WEATHER Hot and sunny PICCINI CONTINUES FERRARI RUN Andrea Piccini continued to set the pace in the nr 23 Ferrari 550 Maranello on his FIA GT, the first time that the Italian had taken part in the Super Pole session. The Italian set a time of...
Hot and sunny
PICCINI CONTINUES FERRARI RUN
Andrea Piccini continued to set the pace in the nr 23 Ferrari 550 Maranello on his FIA GT, the first time that the Italian had taken part in the Super Pole session. The Italian set a time of 1:31.000s to beat Mike Hezemans in the nr 3 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R.
Bobby Verdon-Roe was the faster of the two Lister Storms in the nr 15 Lister Storm that he shares with Paul Knapfield. The Portuguese-based Briton set a time of 1:31.904s, eight-hundredths of a second faster than his team-mate Jamie Campbell-Walter. The two Lister Storms will therefore line-up on the second row of the grid, ahead of the nr 12 Paul Belmondo Racing Chrysler Viper of Fabio Babini and Marc Duez, and the nr 4 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R of Fabrizio Gollin and Luca Cappellari.
PORSCHE ONE-TWO IN N-GT
Sascha Maassen was comfortably fastest in the nr 54 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R, the German taking part in his first Superpole session. Maassen, a Porsche factory driver on loan for this race alongside team regular Stephane Ortelli, set a time of 1:35.560s. That was nearly half a second faster than the RWS Porsche 996 GT3-R of Antonio Carcia, who was making his return to the championship for the first time since the final round at Estoril last year.
Andrea Bertolini placed the nr 51 JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena on third place, ahead of Joel Camathias in the nr 59 Autorlando Porsche. Philipp Peter was fifth fastest in the team's other car, having selected older tyres for the Super Pole session and saving his best set for the race tomorrow. The Austrian claimed that his engine, which was changed overnight, was down on power by a good 30bhp, and hopes that he can complete the race with a single pit-stop.
Stephane Daoudi was sixth fastest in the second Freisinger Porsche 996 GT3-R.
The nr 60 JvG Racing Porsche 996 GT3-R of Jurgen von Gartzen and Ian Kahn, had a fuel-pump problem from the morning session. The team had changed the pump but the problem persisted so they changed it again.
SECOND QUALIFYING SESSION -- DELETRAZ SETS THE PACE
Jean-Denis Deletraz set fastest time in the second qualifying, driving the nr 23 Ferrari 550 Maranello that had already been qualified on overall pole position by his team-mate Andrea Piccini. The Swiss lapped the 3.8km circuit in a time of 1:33.045s, nine hundredths of a second faster than Anthony Kumpen in the front-row sitting nr 3 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R.
Christophe Bouchut and David Terrien set third fastest time in the second qualifying session in their nr 1 Larbre Competition Chrysler Viper GTS-R, but their first qualifying time means that they will line up seventh overall on the grid behind the top six Super Pole contenders. Joining them on the fourth row of the grid is the nr 2 Larbre Competition Chrysler Viper GTS-R of Vincent Vosse and Carl Rosenblad. That car had an oil leak during Friday' s free practice sessions, traced to a problem within the engine that was changed overnight.
Jean-Pierre Jarier and Francois Lafon set fourth fastest time in the second qualifying session with a 1:33.381s lap having had their first qualifying times disallowed. Jarier missed a random scrutineering check during the session, and was disqualified from the session.
Andrea Montermini was fifth fastest of the N-GT runners in the championship-leading nr 50 Ferrari 360 Modena that missed the Super Pole session due to a broken bearing in the gearbox during first qualifying. The Italian set a time of 1:38.765s, trailing the RWS Porsche of Russians Alex Vasiliev and Nikolaj Fomenko.
Stephane Ortelli headed the group in the nr 54 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R shared with Sascha Maassen, while Peter van Merksteijn and Phil Bastiaans were second fastest in the nr 63 System Force Porsche 996 GT3-R.
The Autorlando Porsche of Philipp Peter and Toto Wolff completed only two laps of the second qualifying session after breaking a driveshaft after just two laps.
NOTES AND QUOTES
Christophe Bouchut, nr 1 Larbre Competition Chereau Chrysler Viper GTS-R : "I really don't understand why we are so much further behind the others when we were fast yesterday. Still, we are still within two or three tenths of the Lister, which is our benchmark. Last year, we had 100kg penalty weight and I was still on pole, so it is all rather inexplicable. However, I think tyre wear is going to be the most important factor tomorrow."
Carl Rosenblad, nr 2 Larbre Competition Chrysler Viper GTS-R: "I got my first laps in the second qualifying session. We had to change the engine overnight because of an oil leak within the engine. I did not drive during the first qualifying session and have only done seven laps so far this weekend. I reckon that I need 25-30 laps before the start of the race to be confident! We have new tyres from Michelin, but the engine problems have meant that we have not had a chance to test them properly yet. Tomorrow will be a race about tyres. Last year, the tyres went off by around 4-5 seconds per lap. I think tomorrow it will be OK for the first half an hour, but then things will start to get interesting."
Mike Hezemans, nr 3 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R : "I hope we have solved the wheel problem which took us out of the Brno race. Every time we are in the lead, something seems to go wrong. But Anthony and I are good together, so we are hopeful. But the other cars are very quick so it is getting more difficult to win. I did a good lap today, constant and quick, but we have to manage to finish or we will never win."
Fabio Babini, nr 12 Paul Belmondo Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R : "My superpole lap was good, but I was on old tyres, having used them up during the first qualifying session this morning. So the time I did was the maximum I could do. However, I am pleased, as everything is going well. I think that overtaking is going to be difficult tomorrow. There are two places to overtake, but the N-GT cars are very close to us here. I still have to study and learn a lot about the Viper -- I made a mistake at Brno which cost us points."
Bobby Verdon-Roe, nr 15 Lister Storm : "That must have been one of the messiest Superpole laps ever. Half of it was OK, but at the second hairpin, I broke late and had a big oversteering moment. I lost time, and while trying to get it back, I had another moment. I am however delighted to be third. It'll be a long race tomorrow."
Andrea Piccini, nr 23 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "The car has been very good all weekend; our new rear wing is not the only reason for my pole position, as the car was already fast in Brno, but it is giving us a little advantage on the straight, maybe one or two tenths. The temperature tomorrow is our only problem -- we are trying to see if we can open the side window. It is very hot; my feet are burning, the gearbox and everything is extremely hot. But for the rest, I am very confident."
Marcus Palttala, nr 25 PSI Porsche 996 Turbo : "We have had problems with the setup this weekend, but we think we have found the solution now. We are now where we should have been at the start of the weekend. We're quite confident for tomorrow, and I think we can finish in the top ten, although it might be difficult to get into the points. The race will be hard, but I am pleased that I set my best time on tyres which had already done 20 or 25 laps, which is good."
Miguel Barbany, nr 27 Dominique Dupuy Chrysler Viper GTS-R : "Everything is going quite well, and I am enjoying racing in the FIA GT Championship. But it is very hot and hard work to drive. I think it will be difficult to finish in a good physical condition tomorrow. The races in the Spanish GT Championship are much shorter -- it will be like doing the whole year in one race."
Andrea Bertolini, nr 51 JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena : "I was the only Ferrari 360 Modena in the Superpole today, as Christian Pescatori had gearbox problems this morning. I worked hard for the balance, and I am pleased to see that the car is good after 20 laps, which means it is possible to hope for a good race tomorrow."
Sascha Maassen, nr 54 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R : "This was my first lap on new tyres, and my first time in the Superpole, so I was a bit nervous. But I know the circuit and the car, and that we had a good set-up, so I knew I could do a good time. It worked out well."
Toto Wolff, nr 58 Autorlando Porsche 996 GT3-R : "We're 5th in the Superpole, which isn't bad, especially as the cars are very close together. During the second qualifying, our driveshaft broke -- we've been rather unlucky today. I like the track, it's very interesting -- but not easy to learn."
Philipp Peter, nr 58 Autorlando Sport Porsche 996 GT3-R: "We decided to go out with the worse of our two sets of tyres. I tried to keep the tyres that we are going to start the race on for tomorrow. We have 25kg more weight on the car, 30bhp less which we saw on the telemetry, so that is quite a lot compared to our regular engine. The race will be long, tough and hot, and it is important not to make any mistakes. I think there is a possibility of doing just one stop. We can think about this because the engine is less powerful, and it therefore uses less fuel. Maybe we will not be the fastest during the race, we will not be with the other cars at the start, but I think there is a chance to do just one stop."
Jean-Marc Gounon, nr 62 Cirtek Porsche 996 GT3-R : "We had a few problems in qualifying, with my best lap happening as the red flags came out, and a stretched throttle cable when I next tried for a qualifying time. Things have just been happening at the wrong time--"
Phil Bastiaans, nr 63 System Force Porsche 996 GT3-R: "We had terrible oversteer problems yesterday, but we solved it and we think that the car will be OK for tomorrow. It will be very hot, and there will be a lot of mistakes, and we have to hold it on the tarmac. Our car behaves well, but there is no quicker time in this car at the moment."
Antonio Garcia, nr 76 RWS Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R : "It has been very good, especially as this is my first time in the Championship since Estoril last year. I am happy with the team and the car, which is working well, and the set-up is good. I think we are there now, and we can get a good result.
Hans Fertl, nr 76 RWS Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R: "At the beginning of the first practice we had problems with the gearbox so I could not do very many laps. If we find the right speed, we can save the tyres, but I don't know if we can do one stop. We have to work that out."