Pre-Qualifying has been underway this week and concluded on Friday 28th June. With 98 pre entries for WGTC Season 6 the battle to qualify has been intense and lots of pressure on drivers to perform and produce a quick enough lap time to qualify.
The track for the pre-qualifying action was decided on Saturday 22nd via a live draw on WGTC Facebook Page. The track drawn was the free flowing Monza, with its long straights and ever technical chicanes it was going to be a challenge for the drivers to eke the most out of their cars.
With the current BOP across the GTE field, most drivers came to the consensus that on this track the Ferrari GTE would be slightly favourable ahead of the BMW, Ford and Porsche struggling with the lack of technical corners.
Day 1 - Monday
Pre-qualifying began on Monday with 23 entries putting in an early banker lap. World Championship driver ThibauIt Cazaubon from TX3 by Thrustmaster set the bar high from the off with a 1:44:283 in his BMW. Fellow WCS drivers Josh Thompson and Mike Partington from Thrustmaster Mivano followed up in their Ferrari and BMWs setting the pace and proving to everyone why they are a class above everyone else.
Speculation began on what the cut off time maybe, with some thinking a high 45 would make the cut.
Driver of the day: ThibauIt Cazaubon
Day 2 - Tuesday
Tuesday saw 25 entries take the track to set a lap time with many new faces. Drive of the day certainly goes to Ross Macfalane in his Ferrari 488, who set a blistering 44:594 just off the pace of the World Championship driver pace. At this point it was clear to see that the F488 and BMW had a slight advantage over the Porsche with many drivers obtaining a 44 lap time. Tuesday did however see
First Porsche into the 44s by Christian Rose of CQR showing that the Porsche can have the pace, although three tenths quicker than the next Porsche demonstrates its a challenge.
Driver of the day: Ross Macfarlane
Day 3 - Wednesday
On Wednesday 27 entries, having had more time to practice than others, expectations were high. The field is incredibly close with 1 second covering the top 20 drivers! With the number of qualifying times exceeded the amount of qualifying spaces and therefore the cutoff time was starting to become realistic. With further additional drivers yet to take part.
Driver of the day: Chaz Draycott
Day 4 - Thursday
Thursday saw an influx of drivers trying to get their lap times; 31 entries took to the track to either set their first attempt time of improve on their existing time on the penultimate day. The gap in the top twenty reduced to a meer 7 tenths and the top 60 qualifiers are all covered within two seconds. The tension was building with only one day remaining and over 70 drivers eligible to complete another qualifying attempt.
Driver of the day: Matthew Bunn
Day 5 - Friday
Leading up to the final session speculation was high on what the cutoff time for 60th place would be, with the fields lap times being incredibly close. Before the final session and 18 drivers that have yet to set a time and another 45 drivers that could set another time there was an expectation for a busy session. However only 30 entries entered for the final day with some new entries coming in and achieving a 1:44 lap times the estimated required qualifying time was tumbling. Eventually it was Tom Jacobs from Team Lizard Motorsport making his first qualifying attempt of the week getting a lap time of a 1:45.9 lap time that managed to be enough to qualify in 60th place.
Driver of the day: Laszlo Kotrocz
Congrats to the top 3x qualifiers, Thibault Cazaubon, Josh Thompson and Mike Partington
Full results from pre-qualifying can be found here
Top driver by car:
Top BMW: 1st - ThibauIt Cazaubon
Top Ferrari: 2nd - Josh Thompson
Top Porsche: 7th - Laszlo Kotrocz
Top Ford: 38th - Jack McIntyre
Qualifiers by car:
BMW M8 GTE: 26
Ferrari 488 GTE: 22
Porsche 911 RSR: 11
Ford GT: 1
Thank you all for everyone who took part in pre-qualifying, 80/98 entries took to the track during pre qualifying which proved to be a highly competitive format proved very successful, full of drama, tension and anticipation.The top 60 in the end was covered by 1.6 seconds!
Congratulations to everyone who qualified for the season. Unfortunately for those who didn't meet the cut off time the admin team wish you better luck next season. However as first reserves if anyone does drop out of the championship there could still be an opportunity to join in.
Look out for our upcoming Championship preview video. Next up is Media Day @ Spa as pre season continue and teams driver line ups and paint designs are finalised.