Black Falcon Mercedes on pole for Blancpain’s Paul Ricard 1000km – GT

Mercedes claimed pole position for the Paul Ricard 1000km Endurance Cup round of the Blancpain GT Series with a last-gasp lap from Yelmer Buurman.

The Black Falcon Mercedes driver posted a 1m56.442s after the chequered flag had fallen at the end of the final 15-minute qualifying session to take the pole.

Buurman had been top of the timesheets in the factory Mercedes-AMG GT3 before late laps from Ferrari drivers Davide Rigon and Alessandro Pier Guidi briefly demoted him to third.

Dutchman Buurman’s final lap around the 3.60-mile Ricard layout put him just 0.031 seconds ahead of Rigon’s 1m56.473s in the SMP Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.

“I think it was a perfect lap after I struggled a bit on the first lap, because the tyres weren’t quite there yet,” said Buurman, who shares his car with Adam Christodoulou and Luca Stolz.

Pier Guidi was just over a tenth behind Rigon on a 1m56.599s in the best of the AF Corse-run Spirit of Race Ferraris.

Fourth place went to Albert Costa in the #14 Emil Frey Jaguar G3, which was less than half a tenth behind.

Frank Perera took fifth in the best of the HTP Mercedes, while Steven Kane was sixth in his M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3.

The Grasser Lamborghini Huracan GT3 that won the opening two BGTS enduros at Monza and Silverstone was only 20th in the hands of Mirko Bortolotti.

Top pro-am qualifier was Matteo Cressoni in 14th place aboard his Kessel Racing Ferrari.

The top 20 cars all qualified within a second of the pole winner.

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