Two generations of GT3 Mercedes lock out front row for the Hankook 12H Zandvoort
Tom Onslow-Cole lapped the 4.320 kilometres circuit in the Dutch dunes in 1:39.580 minutes and will start the 12H Zandvoort from Pole Position.
Zandvoort - The Ram Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 (#30, Tom Onslow-Cole/Paul White/Stuart Hall) will start the Hankook 12H Zandvoort from Pole Position. Briton Tom Onslow-Cole lapped the 4.320 kilometres circuit in the Dutch dunes in 1:39.580 minutes and scored the best baseline for the fourth event of the 2016 24H Series Powered by Hankook. The 2015 winners, the Hofor-Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 (#10, Michael Kroll/Chantal Kroll/Kenneth Heyer/Christian Frankenhout/Lance-David Arnold), took second with a margin of 0.533 seconds.
Thereby, the first starting row will see a battle between the two generations of Mercedes' GT3 cars. Marc Basseng put the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (#33, Horst Felbermayr Jr./Marc Basseng/Max Edelhoff/Peter Schmidt) into third place, missing the front row by 0.033 seconds. A further tenth down, the Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#911, Daniel Allemann/Ralf Bohn/Robert Renauer/Alfred Renauer) completes the first two rows of the grid.
The quicker cars
Qualifying was split into two sessions of 30 minutes each. The quicker cars out of the classes A6, 991, SP2, and SP3 went first. Classes TCR, A3, and A2 followed. The Car Collection Motorsport Audi with Marc Basseng led the first half. The session was then red flagged after Jeffrey Rademaker had crashed the euro auto sport BMW M3 (#237, Ruud Olij/Jeffrey Rademaker) in the last corner. The car will not be repaired for the race. After the restart, the two Mercs passed the Audi until the end of the session that took place under blue skies and with temperatures of more than 20 degrees.
With seventh place overall, local driver Renger van der Zande moved the points-leading 991 class car, the HRT Performance Porsche 991 Cup (#73, Fabian Engel/Stephen Borness/Kim André Hauschild/Renger van der Zande) into class Pole Position. Their teammates' HRT Performance Porsche 991 Cup (#72, Rene Ogrocki/Artem Soloviev/Kim André Hauschild/Renger van der Zande) followed right behind.
It was also a Porsche 991 Cup car to lead the SP2 class. The Porsche Lorient Racing car (#65, Jean-François Demorge/Alain Demorge/Gilles Blasco/Frédéric Ancel) scored 14th place overall. Second and third came the LMS Engineering Audi TTRS2 (#206, Chris Tiger/Ulrich Andree/Stéphane Kox) and the Vortex V8 silhouette car (#203, Lionel Amrouche/Cyril Calmon/Amro Al-Hamad). The Vortex 1.0 is equipped with a V8 engine again after having used a Renault-Nissan V6 Turbo at the Touring Car Endurance Series debut at Silverstone five weeks ago.
The SP3 class was led by the RTR Projects KTM X-Bow GT4 (#224, Tomas Kwolek/Daniel Skalický/Maciej Dreszer/Naomi Schiff). Second came the 2015 class winner at Zandvoort, the Cor Euser Racing Lotus Evora GT4 (#70, Sam Allpass/Dom Bastien/Cor Euser). The JR Motorsport BMW M3 F80 Endurance (#103, Eric vd Munckhof/Daan Meijer) managed third place.
Team Bleekemolen were the unlucky fellows at Silverstone. But the Seat Leon Cup Racer (#127, Sebastiaan Bleekemolen/Melvin de Groot) fought back strongly with the quickest time in the TCR class. Their brand mates, the Red Camel-Jordans.nl Seat Leon Cup Racer (#303, Ivo Breukers/Rik Breukers) and the NKPP Racing Seat (#125, Gijs Bessem/Harry Hilders) completed the TCR grid.
With the first three cars separated by exactly one tenth, the A3 class featured a close fight at the top. Finally quickest was the points-leading Team Altran Peugeot 208 GTi (#208, Kim Holmgaard/Guillaume Roman/Stéphane Ventaja). The Vos-Veltman BMW M235i Cup Racer (#147, Remon Leonard Vos/Kevin Veltman) went into second position ahead of the second Team Altran Peugeot (#205, Thierry Boyer/Stéphane Cristinelli/Gonzalo Martin de Andres).
Class lead in the A2 went to the RKC/TMG Honda FD2-Civic Type-R (#99, Ricky Coomber/Thomas Gannon/David Drinkwater).
Struggling in qualifying
Several teams struggled in Qualifying and even before. The Massive Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (#55, Casper Elgaard/Kristian Poulsen/Nicolai Sylvest/Roland Poulsen) deliberately only did one lap to safe time for gearbox repairs until the start. Casper Elgaard's only run was good enough for fifth place. The Diesel-powered Dutch Saker GT TDI of HTM Racing (#222, Henk Thijssen/Monny Krant/Ton Verkoelen) could not participate in Qualifying due to electrical issues. Already in Free Practice at noon, the GDL team Asia Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo (#77, Lim Keong Liam/Khaled Al Mudhaf/Gianluca de Lorenzi) had crashed, did not manage to go out in Qualifying and might even be irreparable for the race.
The Hankook 12H Zandvoort will be started later today at 16.00 hrs. With three hours into the race, there will be the so called "intervention". All cars will go into Parc Fermé until the restart on Saturday morning at 09.20 hrs. As the gaps will be closed, it will be fundamentally important to stay in the lead lap of the respective class leaders.
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