Equipe Verschuur and Phoenix Racing take Misano pole positions
23 June 2018
Dutch drivers Ricardo van der Ende and Milan Dontje claimed pole positions for the two GT4 European Series races at the Misano World Circuit on Saturday morning. Van der Ende will start the first race from pole position, with Dontje starting from the front tomorrow.
Van der Ende fastest overall, Phoenix Racing takes Pro-AM pole, Autorlando on Am pole
The Equipe Verschuur driver and his #10 McLaren 570S GT4 edged out the #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Nicolaj Møller-Madsen by 15 hundredths of a second to clinch his first pole position of the season. Eight minutes from the end of the session the Dutchman posted the fastest time, which resulted in his and Equipe Verschuur’s first pole position of the season.
In the final moments Christopher Zöchling improved his time, which means the Pro-Am class entered #4 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS will start the race from third overall, ahead of the Am class pole setting #76 Autorlando Sport Porsche 911 GT4 of Alessandro Giovanelli. Racing One’s Hamza Owega and Schwede Motorsport’s Dominik Schraml qualified in fifth and sixth place, ahead of Stuart Middleton in #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4, which had qualified on pole for the last three rounds.
Dontje clinches race 2 pole, Pro-Am pole for Racing One, Leutwiler on Am pole
In Qualifying 2 it was Milan Dontje who gave Phoenix Racing its second overall pole of the season. Initially it had been Ivan Pareras in the #2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 who had set the fastest time, but just as the Spanish driver pulled into the pits after his run Dontje launched a successful attack on the pole time.
Dontje’s time of 1:43.730 would have been enough for pole position, but a radio issue meant the team was unable to tell him that. Unaware of his position Dontje kept pushing for another lap and improved to a 1:43.458, beating Pareras by almost half a second.
Racing One’s Markus Lungstrass improved his fastest time right at the end of the session, which put the #16 Audi R8 LMS GT4 on third place overall and first in Pro-Am. Lungstrass’ time was just 0.012s shy of Parera’s. Equipe Verschuur’s Finlay Hutchison qualified in fourth place, ahead of Team GT’s Paul Rees and MDM Motorsport’s Simon Knap. Stuart Middleton qualified the HHC Motorsport Ginetta in seventh place.
Porsche Zentrum Oberer Zürichsee by TFT Racing driver Niki Leutwiler qualified his Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR on pole in the Am class. The Swiss driver will start his battle for points from the fifth row of the grid.
Close racing is to be expected later today, with the top 15 in the first qualify session separated by just one second. The first race of the weekend gets underway at 15.30 local time.
Ricardo van der Ende, #10 Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4: “We had our share of bad luck this season. We’re fast at every track, but every time something happens. In Brands I had a crash, which meant I couldn’t capitalize on a good starting position for race 2. I am happy we did it this time. There will be nobody in front of us and I hope to have a good start today. After that our aim is to finish the race, without any issues. The team really deserves a good result! I hope this is a turnaround.”
Milan Dontje, #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4: "Yesterday's rain caused some problems with our radios, so I wasn't aware how I was doing. I had the feeling it wasn't going well, so I continued to push. When I came in I thought it was a top 10 position, but the team told me I was on pole. That was great to hear. It's my first pole of the season and I hope there are many more to come."