Simon Gachet snatched pole for this afternoon's Fanatec GT Europe Sprint Cup race at Valencia. The Frenchman mastered tricky conditions to put the #26 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi at the front of the grid.
Overnight rain had already made the circuit slick, and it became even more treacherous when it began to rain again shortly before Qualifying 2 got underway at 09:00.
The session was split in two by a red flag, which was made necessary by the #71 AF Corse Ferrari spinning and becoming stranded on-track. Maxime Martin (#46 Team WRT BMW) had gone quickest just moments earlier, making him the man to beat during the second half of the session.
When it resumed Albert Costa (#69 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari) found the speed to topple Martin. The Spaniard looked likely to hang on, even as Gachet came close to bettering his time of 1m42.585s.
But the Frenchman found a little extra grip, beating Costa to top spot by 0.230s. The Ferrari driver also remains under investigation having driven to the end of the pit lane during the red flag period.
Martin will start third, followed by four Silver Cup contenders. Lorenzo Patrese (#99 Tresor Attempto Audi) was the best of them, thereby clinching a vital bonus point. He will be followed by the #116 and #163 VSR Lamborghinis and the #77 HRT Mercedes-AMG.
Eighth overall went to Aurélien Panis (#9 Boutsen VDS Audi), who was the second best Gold Cup runner after overall pole-sitter Gachet. The #25 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi and the #40 Tresor Orange1 Audi completed the top 10; overall championship leader Timur Boguslavskiy was only 18th in the #88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG.
Bronze Cup pole went to Hubert Haupt (#79 HRT Mercedes-AMG) in P26 overall. Title rivals Alex Malykhin (#911 Pure Rxcing Porsche) and Miguel Ramos (#188 Garage 59 McLaren) were next.
This afternoon's race gets underway at 14:00 CEST and will be streamed live on the GT World YouTube channel.