Making his Blancpain GT Sports Club debut this weekend, Reno Racing’s Jens Reno Møller quickly made his mark on the series, giving the #11 Honda NSX GT3 Evo a pair of pole positions for races one and two, after an unstoppable performance.
In the Iron Cup class, Kessel Racing’s Stephen Earle topped both sessions in the #111 Ferrari 488 GT3, with HP Racing International’s Coach McKansy also taking a qualifying clean sweep in the Titanium Cup.
The new format sees two qualifying sessions determine the grid for each of the 30-minute races, and drivers had just 15 minutes to put in their best sectors and have a shot at starting from the front of the grid.
In qualifying one, Kessel Racing’s Murad Sultanov was the first to hit the top of the timings, but Møller soon dethroned the #23 Ferrari driver after going fastest in sectors two and three. The Dane showed no signs of slowing, delivering another time good enough for pole position on his next tour.
Last year’s pole-sitter Mario Cordoni traded fast lap times with StileF Squadra Corse’s Pavel Strukov, who despite his relative inexperience ended the session third fastest, behind the #51 AF Corse Ferrari of Cordoni.
After a difficult start, HP Racing International’s Coach McKansy, driving the #17 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 showed why he could not be counted out this weekend, ending just 0.055 seconds behind the #777 Ferrari in fourth and topping the Titanium Cup class.
Sultanov eventually finished sixth, marginally ahead of the improving Gerard van der Horst, who put the 2019-spec Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo in sixth overall and second of the Titanium Cup runners.
ERC Motorsport’s Lee Mowle enjoyed a strong debut Blancpain GT Sports Club qualifying on board the #44 Mercedes AMG GT3. The former British GT driver nipped ahead of Rinaldi Racing’s Vadim Kogay, who was eighth in the #333 Ferrari 488 GT3.
Iron Cup challengers Stephen Earle and Rick Peter Lovat, both for Kessel Racing, finished the session line astern with the reigning Iron Cup champion ending up a second clear of the Canadian newcomer.
In qualifying two, Cordoni strung together fastest sectors to top the session early on, but Reno Møller wasted little time in getting up to speed, putting in a stunning 1:49.022 to grab his second pole of the weekend.
Cordoni made it two front row starts in Monza, with his time good enough to lead the impressive Strukov, who enjoyed another strong performance to beat several more experienced opposition.
McKansy was fourth on board the #17 Lamborghini to make it the same front four as in first qualifying, but Mowle ensured it would be a different top-five, moving clear of Sultanov who was sixth.
Behind them was Kogay, who was less than a tenth adrift of his Russian compatriot, and ahead of the Iron Cup pole-sitter Earle. The American will start directly in fornt of class rival Lovat, who was 10th overall behind Titanium Cup runner Van der Horst in the #98 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.