Pergusa: Super Pole, second qualifying summary

SUPER POLE AND SECOND QUALIFYING WEATHER : Hot and Sunny FABRIZIO GOLLIN CLAIMS FIRST POLE POSITION The Carsport Holland team will start from the front row of the grid for the eighth round of the FIA GT Championship, taking place at the ...

SUPER POLE AND SECOND QUALIFYING

WEATHER : Hot and Sunny

FABRIZIO GOLLIN CLAIMS FIRST POLE POSITION

The Carsport Holland team will start from the front row of the grid for the eighth round of the FIA GT Championship, taking place at the Sicilian track of Pergusa this weekend. Italian Fabrizio Gollin, driving the nr 4 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R, lapped the 4.9km circuit in a time of 1m35.633s, more than seven-tenths of a second faster than Mike Hezemans in the nr 3 Carsport Holland Viper. It was his first FIA GT Championship pole position, and the Italian was delighted to have achieved it on home soil. Jean-Marc Gounon was third fastest in the nr 22 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello that he will share with Enzo Calderari and Lilian Bryner. The Frenchman's time of 1m37.468s was more than a second slower than Hezemans but he had been taking care with the Ferrari over the kerbs, having already broken a wishbone in the Lamborghini Super Trophy earlier in the day. Jamie Campbell-Walter was fourth fastest in the nr 14 Lister Storm Racing Lister Storm that he will share with Nicolaus Springer. His time of 1m37.542s was faster than the Paul Belmondo Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R cars of Fabio Babini, who was fifth, and Boris Derichebourg, sixth.

ANTONIO GARCIA PUTS RWS MOTORSPORT ON N-GT POLE

Antonio Garcia set pole position time in the N-GT class, driving the nr 76 Porsche 996 GT3-R. The Spaniard set a time of 1m42.819s, a tenth of a second faster than the nr 50 JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena of Christian Pescatori. Frenchman Cyrille Sauvage was third fastest in the nr 55 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche that he shares with Stephane Daoudi.

Adam Jones was fourth fastest in the nr 62 Cirtek Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R with a 1m44.3s lap, but Pescatori's championship rival, Stephane Ortelli, had a troubled qualifying session in the nr 54 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R. The Monaco-based driver had a left rear wheel nut come loose during his superpole lap, which was more than six seconds off the class pole position. Philipp Peter failed to even start his qualifying lap in the nr 58 Autorlando Porsche 996 GT3-R. The Austrian suffered a blown engine on his warming up lap. "I took third, fourth, fifth gear, then nothing," he said. "We had some high revs yesterday but I don't know whether that caused the engine to blow. The car was good in free practice but has been going down ever since. We have a spare engine that is 25bhp down on the first one, but the goal is to finish the race and score points."

SECOND QUALIFYING SESSION - CARSPORT STILL LEADING, LAMBORGHINI SECOND

Anthony Kumpen was fastest in the second qualifying session, driving the nr 3 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R that Mike Hezemans qualified on the front row. Oliver Gavin was second fastest in the nr 31 Lamborghini Diablo GT that he will share with Emmanuel Clerico. Though the Reiter Racing Lamborghini GT had repaired its gearbox problem from the morning session, Gavin's best time of 1m40.008s was not faster than his morning time and he will start from the sixth row of the grid. Paul Belmondo was third fastest in the nr 11 Paul Belmondo Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R, but he stopped on his last lap at the pit exit when he ran out of fuel. Bobby Verdon-Roe and Miguel de Castro were fourth in the nr 15 Lister Storm Racing Lister Storm, while Jean-Denis Deletraz was fifth fastest in the nr 23 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello. Marc Lieb was the fastest N-GT contender in the nr 54 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996GT3-R with a time of 1m43.267, nearly a second ahead of Andrea Bertolini in the nr 50 JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena. Iradj Alexander was third fastest in the second JMB Racing Ferrari that he shares with Andrea Montermini.

NOTES AND QUOTES

Christophe Bouchut, nr 1 Larbre Competition Chrysler Viper GTS-R: "Yesterday we had a lot of problems with the engine, but today it worked better. The 100kg will be a big handicap for us all weekend. All we can hope is to get positions when our competitors run into problems. We are not competitive on this circuit and in these conditions. 100kg is not a lot compared to the overall weight of the car, but it is a lot when you are climbing the kerb and we are lacking power everywhere."

Mike Hezemans, nr 3 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R: "I had two punctures this morning, so I was more careful this afternoon, as I didn't want another, or I wouldn't have had any tyres to start the race. I hoped that my lap of 1:36.5 would be fast enough to get pole, but obviously it wasn't. I think we'll have to be very lucky tomorrow if we want to win."

Fabrizio Gollin, nr 4 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R: "I am very happy with my first pole position in the FIA GT Championship. However, the race is a completely different thing to the pole position, as it is much more important to finish the race! I used the kerb a lot but only for the qualifying - I don't think that we will use them during the race. That is the secret of Pergusa, the kerbs. I can win the race, but I will have to go a lot slower!"

Jean-Marc Gounon, nr 22 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello: "I am very happy to be here. I have not tested the car before we came here, but it is so fantastic to drive. I am here to help Jean-Denis Deletraz and Andrea Piccini in the championship, so I have to make a gentleman's race and certainly not crash. I had a problem with the Lamborghini just an hour before in the Lamborghini GTR Supertrophy race when a wishbone broke on the straight. That was because I had gone across the kerbs and we cannot do that tomorrow."

Oliver Gavin, nr 31, Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Diablo GT: "Emmanuel went out with the car just to see what it was like and it seemed to be better than yesterday. I went out on old tyres, and it was OK, but then we put on the new tyres and they did not feel as good. The car was sliding around a lot and I locked up into the first chicane and went off. Then I got caught up in traffic, and finally, on the third lap, we had a gearbox problem and that was the end of that. I have been talking to Reiter all year, trying to line everything up so that I could do this race. It all fell into place for this one and the last round in Estoril. I enjoy being in sports cars - I enjoy working with other drivers in the car and comparing data. Sometimes it is frustrating because you don't have your own car, with your own seat and everything how you want it, but I find it interesting working with other drivers, and working out where you are faster and where they are faster. I just like driving racing cars!"

Christian Pescatori, nr 50 JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena: "We are working only for the race, not for qualifying. That is more important for me as we changed the driving line-up for the team. I only used one set of tyres for the qualifying and the Super Pole, so I was not fast over one lap."

Cyrille Sauvage, nr 55 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R: "I am not surprised to be third; we had hard tyres so we couldn't really fight for pole but we did our best with these tyres, which get much better after three or four laps. So third is pretty good."

Toto Wolff, nr 58 Autorlando Porsche 996 GT3-R: "[On his accident during free practice on Friday] I was very late on the brakes on the main straight, missed the braking point and locked the front wheel. I went very heavily into the barriers, head-on, and the team had to work all night. We are now struggling with the car. We were happy that the car was not jumping a lot over the kerbs, but now it is jumping. Philipp managed to get into the Super Pole. I hope that we can manage to get the car working as well as it was yesterday morning."

Antonio Garcia, nr 76 RWS Motorsport, Porsche 996 GT3-R: "Yesterday the car was not good. We wanted to test the car in free practice, but only did a few laps before the driveshaft broke. In qualifying I did two laps and the car was fine; my time was good enough for the Super Pole so I stopped to let my co-driver take over. We tried a new strategy with the tyres today. Until now, we have been very quick in qualifying but slow in Superpole, but this time we left the rear tyres on the car and now it is much better. The Pirelli tyres are very good after three or four laps but it is difficult at the beginning."

-fia-

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Antonio Garcia , Fabrizio Gollin , Christian Pescatori , Oliver Gavin , Jean-Denis Deletraz , Emmanuel Clérico , Andrea Montermini , Anthony Kumpen , Mike Hezemans , Christophe Bouchut , Boris Derichebourg , Paul Belmondo , Marc Lieb , Nicolaus Springer , Jean-Marc Gounon , Andrea Bertolini , Enzo Calderari , Lilian Bryner , Bobby Verdon-Roe , Adam Jones , Toto Wolff , Cyrille Sauvage , Philipp Peter , Alexander Iradj
Teams Larbre Competition , Reiter Engineering