2019 China GT Shanghai Qualifying Report
Alessio Picariello again set the timesheets alight during Friday’s qualifying session. The Belgian bullet was and remains the only driver to break into the 2:03s (2:02.991) at the Shanghai International Circuit this season. Picariello’s stellar qualifying performance has put Jeffrey Lee in literal pole position to challenge Nick Yelloly for the GT3 Championship.
TORO Racing’s #63 Adam Christodoulou was 0.375s shy of pole. Joe Osborne of the #111 Winning Team McLaren missed out on the front row by 0.46s. He will start alongside championship leader, FIST-Team AAI’s Nick Yelloly on Saturday.
BMW DTM driver Joel Eriksson in the #91 FIST machine qualified fifth ahead of D2 Racing’s Peter Liao. FIST-TEAM AAI’s #92 Ivan Lee, TKR’s #18 Yao Liangbo, ABS Project M Racing #28 Kobe Han and #66 YC Racing Lin Nan completed the top 10.
Rapid gentleman driver Min Heng put the #66 YC Racing AMG on pole in poorly lit conditions on late Friday afternoon. Lam Yu’s #90 FIST-Team AAI BMW will occupy the front row after missing out on pole by merely 0.135s.
Eric Zang was the last of the three drivers to qualify under 2:08s. Experienced campaigner Zhang Yaqi qualified fourth. Zhang is set to partake in the FIA Motorsport Games representing China alongside Rainey He in November.
Qualifying from fifth onwards were: Kevin Chen, #92 FIST-Team AAI; Jeffrey Lee, #88 EWS Craft-Bamboo Racing; Han Han, #111 Winning Team; Peter Liao, #2 D2 Racing; Betty Chen, #91 FIST-Team AAI.
YC Racing’s #918 Zheng Wancheng set the GTC benchmark in Q1 with a time of 2:07.303 and was seventh quickest overall. YC teammate #75 Wang Tao was next on the timesheets ahead of #68 Xtreme Motorsports Lo SzeHo and #25 Dominic Ang.
From third row onwards were: #998 Eagleeyed Racing Zhang Zhiqiang, #186 YCRT Li Jiaqi, and #666 Eagleeyed Racing Johnny Zhu.
Liu Kai took the #68 Xtreme Radical’s first pole position since Shanghai in Round 6 on Friday. CJ Huang and newly crowned champion Zhou Bihuang shared YC Racing’s second and third while Song Bo qualified fourth ahead of Xiao Min.
#25 received a five-place grid drop for vehicle change for both races. #186 received the same penalty for a T11 incident.
ONE-MAKE TROPHY CLASS
Cui Yue in the #118 Eagleeyed Racing Porsche Cup car will start on pole in class on Saturday after switching to the One-Make Class from GTC this round. Porsche China Junior Daniel Lu put his #69 Racing Team 69 cup car on the front row ahead of teammate Ben Rouget and Eagleeyed Racing‘s Alex Lee.
Fifth and sixth were occupied by RSR Racing’s Sun Zirui and YCRT’s Wu Pei.
Jui Yu Chien made a high profile comeback at China GT by putting his RSR Racing Porsche on pole. He will start alongside Racing Team 69’s Simon Chan. Alex Lee qualified third ahead of Eagleeyed Racing;s Jacky Wu, YCRT’s Deng Baowei and Eagleeyed Racing’s Zhang Ke.
Aston Martin driver Ross Gunn stuck the #618 BSEM Aston Martin on pole for the second time this season since his return to China GT in Qinhuangdao. The AMR driver traded fastest times with #55 K2C‘s Sennan Fielding and #5 Phantom Pro’s Alex Fontana on a damp track in the closing moments of the session, but eventually pipping Fielding to pole by 0.215s with a time of 2:19.484.
Fielding and co-driver Kenny Chung returned to China GT after missing the previous two rounds. Fresh off a victory at the British GT season finale at Donington Park three weeks ago, the fast running Briton is in full gear to finish the China GT season on a high in the Ginetta G55. Championship leader Alex Fontana in the #5 Phantom Pro AMG missed out on the front row by merely half a second.
Luo Kailuo was behind the wheel of the best finishing Winning Team McLaren and he will start P4 alongside his #868 teammate Lei Ke.
The third row is occupied by the twin AMG’s of #22 Will Bamber and #6 Rainey He. His new teammate young Finn Ilmari Korpivaar qualified seventh ahead of Winning Team
#570 Charlie Fagg.
Lo SzeHo in the #86 KTM and Kenneth Lim #49 McLaren rounded out the top 10.
As the track dried, experienced campaigner Lu Wei again showed off his prowess by claiming convincing pole for Sunday race with a time of 2:16.672. He is 0.597s quicker than his championship leading teammate Chris Chia in the #5 Phantom Pro machine.
A third Phantom Pro Racing car of Yang Xi is further 0.633s behind and will occupy the second row alongside D2’s Kuo Kuo Hsin.
Qualifying in the top 10 were: Winning Team’s #49 Jame Cai, Team Master Champ #999 Wang Hao, Winning Team #570 Dong Liang, FIST-Team AAI #89 CJ Huang, BSEM Aston Martin Racing #618 David Pun, Winning Team #868 Lei Ke.