Blancpain Sprint Algarve: Christopher Mies puts WRT Audi on pole

WRT Audi driver Christopher Mies has secured pole position for the Algarve Blancpain Sprint Series qualifying race

Blancpain Sprint Algarve: Christopher Mies puts WRT Audi on pole

Mies took his position with a time of 1m43.458s ahead of surprise top-eight shootout inclusion Vincent Abril by a margin of 0.376s.

With the shootout requiring one driver per car to set a time, the gold-rated Maximilian Buhk surprisingly sat out for his team-mate, with Abril's pace in the prior practice sessions the likely reason.

Third on the grid was secured by championship leader Laurens Vanthoor who also battled an issue with downshifting.

Despite his problems, he grabbed the place ahead of Phoenix Racing's Markus Winkelhock and fellow WRT Audi driver Stephane Ortelli.

Rounding off the top eight was the Nissan of Craig Dolby in seventh and Nicky Catsburg's troubled qualifying meant he finished behind.

Catsburg had almost missed the cut for final qualifying after struggling with traffic early in his stint before having a time deleted for track limits.

The World Touring Car Championship racer had to rally to make it into the final segment and his last lap was quick enough, once combined with team-mate Albert von Thurn und Taxis' best time of the first qualifying, to make it through.

Catsburg wasn't the only driver to abuse track limits, with a string of offences occurring throughout all three sessions and numerous times deleted.

While Catsburg scraped through, notable absentees included the two Team Brasil BMWs.

Racing close to their European base, Atila Abreu and Valdeno Brito's hopes of closing in on the top two in the standings took a dent alongside the other car of Caca Bueno and Sergio Jimenez.

They will start 14th and 10th respectively.

The Rinaldi Ferrari of Marco Seefried and Norbert Siedler again struggled in qualifying trim and missed out, with Seefried's early spin setting the tone and they are set to start ninth.

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