Patrick Huisman Imola qualifying report

Patrick Huisman Back On Track Front row for Patrick during qualifying session in Imola This weekend the 13th season of the Porsche Michelin Supercup has started during the Grand Prix of San Marino in Imola, Italy. Patrick, who drives the new...

Patrick Huisman Back On Track
Front row for Patrick during qualifying session in Imola

This weekend the 13th season of the Porsche Michelin Supercup has started during the Grand Prix of San Marino in Imola, Italy. Patrick, who drives the new Porsche 997 together with the Walter Lechner Racing School Team, still got the skills to put a car up front. A second position, just behind Belgian driver David Saelens, makes both Patrick and the team very happy.

Qualifying

A new car, a new team and a new position on the grid compared to last year, makes Imola 2005 a complete new experience for Patrick: "There were a lot of changes for me over the last winter and it looks like I've arrived in the right team. It was definitely high on my wish list to become involved with Lechner Racing. In Bahrain, where we had our first "test race" we already showed to be fast in the race so I was very hopeful that we would perform very well in Imola. I also like this track very much. I've won races here and been on the podium many times. Already on Friday during the free practise session I was very quick. During the qualifying session is was quick and on pole almost the whole session. I was out on my second set of tires and I really hoped to improve my time. Due to loss of tyre pressure in one of my front tyres I didn't have any grip and the car was sliding around way too much. Finishing the qualification session of the front row is great and everything is open for the first race of the season tomorrow. If I can make a start like I did in Bahrain, I will me 40 metres in front of the pack before the first corner. It is wishful thinking but things are not going to be easy. I'll push as hard as I can without taking the risk of not finishing the race."

When asked about the track, Patrick is very straight forward: "Very quick corners, blind passages, six extreme braking manoeuvres per lap combined with a bumpy track that makes the car skittery - that takes skill, fitness and guts. If it rains, Imola turns into the toughest test of courage in the whole year."

The new car

At the first championship race of the Porsche Michelin Supercup on the traditional Italian circuit of Imola, the new 911 GT3 Cup, based on the current 911-Carrera (997 model), celebrates its European premiere. Delivering 400 hp at a competition weight of 1,150 kilos, it features a power-to-weight ratio of just 2.8 kg/hp - a scale that is unparalleled in the 13-year history of the Supercup.

In the new model the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) is used for the first time in competition. Developed by Porsche and already proven in road use, the PCCB discs save five kilos of unsprung rotating masses per wheel. In the Porsche Michelin Supercup, the PCCB does not feature ABS.

With a sequential six-speed gearbox, further improved downforce and a new cockpit layout, the 911 GT3 Cup for 2005 is more a purebred racing vehicle than any of its predecessors.

In Imola, seasoned Supercup veterans are regarded as favourites for a race win. Patrick Huisman, with four championship titles and 18 victories, holds a clear record in the Porsche Michelin Supercup. Patrick about the car: "The car is very nice to drive. It is much more of a racing car. Last year the Porsche was very close to a road going car like a GT3 with a little bit more horsepower and the race abs, which I never liked, on that car. But this year we have the ceramic brakes which are very helpful, the car brakes very very well. We have the sequential gearbox, which makes life easier. You don't make mistakes anymore while shifting unless you downshift too early. We've got about 40% more downforce on the front so the weak points of the old car have gone now and the car turns into the corners really nice. One thing that is different is that there are no adjustable shock absorbers anymore. On one side you want to improve the car during a race weekend so you want to adjust the shocks. On the other hand, Adjustments made on the shocks are very difficult to check for the technical commission so now we're sure everyone is on the same level within the regulation.

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About this article
Series General
Drivers David Saelens , Patrick Huisman