Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrar
Strong qualifying in Imola: BMW Team Schnitzer locks out GTE front row.
Imola, 2nd July 2011. BMW Team Schnitzer secured the perfect starting positions for Sunday’s six-hour race in Imola (IT): Jörg Müller (DE) set a best time of 1:44.468 minutes at the wheel of the no. 55 BMW M3 GT, meaning pole position in the GTE class for round four of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC). Dirk Werner (DE) was just 0.215 seconds slower than his team-mate in car number 56, rounding off BMW Team Schnitzer’s strongest ILMC qualifying result to date.
With sunny and warm conditions, both BMW drivers waited a few minutes before joining the qualifying action at the “Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari”. Müller just needed one outing and two flying laps, before he had a firm hold on pole position. On Sunday he will share the wheel of the BMW M3 GT with Augusto Farfus (BR). Werner, who will be alternating with Pedro Lamy (PT), completed a total of five laps and managed to improve consistently. His fifth and final lap was his quickest. The race at the 4.909-kilometre circuit will get underway on Sunday at 12:00hrs local time.
Charly Lamm (Team Manager): “We knew before the start of the Imola weekend that generally we should be competitive on our return to the ILMC, but we didn’t necessarily expect to lock out the front row here. Both drivers did a superb job. The same goes for the Dunlop tyres that performed extremely well in the hot conditions we faced today. I’m especially happy for the guys in the team. They have worked so hard over the past days and weeks. We will enjoy this strong qualifying result for a few minutes, before focussing on our race preparations again.”
Jörg Müller (car number 55): “The field is also extremely close together here in Imola. The top nine cars are covered by one second. This makes it even nicer that we managed to put both BMW M3 GT cars on the front row. On this track it’s crucial to get a clear lap in qualifying. This worked out straight away. Tomorrow it’s expected to be really hot, and this should play into our cars’ strengths. But you never know what happens during such a long and tough race. After the 24-hour classics in Le Mans and at the Nürburgring, however, I don’t expect major surprises for us.”
Dirk Werner (car number 56): “This result proves that we are in a good shape for this race in Imola. Jörg Müller was a bit quicker than me today. This gives me extra motivation to turn things round in tomorrow’s race. It’s a great feeling to be up there with both cars. The Dunlop tyres had hardly any wear, so I was even able to push and improve towards the end of my turn.”