Fumanelli and Gonda lead the way in Jerez qualifiers

The final qualification sessions of the inaugural Renault Sport Trophy season saw David Fumanelli (Oregon Team) and Richard Gonda (ART Junior Team) excel, with the Italian scoring his second pole of the year to head the grid for the Endurance race with tram-mate Dario Capitanio (Oregon Team #8). Steijn Schothorst and Jeroen Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur #10) will join them on the front row, followed by Nicky Pastorelli/Diederik Sijthoff (V8 Racing #5), Nelson Panciatici/Jean Ragnotti (Monlau Competicion) and Andrea Pizzitola/Richard Gonda (ART Junior Team #2). David Fumanelli is also on pole for the weekend’s Elite Sprint race, while Richard Gonda will head the Prestige field from Toni Forné (ART Junior Team) and championship winner Dario Capitanio (Oregon Team).

With high winds buffeting the Circuito de Jerez, Luciano Bacheta (Oregon Team) was first out on to the track, though it was not long before the times started to tumble. David Fumanelli had installed himself at the top of the timesheets when the red flag came out following an off-track excursion for José Manuel Perez Aicart (Monlau Competicion). Despite the best efforts of the rest of the field, the Italian stayed out front to claim pole in a time of 1.40:346, with Steijn Schothorst, Nicky Pastorelli, Nelson Panciatici and Andrea Pizzitola the other drivers to make the top five.

Rain had dampened the track by the time the Prestige drivers emerged. Though Niccolò Nalio (Oregon Team) was the first to cross the line, Richard Gonda promptly outpaced him, the Slovakian’s opening time of 1:55.950 proving enough to give him pole from team-mate Toni Forné, Dario Capitanio, Niccolò Nalio and Max Braams (V8 Racing).
The Endurance race starts at 16:00 on Saturday, with the Prestige Sprint race getting under way at 10:50 on Sunday, followed by the Elite Sprint at 17:05.