By Tarek Ramchani
The Audi Sport customer racing entries had a strong Blancpain Sprint Series qualifying at the Moscow Raceway this morning. A front row and a total of the four Audis inside the Top 10. The session has been red flagged in Q3 after an incident involving a McLaren.
Markus Winkelhock and Niki Mayr-Melnhof were the fastest within the Audi squad. They qualified in a strong second place with the #6 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Phoenix Racing. This is the best qualifying result this season so far for the Nurburgring based team. The two drivers were right behind the pole setting Lamborghini Gallardo from Reiter Engineering.
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT qualified well too. Series points leaders Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns were fifth with the #1 Audi. Christopher Mies and Enzo Ide were sixth with the #2 R8 LMS ultra. Stéphane Ortelli and Stéphane Richelmi were ninth with the #3 machine.
ISR Racing narrowly missed the Top 10, Marco Bonanomi and Filip Salaquarda were eleventh fastest with the #75 Audi. Frank Stippler and James Nash were a position behind, twelfth with the #4 R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT.
The qualifying race will follow next, a 60-minute event with a mandatory pit-stop and driver change.
Update by Blancpain GT Series: Markus Winkelhock put the #6 Phoenix Racing Audi on the front row for the first time since Nogaro 2014. This afternoon, Winkelhock will drive both races alone however, since team-mate Niki Mayr-Melnhof had to leave the circuit immediately due to a private family emergency. For the mandatory pit stop no minimum time is set, but no points will be awarded to either the team or the driver for either race.