Van Merksteijn Motorsport claims pole position in Monza The team Van Merksteijn Motorsport by Equipe Verschuur continues its successful streak in the Le Mans Series. In qualifying for tomorrow's second round of the season at Monza, ex-Formula ...
Van Merksteijn Motorsport claims pole position in Monza
The team Van Merksteijn Motorsport by Equipe Verschuur continues its successful streak in the Le Mans Series. In qualifying for tomorrow's second round of the season at Monza, ex-Formula 1driver Jos Verstappen set a fastest lap time of 1.36.842 minutes at the 5.793 metres long circuit, putting the team's Porsche RS Spyder on pole position in its class for the second time this season. In the overall classification, the Van Merksteijn Motorsport-Porsche RS Spyder ranked in tenth place as the fastest car from the LMP2 category, even in front of five cars from the more powerful LMP1 class.
The three Porsche RS Spyders dominated proceedings in the 20 minutes' qualifying session for the LMP2 prototypes and went on to take a clean sweep of the first three places in the category on the starting grid for tomorrow's race. Just like in Barcelona three weeks ago, the white and purple Van Merksteijn Motorsport-Porsche was fastest of them all. Jos Verstappen, who knows the Monza circuit very well from his days in Formula 1, beat his fellow countryman Jan Lammers in the Horag-Porsche to pole position in the class by 1.003 seconds.
As it was expected, the Grand Prix circuit of Monza with its long straights and its subsequent emphasis on top speed left the less powerful LMP2 prototypes without a realistic chance against the LMP1 cars with their bigger engines. "Our car is more suited for short and twisty tracks, but in general, the balance was good", said Jos Verstappen after qualifying. "You can gain some time under braking when the balance of the car is good and that is what we focussed on during the free practice sessions. My qualifying lap was good as well, I didn't make any mistakes." Asked for his expectations about the race, Verstappen commented: "Our car is particularly good in corners and under braking, although it is fast in terms of speed as well. The battle in the class will be very hard, especially with the other Porsches."
Team principal, Peter van Merksteijn was also quite happy with the results achieved by the team in Monza so far. "We were fastest in our category in all the three free practice sessions and I am confident that we have worked out a good set-up for the race." The Dutchman is quite impressed by the Monza circuit with its great tradition: "Driving here is an incredible experience."
The 173 lap race with a maximum duration of six hours will start tomorrow at 12.50 pm. Eurosport will be reporting from 12.45 till 13.30 h. A review will be broadcast at 11 pm by the pan-European sports channel. Motors TV is broadcasting the entire race live.