Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim and Alessio Picariello sealed a pole position apiece in the first Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS qualifying session of the season at Chang International Circuit this morning.
Triple Eight JMR’s #88 Mercedes-AMG beat the top Silver and Fanatec China Cup entry driven by Ling Kang to Race 1 pole by 0.122s, while Picariello’s AAS Motorsport by Absolute Racing Porsche was fastest in the Pro segment courtesy of two overall quickest times.
The first fully dry conditions since Thursday’s test sessions greeted teams and drivers at Buriram this morning where the 23-strong Am contingent as well as two Silvers produced a top-12 covered by one second.
Several drivers spent time at the top early on, but it was Anthony Liu, Bao Jinlong and then Andrew Haryanto who set representative pace in the first five minutes.
Absolute’s #992 Porsche then became the first to dip below 1m36s, but it wasn’t enough for Bao to clinch pole. Instead, that accolade went to Ibrahim who saved his best – 1m35.538s – for last.
Phantom Pro Racing’s #29 Audi slotted into second after lapping 0.122s slower than Ibrahim, while home favourite Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak (AAS/Absolute) pushed Bao back to fourth in the final reckoning. 0.154s covered the quartet.
A late improvement saw Yuan Bo (R&B Racing) make it three Porsches in the top-five, while Liu’s Craft-Bamboo Mercedes-AMG took sixth.
GT3 Q2 to follow…