In another hotly contested qualifying session, with the top 30 cars just half a second apart, Baldwin would qualify second, alongside his main rival last season David Tonizza – who scored a second pole position in a row.
While the front-runners got a clean getaway, the darkness of the night race was causing havoc further down the order. Collisions in the opening laps accounted for both the BMWs of Nils Naujoks and Arthur Kammerer, as well as GTWC America race winner Jordan Grant-Smith.
Tonizza and Baldwin were proving comfortably the class of the field though, drawing away from Tobias Grunewald and championship leader Daire McCormack behind them. Grunewald was first to take the mandatory pit stop, but couldn’t make the undercut work on the charging McCormack and lost out on the podium spot. In fact he slipped back further, as Amir Hosseini also got past.
Baldwin then pitted as he and Tonizza caught up with some traffic. While Tonizza was held up, Baldwin was able to run his out-lap in clear air, sneaking past the Ferrari man when he pitted a lap later.
That unleashed Baldwin, who dragged away from Tonizza while he was in turn occupied defending from McCormack. When McCormack did finally make a move, he wasn’t able to make it stick and himself slipped behind Hosseini.