Brno first qualifying report

FIRST QUALIFYING SESSION – LISTER TAKES PROVISIONAL POLE Jamie Campbell-Walter set provisional pole position for the third round of the FIA GT Championship at Brno in his Lister Storm Racing Lister Storm nr 14. The Briton lapped the 5.4km...

Jamie Campbell-Walter set provisional pole position for the third round of the FIA GT Championship at Brno in his Lister Storm Racing Lister Storm nr 14. The Briton lapped the 5.4km circuit in 1:58.236, the first time that the Lister has broken the two-minute barrier this weekend. The Storm was changed overnight to a qualifying set-up and the team is confident with its race set-up for tomorrow. Bobby Verdon-Roe and Paul Knapfield were seventh fastest, Verdon-Roe setting a time of 1:59.516. It is the first time that either driver has been to the Czech circuit.

The nr 1 Larbre Competition Chrysler Viper GTS-R of Christophe Bouchut and David Terrien took second position behind the Lister Storm. Bouchut believes that his time of 1:58.912 is the maximum that can be achieved with the Chrysler Viper this weekend. The second Larbre Competition Chrysler Viper of Carl Rosenblad and Vincent Vosse also made this afternoon’s Super Pole qualifying session having qualified sixth fastest overall.

The nr 5 Force One Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello of David Hallyday and Philippe Alliot had its times up until 10:49 cancelled after failing a ride-height test. The team claimed that a faulty spring was the cause. Philippe Alliot had set a time of 1:59.061, which had placed them in third position after the end of the 45-minute first qualifying session, despite suffering an engine installation problem.

The nr 23 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello set the fourth time in the session despite two spins from Tomas Enge early in the session. The Czech driver’s time of 1:59.311 will take part in the Super Pole this afternoon. The team’s second car will miss the session, however, after Lilian Bryner suffered a broken fourth gear in her nr 22 Ferrari 550 Maranello early in the session. Her time of 2:06.889 was good enough for 17th position overall.

Both the nr 3 and nr 4 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R cars will be taking part in the Superpole. The nr 4 car, shared by Italians Fabrizio Gollin and Luca Cappellari, was third, just under a second slower than the Lister Storm. The nr 3 Viper of Mike Hezemans and Anthony Kumpen made the top six shortly before the end of the session, with a lap of 1:59.322.

Stephane Ortelli took his third provisional pole position of the year in the nr 54 Freisinger Porsche 996 GT3RS, 12th overall on the grid. The top six N-GT qualifiers will have their positions re-distributed among themselves on the grid during the Super Pole session. Ortelli beat the JMB Racing nr 50 Ferrari 360 Modena of Christian Pescatori and Andrea Montermini, who were concentrating on race set-up. Andrea Garbagnati and Andrea Bertolini were third in their nr 51 JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena, while Philipp Peter and Toto Wolff were fourth in the Autorlando Porsche. Fifth place went to System Force Motorsport, who will be taking part in the Superpole this afternoon for the first time.

Jurgen von Gartzen will take part in the Super Pole session despite crashing heavily during the first qualifying session. The German set a time of 2:07.020, good enough for sixth in class and 18th overall, but got his foot caught under the brake pedal and spun backwards into the barriers. Initial inspections revealed that the engine was undamaged, and the team was confident of getting the car ready in time.


Christophe Bouchut, nr 1 Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Larbre Competition: “We have worked on the set-up of the car overnight and it is now very good. The car felt good during my first lap, but I think this is the maximum that the car can do.”

Anthony Kumpen, nr 3 Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Carsport Holland: “I set a time of 1:59.6 which was a good time, and then Mike went out on my tyres. When he fitted new ones, he did a 1:59.322. We are very happy with it. My back is OK, it does not hurt unless I sit in the same position for a long time, like on the way out here on the plane. Normally, tomorrow, I shall do two stints, but we will make a final decision tonight.”

Philippe Alliot, nr 5 Force One Ferrari 550 Maranello: “We changed the engine overnight, and completed the job at 3am but it didn’t go in properly. We are on the limiter at 6000rpm. If we had the engine running as well as we liked, then we would be on pole position, that is for sure.”

Jamie Campbell-Walter, nr 14 Lister Storm, Lister Storm Racing: “We have made some changes to the car overnight, which have worked, and the rain last night changed the condition of the track a little bit. This may have turned the conditions to our favour, but is possibly not so favourable for some other people. We have a good race set-up for tomorrow, though I think that it is going to rain. Nicolaus did very well, he did a 2:03.9 so he is happy. As for the car, it is very, very good. It is much cooler than yesterday and the engine is working better.”

Fabio Babini, nr 12 Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Paul Belmondo Racing: “We have a big problem with our engine. I pushed to go fast, but we are not fast enough on the long straight. I am on the limit in the corners, but I have checked my top speed with the other Vipers and we are 7 km/h down. This is the same engine that we used to win at Silverstone. It was great for one lap, and then it went down!”

Lilian Bryner, nr 22 Ferrari 500 Maranello, BMS Scuderia Italia: “None of us have qualified yet because I lost fourth gear almost straight away. It didn’ t go into fourth gear so I was stuck in third!”

Tomas Enge, nr 23 Ferrari 550 Maranello, BMS Scuderia Italia: “I was only warming up my tyres on my first lap, so I was surprised to see P1 on the board. I tried to go faster but spun. Then I had traffic, then I spun again! We had oversteering problems going into the corners, I think it was a brake problem. It will be good to be in the Super Pole. I am looking forward to it, we know what the problems are and I know where I can improve.”

Christian Pescatori, nr 50 Ferrari 360 Modena, JMB Racing, : “I think that we will use these tyres this afternoon and save our new tyres for the race. It will be hot and I want to use them then. It was a good lap, but it was only one lap and we are looking forward to the race.”

Andrea Bertolini, nr 51 Ferrari 360 Modena, JMB Racing : “We have done a lot of work on the set-up and today the balance of the car is very good. I will be doing the Superpole, and I think and hope to do a good lap. After that, we will have to discuss the strategy for tomorrow’s race. I like the track; it’s a real drivers track and it is very good for me.”

Stephane Ortelli, nr 54 Porsche 996 GT3-R, Freisinger Motorsport: It will be a big fight with the Ferrari, us and Jürgen von Gartzen. We had a lot of problems with the car yesterday and it was a big gamble for us today to see what we had. It worked well and we have two strong drivers, so I think the potential is there for a good result.

Philipp Peter, nr 58 Porsche 996 GT3-R, Autorlando Sport : “I had quite a scare during the qualifying session when a Ferrari 550 spun in front of me. That turned out to be my fastest lap, so I am sure that a faster time would be possible. We are still struggling to find the correct race set-up; after ten or fifteen laps we start to suffer from oversteering. We will try to fix the problem in the second qualifying session and tomorrow’s warm-up, and hope to find a more stable car for the race.”

Peter van Merksteijn, nr 63 System Force Porsche 996 GT3-R : “This is the first time we are taking part in the Superpole session – so we are very happy. This is only the third time we have taken part in a round of the FIA GT Championship, and it is also Phil Bastiaans’ first season in Porsche, so I think we have made a good start. Phil is a very good pole man – he can do good things in a short time, whereas I need longer. It is unbelievable how fast things have gone this season. We made a number of mistakes at first, but all the big problems have been solved now. However, we want to improve even more – we want to be in the first place. We must find some more speed, and I know it will come. I think it will take us a year to learn, and by the end of 2002 we should be there. Then, next year, maybe we will be able to challenge for the Championship. We are here to win – but we fully understand that you can’t win the first time !”


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Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Tomas Enge , Christian Pescatori , Carl Rosenblad , Vincent Vosse , Stéphane Ortelli , Philippe Alliot , Jamie Campbell-Walter , Andrea Montermini , Anthony Kumpen , Mike Hezemans , Christophe Bouchut , David Terrien , Paul Belmondo , Andrea Garbagnati , Fabio Babini , Andrea Bertolini , Peter van Merksteijn , Lilian Bryner , Bobby Verdon-Roe , Luca Cappellari , Paul Knapfield , Jurgen von Gartzen , Toto Wolff , Philipp Peter , David Hallyday , Phil Bastiaans
Teams Larbre Competition