Reno Racing’s Jens Reno Moller took another double pole position in the 2019 Blancpain GT Sports Club at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, with Stephen Earle and Howard Blank qualifying fastest amongst the Iron Cup runners.
Honda NSX GT3 Evo driver Moller headed into this weekend needing to extend his 22-point lead in the championship to 50 and is now best-placed to do so, with Kessel Racing’s Earle also giving himself a great chance of taking the Iron Cup title with a round to spare.
In Qualifying 1, Moller was quickest out of the box, moving to the top of the timings ahead first of ERC Sport’s Lee Mowle, then HP Racing International’s Coach McKansy, before Murod Sultanov squeezed his Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 into second.
McKansy responded and cut Moller’s lead to just 0.038 seconds, but the Dane’s time was then beaten by GetSpeed Performance’s Denis Remenyako in the #13 Mercedes AMG GT3 as the chequered flag dropped.
The Russian looked to have taken pole position, until Moller’s last gasp effort put him back ahead by less than a tenth-of-a-second.
Behind, McKansy went third quickest on board the #17 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019, ahead of Moller’s nearest championship rival Sultanov, the Russian making it four different manufacturers in the top-four.
Second of the Titanium Cup runners was Mowle, who qualified his #44 Mercedes in fifth place overall, ahead of Mario Cordoni’s #51 AF Corse Ferrari.
StileF Squadra Corse’s Pavel Strukov was seventh in the #777 Ferrari, beating Iron Cup leader Earle. The #111 Ferrari driver headed class rival AF Corse’s Louis Philippe Soenen and AF Corse's Blank, who rounded out the top 10.
Bernhard Loffler was 11th in his maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club qualifying, as he continues to improve on board the #666 HB Racing Lamborghini.
Qualifying 2 got underway with Moller once again assuming top spot early on. This time though, the Dane wouldn’t be beaten and he continued to set fastest laps to solidify his fifth pole position of the 2019 campaign.
Behind the Reno Racing driver, the battle for second place was wide open, with Sultanov eventually taking second spot off Remenyako, who will start third for tomorrow’s final race. Cordoni showed strong pace in fourth, with FP1 pace-setter McKansy falling to fifth.
Fellow Titanium Cup runner Mowle was sixth and second in class, ahead of lead Iron Cup runner Blank, who used his experience at Spa to good advantage. Earle was second in class and eighth overall, with Soenen – the only driver who can take the Iron Cup title fight on to Barcelona - ninth.
Strukov rounded out the top 10 places, ahead of Loffler’s Lamborghini, who continued to improve his pace following his late call-up to the team.
That’s it for Saturday’s running, with tomorrow set to welcome both races, which will be streamed live on the Blancpain GT Sports Club website, Facebook page and GTWorld YouTube channel.