Altoè bags pole, Boguslavskiy edges Drudi to set up tense title showdown

Altoè bags pole, Boguslavskiy edges Drudi to set up tense title showdown

Giacomo Altoè left it late to snatch pole for the final Sprint Cup race of the season, while the overall title battle intensified as Timur Boguslavskiy out-qualified rival Mattia Drudi. 

The session began on a damp track but conditions were dry enough for slick Pirelli tyres by the halfway point. As the clock ticked down it seemed that Benji Goethe (#159 Garage 59 McLaren) had done enough to secure his maiden series pole, only for Altoè to appear from nowhere and snatch top spot. The Italian's 1m37.189s was just 0.012s faster than Goethe's benchmark. 

Maxime Martin took third in the #46 Team WRT BMW, followed by the sister #30 machine of Calan Williams. The Australian driver scored Gold Cup pole and, in doing so, closed to within just half a point of the championship lead. 

Next up was Frank Bird (#77 HRT Mercedes-AMG) who took Silver Cup pole and increased Jordan Love's points advantage to 3.5. Charles Weerts (#32 Team WRT BMW) was sixth, followed by Thierry Vermeulen (#69 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari). 

Eighth and ninth positions proved to be unusually important. Timur Boguslavskiy (#88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG) beat championship rival Mattia Drudi (#40 Tresor Orange1 Audi), the latter struggling to find a clean lap at the end of the session. With the Tresor Orange1 crew just 2.5 points ahead, this could prove crucial to the outcome of the overall Sprint Cup championship.

The championship-deciding Sprint Cup contest is scheduled to get underway at 14:00 CEST. It will be broadcast live on the GT World YouTube channel, with pre-race coverage beginning at 13:15. 

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