Ferrari on Provisional Istanbul Pole

Andrea Piccini claimed a last-gasp provisional pole position for Sunday's eighth round of the FIA GT Championship in Turkey

Ferrari on Provisional Istanbul Pole

The GPC Squadra Corse driver found half a second in his Ferrari 575GTC around the 3.31-mile Istanbul Park circuit to pip Philipp Peter at the top of the timesheets. Piccini, who shares the 575 with ex-Formula One driver Jean-Denis Deletraz, set a best time of 1:49.611, which was less than one tenth of a second ahead of Peter's best in the JMB Racing Maserati MC12.

The Italian driver's time is almost certain to stand as pole: most teams used the two new sets of tyres allocated for qualifying in the belief that the track will be much slower in hotter conditions in the afternoon.

Third and fourth fastest were the two Vitaphone Racing Maseratis. Fabio Babini ended up ahead of teammate Timo Scheider, who tangled with Pedro Lamy's Larbre Competition Ferrari 550 Maranello on his second qualifying run.

The championship-leader JMB Maserati of Andrea Bertolini and Karl Wendlinger, which is carrying 100kg of success ballast, qualified down in seventh place, behind Christophe Bouchut's Cirtek 550 Maranello and Lamy.

Honours in the GT2 class went to Marc Lieb in the best of the GruppeM Porsche 911 GT3-RSRs. The German ended up nearly half a second ahead of teammate Emmanuel Collard.

Provisional Qualifying Results:
Pos  Cl.  Drivers     Car     Time      Laps
1. GT1  Deletraz/Piccini    Ferrari 575 Maranello GTC  1:49.611       14  2. GT1  Peter/Artam/Pillon  Maserati MC12 GT1    1:49.696 + 0.085   18  3. GT1  Babini/Biagi    Maserati MC12 GT1    1:50.016 + 0.405   12  4. GT1  Bartels/Scheider    Maserati MC12 GT1    1:50.187 + 0.576   9  5. GT1  Bouchut/Fomenko/Vasiliev  Ferrari 550 Maranello  1:50.406 + 0.795   14  6. GT1  Lamy/Gardel    Ferrari 550 Maranello  1:50.525 + 0.914   14  7. GT1  Bertolini/Wendlinger    Maserati MC12 GT1  1:50.742 + 1.131   14  8. GT1  Longin/Kumpen/Hezemans  Corvette C5R    1:51.028 + 1.417   11  9. GT1  Pergl/Kox    Ferrari 550 Maranello  1:51.255 + 1.644   19  10.  GT1  Lechner/Ruberti    Saleen S7 R  1:51.353 + 1.742   8  11.  GT1  Keen/Halliday    Lister Storm GT  1:52.226 + 2.615   17  12.  GT2  Lieb/Rockenfeller  Porsche 996 GT3 RSR  1:55.450 + 5.839   13  13.  GT1  Saviozzi/Marcinkiewicz/Konrad  Saleen S7 R    1:55.605 + 5.994   13  14.  GT2  Collard/Sugden    Porsche 996 GT3 RSR  1:55.858 + 6.247   16  15.  GT2  Busnelli/Moccia    Porsche 996 GT3 RSR  1:58.032 + 8.421   15  16.  GT2  Lambertini/Lemeret    Ferrari 360 Modena    1:58.762 + 9.151   13  17.  GT2  Vonka/Casadei/Armindo    Porsche 996 GT3 RSR  2:01.818 + 12.207   13  18.  GT2  Ried/Ried    Porsche 996 GT3 RSR  2:02.572 + 12.961   16  19.  GT2  Konopka/Emiliani    Porsche 996 GT3 RSR  2:04.764 + 15.153   16 
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