Portimao - PRT

Giorgio Sernagiotto

Sernagiotto cruises to pole

Giorgio Sernagiotto dominated the second qualifying session.

The winner of Race 2 at Jarama topped the timesheet here with a superb 1'52"689, a lap more than half a second quicker than his closest rival's. Alan Simoni may have been .513 down but is quickly finding his feet in the Trofeo. This was another session that proved how close the leading drivers are in terms of performance: the top five came within a second of each other. Third on the grid was taken by Andrea Gardelli with fourth going to Renaud Kuppens, again the fastest Team driver. Just behind him came Joe Ghanem, who took pole for Race 1, and Owen Mildenhall, in the Bowers & Wilkins VIP car.

Andrea Dromedari put his earlier technical problems behind him to finish seventh as he set a time good enough to edge out Riccardo Romagnoli. The Race 1 winner from Jarama didn't find his rhythm here and will struggle to start high up in Race 3. On row 5 will be Richard Denny and Tiziano Cappelletti, with only 9 thousandths separating them.

Ghanem snatches polo

At the end of a tight qualifying session in which the lead swapped hands more than once, Joe Ghanem ultimately took pole position for the first of the weekend's three races.

The Lebanese driver had caught the eye at Valencia last season and during the Trofeo Middle East. Here his time of 1'53"255 was much quicker than his rivals'.

Riccardo Ragazzi, second, was .459 off the pace. The Italian, who is sharing the drive with Alan Simoni, had gained top spot on his last lap, overtaking Kuppens, before Ghanem snatched it late on. The Belgian was disappointed with his efforts at Jarama but put down a marker here thanks to a series of quick laps. His display saw him lead his Team rival, Cedric Sbirrazzuoli (1'53"780) by just 35 thousandths, highlighting just how close things stand.

Leading the chasing pack in fifth is Fabio Venier, 1"255 off pole. Next came a four-strong group bunched within seven tenths of each other: British journalist Mildenhall (1'54"621), Moroccan El Marnissi (1'54"956), Stefano Garelli (1'55"113) and Giuseppe Fascicolo (1'55"181). In the last top ten slot was Richard Denny, who will be partnered by Andreas Segler, and who pulled off one of his best Trofeo qualifying runs.

  • Pirelli