Close, closer, Hockenheim
Stuttgart. At the most gripping qualifying of the season so far, Frenchman Nicolas Armindo secured pole position for round seven of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup on the Hockenheimring. Contesting his first Supercup race this year as a guest driver from the German Porsche Carrera Cup, Armindo planted his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Al Faisal Lechner Racing on pole 0.092 seconds faster than Britain’s Nicholas Tandy (Konrad Motorsport).
The fight for the best positions for Sunday’s race on the 4.574 kilometre Grand Prix circuit was fierce to the end. Just over three-tenths of a second separate the top ten qualifiers – another example of the enormous competitiveness that makes the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup so popular with fans around the world.
Several drivers behind the top pair raised eyebrows with their performances: One was Christian Engelhart from Germany (SANITEC/GILTRAP Racing), who secured his best qualifying result in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup with third. With this, he relegated his compatriot René Rast (Al Faisal Lechner Racing), points’ leader and four-time winner this season, to take up the race from fourth on the grid – by just one thousandth of a second! Competing for VELTINS MRS Racing, Jan Seyffarth (Germany) on fifth place shares the third grid row with Dutchman Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (Team Bleekemolen Harders Plaza) in sixth.
Slovakia’s Stefan Rosina (Lechner Racing) was seventh quickest, followed by eighth for Austria’s Norbert Siedler (VELTINS MRS Racing), the winner from Barcelona. With the ninth grid spot, Robert Lukas (Verva Racing Team), the Supercup newcomer from Poland, achieved his best Supercup qualifying result this season. Rounding off the top ten is Austria’s Martin Ragginger (Schnabl Engineering Team Parker Racing) – another guest driver from the Porsche Carrera Cup. Ragginger, however, experienced bad luck: His fastest qualifying lap was deemed invalid when he crossed the sideline with all four wheels.
At his Supercup debut, Mathias Lauda (Austria) claimed the 17th qualifying spot, just seven-tenths of a second off the pole-sitter’s time. The son of racing legend Niki Lauda contests the race in the VIP-911 GT3 Cup run by Porsche AG.
Nicolas Armindo (pole-sitter): “What a great way to start. My first Supercup outing this season and pole position – it doesn’t get better than that. Thanks to my team! We found several things in free practice to improve on overnight. This qualifying was somewhat nerve-wracking. We’re all extremely close. You can bet the race will be exciting.”
Nicholas Tandy (second in qualifying): “I’m very pleased – especially because my fastest lap was anything but brilliant. Normally, I should have been on pole. But the positive aspect is that I still have a fresh set of tyres for the race and with tomorrow forecast to be dry, this will certainly be to my advantage. Obviously I want to win the race, but more importantly, I’d like to take a few points off René Rast for the title. He’s starting from fourth, but I’m sure he’ll do his best to get ahead as quickly as possible. The fans can look forward to an interesting race.”
Christian Engelhart (third in qualifying): “The conditions today were tough. The track was really slippery, probably because of the heavy rain from the last days. Initially, I had to get used to the braking points. With my first set of tyres I made lots of errors, nothing worked. With the second set I made another big mistake, still it was enough for third. I’ve experienced a lot of bad luck recently. I hope it’s enough for the rest of the season and I can finally climb up the points’ standings with some good results.”
Mathias Lauda (17th in qualifying): “Not even seven-tenths of a second from the quickest – that’s not too bad for my first qualifying with the 911 GT3 Cup. But that it was only good enough for 17th just shows how competitive the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup is. I’m looking forward to the race and hope to make up some positions over the distance – it won’t be easy against the Supercup specialists.”
Source: © 2010 Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AGEmail This Post