NM Racing Team and Team Speedcar share the poles in record-breaking Misano qualifying

NM Racing Team and Team Speedcar share the poles in record-breaking Misano qualifying

+ Provisional Result: Qualifying 1, Misano
+ Provisional Result, Qualifying 2, Misano

Lluc Ibañez and Robert Consani were the stars of qualifying at Misano, with the two drivers trading the class lap record between them to take a pole position each for NM Racing Team and Team Speedcar respectively.

Spanish ace Ibañez set the tone by cutting 0.5s off his own qualifying lap record to put the #15 Mercedes-AMG clear in Q1, before Consani shaved a further 0.014s off that to add the qualifying record to the race lap record he already holds in the Team Speedcar Audi R8 LMS. 

Due to the size of the circuit and the 49-car entry, a new split qualifying format was run at Misano, with Silver entries getting their own space in the first half of Q1, before giving way for the combined Pro-Am and Am entry to take their turn. 

Ibañez was unstoppable in the Silver session, setting two laps good enough for pole on his way to a provisional qualifying lap record in the #15 Mercedes-AMG. The only driver who could get anywhere close was Benjamin Lariche in the #3 Team Speedcar Audi, but his best effort was almost 0.3s shy. Josh Rattican kept up Elite Motorsport’s impressive start to the season by putting the #78 McLaren Artura third, ahead of Herlolind Nuredini in the #22 Allied-Racing Porsche and Emil Heyerdahl in the #92 Wimmer Werk 718 Cayman RS CS.

There was drama in the Pro-Am half when Julien Briche set pole and then later crashed his JSB Competition Porsche. Briche was sixth fastest in the combined times and made it back to the pits just in time for some quick repairs to get the car out for Q2. Finn Zulauf was second in Pro-Am for W&S Motorsport, importantly a place ahead of championship rival Stanislav Safronov in the #7 Mirage Racing Aston Martin.

Andy Cantu ended Schumacher CLRT’s unbeaten Am streak by taking a second pole for NM Racing Team. Cantu put in an impressive lap to beat Pascal Huteau to pole, as Kevin Jimenez survived an early spin to finish third quickest for GPA Racing.

Second qualifying was even more dramatic, with Consani overcoming a red flag to grab top spot. The Silver session was halted before it really got going when the #91 Wimmer Werk Porsche stopped on track and needed recovery. With the clock still ticking, the field had less than five minutes to get a time in when running resumed.

It looked as if Cameron Lawrence would score the RAFA Racing Team its first pole when the American put the #81 McLaren out front, but Consani denied him with an epic lap on his final tour – a 1:39.794s effort that lowered the championship qualifying record even further.

Lawrence did keep RAFA on the front row, holding off Alex Denning in the #77 Elite McLaren and reigning champion Gabriele Piana in the #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW.

Max Kronberg won a close fight for Pro-Am pole for W&S, just bettering Noam Abramczyk in the AV Racing Porsche, while Hans Holmlund was impressive for Toyota Gazoo Racing Sweden, lining up third in the GR Supra he shares with Emil Skärås. Andrey Solukovtsev was fourth for Teichmann Continental Racing, with Aleksandr Vaintrub keeping the Mirage Aston inside the top five.

There would be no denying Schumacher CLRT a second time, as Laurent Hurgon produced a brilliant lap that not only handed the Alpine a third pole of the year, but also put it inside the top 12 overall. Florent Grizaud was his closest challenger in the GPA Aston, ahead of Stefan Nilsson in the #97 Lestrup Racing BMW.

The opening race at Misano is set to take place at 16:35.