Young Driver Aston Martin duo Darren Turner and Tomas Enge maintained their slender GT1 World Championship title hopes by winning the Interlagos qualification race.
Turner had pressured Xandi Negrao in the polesitting Vitaphone Maserati throughout the first stint, and then the Young Driver squad vaulted its car ahead as the two leaders pitted in unison just before half-distance.
Enge was subsequently able to edge away from Negrao's team-mate Enrique Bernoldi even before the Brazilian was given a late drive-through penalty for a pit procedure infringement - a crew member having thrown a tyre back into the garage during the stop rather than carrying it as the rules stipulate.
Bernoldi's delay elevated Sumo Power Nissan's Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck to second after a late tussle with the #10 Hexis Aston of Clivio Piccione and Jonathan Hirschi. Bernoldi fought back past the Nicky Pastorelli/Dominik Schwager All-Inkl Lamborghini to snatch fourth with two laps to go.
Championship leaders Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels were able to come through from 19th on the grid to finish eighth in the #1 Vitaphone Maserati, which still leaves them well-placed to clinch the title in tomorrow's main event, as their closest rivals had difficult afternoons.
Matech Ford's Thomas Mutsch was a very early retirement after clashing with Frank Kechele in the Reiter Lamborghini under braking for the Senna S, leaving Mutsch still 35 points behind Bertolini and Bartels with 58 available in the remaining races, while Turner and Enge are now 44 points down.
Phoenix Corvette driver Marc Hennerici could not reduce his 46-point gap to the #1 Vitaphone crew as he and team-mate Alex Margaritis were only sixth. Margaritis had been running in a four-car lead pack in the opening laps before being spun back to seventh in a tangle with Pastorelli.
Pos Drivers Car Time/Gap 1. Enge/Turner Aston Martin 1h01m33.367s 2. Dumbreck/Krumm Nissan + 9.032s 3. Piccione/Hirschi Aston Martin + 9.736s 4. Bernoldi/Negrao Maserati + 22.763s 5. Schwager/Pastorelli Lamborghini + 24.814s 6. Hennerici/Margaritis Corvette + 27.297s 7. Jani/Armindo Ford + 27.390s 8. Bertolini/Bartels Maserati + 38.750s 9. Kox/Haase Lamborghini + 39.093s 10. Heger/Muller Maserati + 42.679s 11. Martin/Leinders Ford + 44.169s 12. Nygaard/Mucke Aston Martin + 45.213s 13. Ara/Nilsson Nissan + 56.430s 14. Campbell-Walter/Hughes Nissan + 58.497s 15. Makowiecki/Clairay Aston Martin + 1m01.422s 16. Serra/Longo Maserati + 1m04.615s 17. Wendlinger/Moser Nissan + 1m13.685s 18. Huisman/Kuismanen Corvette + 1 lap 19. Jimenez/Dahruj Corvette + 1 lap Retirements: Bobbi/Palttala Ford 36 laps Zonta/Kechele Lamborghini 2 laps Westbrook/Mutsch Ford 2 laps