Bucharest: Fassler Takes Pole in Stifling Heat

The Phoenix team have bounced back from a disappointing Spa with a pole in Romania

Qualifying for the 6th round of the FIA GT Championship, the Bucharest City Challenge, took place in extremely hot conditions around the 3.071 km Bucharest Ring street circuit, which the Championship is visiting for the second time.

After the rain and cold conditions last May, Bucharest in the sunshine is a very different place, and a thrilling qualifying session took place between the narrow, unforgiving walls. Marcel Fässler took his third pole position of the season in the Phoenix Carsport Corvette, ahead of Karl Wendlinger in the nr 33 Jetalliance Aston Martin DBR9, with Michael Bartels third in the Spa-winning Vitaphone Maserati MC 12. Fässler’s lap of 1:15.348 was 0.184 ahead of the Aston Martin. The nr 6 Phoenix Corvette was fourth, ahead of the nr 4 PK Saleen – four makes in the top five.

In GT2, Gianmaria took pole position, in the nr 50 AF Corse Ferrari 430 GT2. The Italian, who is carrying the super-maximum penalty weight of 75 kg in the car after winning in Oschersleben, set a lap of 1:18.665, to claim his third pole of the season. Andrew Kirkaldy was second-fastest in the nr 56 CR Scuderia Ferrari, with Fabio Babini setting a best qualifying performance of the season in the nr 62 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 GT2. Matias Russo was fourth in the Advanced Engineering Pecom Ferrari, ahead of Richard Lietz in the Proton Felbermayr Porsche.

AF Corse have kept up their form with pole

The results remain provisional pending scrutineering.

The qualifying session sets the grid for tonight’s first one-hour race, in this altered format for the city circuit. The qualifying race will set the grid for Sunday’s Championship race. Half-points are awarded after each race.

The grid

Pos Class Drivers Car Time To 1st
1 GT1 Marcel Fassler Corvette Z06 01:15.3
2 GT1 Karl Wendlinger Aston Martin DB9 01:15.5 0.184
3 GT1 Michael Bartels Maserati MC 12 01:16.3 1
4 GT1 Mike Hezemans Corvette Z06 01:16.6 1.218
5 GT1 Anthony Kumpen Saleen S7 01:16.6 1.285
6 GT1 Alexandre Negrao Maserati MC 12 01:16.6 1.297
7 GT1 Alex Muller Aston Martin DB9 01:16.8 1.485
8 GT1 Christophe Bouchut Corvette Z06 01:17.0 1.663
9 GT1 Allan Simonsen Aston Martin DB9 01:17.4 2.093
10 GT1 Peter Kox Lamborghini Murcielago 01:18.2 2.871
11 GT2 Gianmaria Bruni Ferrari F430 01:18.7 3.317
12 GT2 Andrew Kirkaldy Ferrari F430 01:19.1 3.782
13 GT2 Fabio Babini Ferrari F430 01:19.2 3.895
14 GT2 Matias Russo Ferrari F430 01:19.3 3.948
15 GT2 Richard Lietz Porsche 911 GT3 RS 01:19.3 3.955
16 GT2 Christian Montanari Ferrari F430 01:19.4 4.025
17 GT2 Emmanuel Collard Porsche 911 GT3 RS 01:19.6 4.288
18 GT2 Marc Lieb Porsche 911 GT3 RS 01:19.7 4.313
19 GT2 Tim Mullen Ferrari F430 01:19.7 4.355
20 GT2 Davide Rigon Ferrari F430 01:19.9 4.521
21 GT2 Henri Moser Ferrari F430 01:20.0 4.664
22 GT2 Markus Palttala Porsche 911 GT3 RS 01:20.3 4.921
23 GT2 Matteo Malucelli Ferrari F430 01:20.8 5.464
24 G2 Renaud Kuppens Gillet Vertigo 01:22.3 6.903