacini/Petrobelli  Kessel Ferrari   1m48.011s  +0.408s
 3.  PAM Rizzoli/Gai/Castellacci           Vilorba Ferrari  1m48.281s  +0.678s
 4.  PRO Meyrick/Smith/Kane                M-Sport Bentley  1m48.322s  +0.719s
 5.  PRO Ramos/Basseng/Vanthoor            WRT Audi         1m48.396s  +0.793s
 6.  PRO Sandstroem/Ortelli/Guilvert       Sainteloc Audi   1m48.416s  +0.813s
 7.  PAM Kogay/Solikhov/Seefried           GT Ferrari       1m48.433s  +0.830s
 8.  PAM Dermont/Perera                    Almeras Porsche  1m48.495s  +0.892s
 9.  PRO Nash/Stippler/Mies                WRT Audi         1m48.523s  +0.920s
10.  PRO Primat/Verdonck/Buhk              HTP Mercedes     1m48.553s  +0.950s
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