WRT Audi driver Rene Rast claimed pole position for the FIA GT Series finale on the new Baku street circuit (LEFT).
Rast, who shares his WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra with Niki Mayr-Melnhof, topped the times in the second of the two 15-minute qualifying sessions with a best time of 1m42.551s. That put him more than half a second clear of closest challenger Markus Winkelhock, who set his 1m43.062s in his Phoenix Audi in an opening session interrupted by two red flags.
Rast, whose teammate lies third in the title race, said: “It wasn’t the perfect lap to be honest, because I lost a bit in the last sector.
“The Audi is good here and I enjoy street circuits ” I’ve won twice at Monaco [in Porsche Supercup].”
Laurens Vanthoor, who leads the championship with co-driver Stephane Ortelli, claimed third spot with a 1m43.615s set in the second session in the next best of the four WRT Audis.
Fourth on the grid went to the second fastest driver in the opening session, Alexander Sims, who posted a 1m43.825s in his Boutsen McLaren.
Mike Parisy took fifth spot in the best of the Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP4-12Cs on a second-session best of 1m43.885s
The second-placed crew in the championship, Frank Stippler and Edward Sandstrom, ended up only 12th with Sandstrom’s second-session time. The car will have to take a five-place grid penalty in Sunday morning’s qualifying race for avoidable contact in the opening session of free practice.
Qualifying was shortened as a result of delays completing the build of the circuit. There was no Superpole session, which meant the grid was decided as a result of times set in Q1 and Q2.
Pos Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. Mayr-Melnhof/Rast WRT Audi 1m42.551s 2. Winkelhock/Ide Phoenix Audi 1m43.062s +0.511s 3. Ortelli/Vanthoor WRT Audi 1m43.615s +1.064s 4. Sims/Dusseldorp Boutsen McLaren 1m43.825s +1.274s 5. Zuber/Parisy Loeb McLaren 1m43.855s +1.304s 6. Catsburg/Martin Marc VDS BMW 1m43.908s +1.357s 7. Loeb/Parente Loeb McLaren 1m44.123s +1.572s 8. Vervisch/Vandoorne Boutsen McLaren 1m44.216s +1.665s 9. Bell/Estre Hexis McLaren 1m44.243s +1.692s10. Tandy/Holzer Trackspeed Porsche 1m44.402s +1.851s11. Zonta/Jimenez Brasil BMW 1m44.509s +1.958s12. Stippler/Sandstrom WRT Audi 1m44.587s +2.036s13. Khodair/Bueno Brasil BMW 1m44.699s +2.148s14. Soucek/Turvey MRS McLaren 1m44.851s +2.300s15. Sdanewitsch/Leo AF Ferrari 1m45.156s +2.605s16. Afanasiev/Simonsen Gravity Charouz Mercedes 1m45.207s +2.656s17. Ragginger/Watts Trackspeed Porsche 1m45.297s +2.746s18. Campanico/Ammermuller Novadriver Audi 1m45.491s +2.940s19. Webb/Hetherington Fortec Mercedes 1m45.575s +3.024s20. Baumann/Proczyk GRT Grasser Lamborghini 1m45.588s +3.037s21. Sladecka/Rosina GRT Grasser Lamborghini 1m45.600s +3.049s22. Demoustier/Albuquerque WRT Audi 1m45.737s +3.186s23. Charouz/Janis Gravity Charouz Mercedes 1m46.222s +3.671s24. Hassid/Beltoise TDS BMW 1m46.960s +4.409s25. Cunha/Stumpf Rodrive Lamborghini 1m48.221s +5.670s26. Thomas/Melnikov MRS McLaren 1m49.821s +7.270s27. Buhk/Day Gravity Charouz Mercedes