Hexis Racing gave the McLaren MP4-12C its first win in international motorsport in fine style in the GT1 World Championship qualifying race at Navarra.
After a stunning opening stint from Stef Dusseldorp, which saw the No. 1 car climb to second from the back of the grid, Fred Makowiecki took over and passed team-mate Gregoire Demoustier to move into the lead and dominate the remainder of the race.
Demoustier's co-driver Alvaro Parente had started the second McLaren, and took the lead at Turn 3 after an over-ambitious Ford GT of Milos Pavlovic had forced Mike Parisy's Porsche wide, opening the gap for Parente to dive through. Parente then rapidly began to pull away from the pole-sitting Reiter Lamborghini of Darryl O'Young, who was having to fend off the All-Inkl Mercedes behind.
A fuel issue on the reconnaissance lap forced Yelmer Buurman to start his BMW Z4 from the pitlane instead of second on the grid, but the Dutch driver stayed out longer than anyone else during the pit stop window to take advantage of clear air, emerging in third when Michael Bartels took over. The Vita4One team boss was put under pressure towards the end from the resurgent Lamborghini of Peter Kox, but Bartels held on to finish on the podium, setting his fastest lap of the race on the final tour.
All-Inkl finished fifth and sixth, Marc Basseng ahead of Nicky Pastorelli, but the battle for seventh was where the action was. An incredible five-way battle for that position ensued, including some three-abreast door rubbing down the back straight between Mathias Lauda's BMW, Oliver Jarvis' Audi and Toni Vilander's Ferrari.
Only on the final lap was the order decided, with Lauda finishing ahead of the WRT Audis of Jarvis and Stephane Ortelli. Vilander dropped back to 10th, only half a second ahead of both Matt Halliday in the Porsche and the second Reiter Lamborghini of Tomas Enge.