Mario Cordoni (#70 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3) continued his fine form at Monza, Italy, dominating the action-packed Qualifying Race to take victory at the 2018 Blancpain GT Sports Club opener from Boutsen Ginion’s Karim Ojjeh (#2 BMW M6 GT3), with Klaus Dieter Frers (#3 Artega Rennsport Ferrari 488 GT3) third.
With the session cut short due to a red flag, German racer Klaus Dieter Frers was awarded third place overall and first in the Iron Cup, with rival Stephen Earle (#111 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3) driving from 13th on the grid to fourth overall and second in class. Blancpain GT Sports Club newcomer Bernd Kleinbach (#100 Lamborghini Huracan GT3) scored a debut Iron Cup podium for Attempto Racing.
Both Mario Cordoni and Karim Ojjeh also took home Titanium Cup trophies, with HP International Racing’s Coach McKansy (#17 Lamborghini Huracan GT3) completing the class podium with third.
After claiming pole position for the 25-minute Qualifying Race, Mario Cordoni led the field away and pulled a comfortable gap to second-place after a strong opening lap. Behind him, Patrick Van Glabeke (#488 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3) made a good start, but was forced to retire after being hit from behind when Christian Hook (#33 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3) and Claude-Yves Gosselin (#4 Boutsen Ginion Lamborghini Gallardo Extenso R-EX) came together in the braking zone for Turn 1 and collected the Belgian.
The incidents ahead allowed Klaus Dieter Frers and Stephen Earle to climb the order, slotting into fourth and fifth as the first safety car emerged. Jürgen Häring (#66 Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R), who had made his way up to third from eighth, was then hit in the first chicane, which brought out the second safety car.
Racing got under way again with just under 10 minutes left, and Klaus Dieter Frers now had to defend hard to hang onto the final podium spot. In the closing stages Stephen Earle continued to pile pressure on the German, but hit the wall at the Ascari chicane. Edward Lewis Brauner (#991 Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R) and Klaus Dieter Frers then collided in the final corner, with the 2017 Iron Cup runner-up's stranded Ferrari being hit again by another competitor, bringing out the red flag.
The race was prematurely ended, with the one-lap countback seeing Klaus Dieter Frers, Stephen Earle and Edward Lewis Brauner classified in third, fourth and fifth respectively. Coach McKansy collected the final point in sixth, as Claude-Yves Gosselin and Claudio Schiavoni (#20 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3) both finished within a second of the German driver in seventh and eight.
Tomorrow will see the Main Race, which gets going at 11:10 (GMT+2). We will be live streaming the 40-minute race on our official website, YouTube and Facebook page.
Click here for the full Qualifying Race results.