Interlagos: Series qualifying report

Maserati takes pole in Sao Paulo The Vitaphone Maserati No.2 of Enrique Bernoldi and Xandi Negrao took pole position for this afternoon's Qualifying Race. Second was the No.38 All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Lamborghini of Dominik Schwager and...

Maserati takes pole in Sao Paulo

The Vitaphone Maserati No.2 of Enrique Bernoldi and Xandi Negrao took pole position for this afternoon's Qualifying Race.

Second was the No.38 All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Lamborghini of Dominik Schwager and Nicky Pastorelli.

Darren Turner and Tomas Enge in the Young Driver Aston Martin No.7 were third.

The big name casualty of the one-hour session was the Vitaphone Maserati No.1 of Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels. The leaders in the championship standings finished a lowly 18th and therefore missed the cut for Q2.

The pair's closest challenger in the drivers' championship Thomas Mutsch in the Matech Ford GT No.5 with Richard Westbrook qualified fifth and has a chance to capitalise this afternoon.

However, the car will take a three place grid drop following a penalty from an incident in the previous round in Navarra.

Sao Paulo Qualifying: What the drivers say ...

Enrique Bernoldi, Vitaphone Maserati No.2

"This is brilliant. Pole position for us has been a long time coming and for it to happen here just makes it better. I have all friends and family here supporting me and the team and all the fans make me feel proud. We have an all Brazilian line-up in the No.2 Maserati which is great and the team are feeling positive. I'm really looking forward to the Qualifying Race."

Xandi Negrao, Vitaphone Maserati No.2

"The car has improved a lot since 2008 when I last drove it. Because Interlagos is a very tricky track I think we Brazilians had a big advantage against the others. Let's see what happens in the Qualifying Race, I think it will be very tough for us. We have to take care of the tyres and let's see how it goes.

"The start will be very exciting. I will be very patient in the beginning because we need to finish in front for the Championship Race tomorrow which is the important one. We have a car that we can push for the whole race so I'm quite confident."

Nicky Pastorelli, All-inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Lamborghini No.38

"We knew we had good pace from the previous sessions so I pushed really hard and got the top spot in Q2. In Q3 we managed second which obviously puts us in a good position for the Qualifying Race. The car is feeling OK also so I'm feeling pretty positive."

Dominik Schwager, All-inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Lamborghini No.38

"I enjoyed the Qualifying sessions very much but I'm a little angry we didn't get pole; second is still very good though. The Qualifying Race will be interesting later on as this circuit suites varying car set ups; cars with good braking ability will benefit in parts, cars with good top end speed will benefit in others and so on. The feeling here is remarkable, all the fans are here and the Championship is coming to a close. It's exciting!"

Tomas Enge, Young Driver Aston Martin No.7

"We were not sure if we would be competitive here. Yesterday in Pre-Qualifying we were 5th fastest but I think that was more about my knowledge of this track rather than the performance of the car. The team have been working on it and for today we made some major changes. It took us some time to get used to the car but at the end of the day I think we've showed that the car is fast and the team did a very good job. We are P3 on the grid, on the second row, which is fantastic."

Darren Turner, Young Driver Aston Martin No.7

"I didn't really have a good run, I was really pleased to sneak into the top 8. P7 is on the cusp of being dropped out so we were lucky that Group 1 was the stronger session with drivers this weekend, normally it is spread out between the two, so it was fortunate I was in group two and the competition probably wasn't as strong as group one. Very happy to get through and give Tomas the opportunity to have a crack at it in Q3."

Andrea Bertolini, Vitaphone Maserati No.1

"We have a lot of ballast -- 40 kilos so it makes it tough. I also made a mistake on a quick lap in the mid section. I had to do the max and when you are on the limit there is always the chance that you will make a mistake.

"We just have to check the date and see if we can find something for the race. It's very close and we have new tyres so have to find some improvement for sure."

"We really couldn't get the new tyres to work well enough. It was too long into the run before they starting to work. We just couldn't find that sweet spot soon enough and that cost us. But it's not a horrible position we are in, we are about mid-pack so we are OK. If we can be consistent in the race the others should come back to us which is how it has been a couple of times this season. We are still hopeful of a good points haul this weekend."

Daniel Serra, Triple H Hegersport Maserati No.34

"I am very happy to get this chance. This is my first time in the championship and the first time in a GT1 car. It's the fastet car I have ever driven in my life. When they ask me 'how is the car?' all I can say is that it's always good."

Warren Hughes, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22

"This wasn't the best Qualifying session for us. For me it was the first run on new tyres and I seemed to have quite a lot of understeer. This meant the front tyres were past their best when the rears were at their optimum. I can imagine some other teams are experiencing the same thing though.

"Twelfth isn't the worst place to start here at Interlagos; theres some good overtaking opportunities so I'm hopeful about the Qualifying Race later on and looking forward to the race tomorrow."

-source: gt1world.com

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Enrique Bernoldi , Tomas Enge , Darren Turner , Michael Bartels , Warren Hughes , Dominik Schwager , Andrea Bertolini , Nicky Pastorelli , Daniel Serra , Richard Westbrook , Thomas Mutsch
Teams Nissan Motorsports , Münnich Motorsport