Oschersleben: Saturday qualifying quotes

QUALIFYING QUOTES Pole position, GT1: Michael Bartels, nr 9 Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12 "Both qualifying sessions were very positive, they were like a dream. We've continued here as we finished at Spa, despite the penalty weight. From...


Pole position, GT1: Michael Bartels, nr 9 Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12

"Both qualifying sessions were very positive, they were like a dream. We've continued here as we finished at Spa, despite the penalty weight. From the first lap yesterday, the car has been very competitive. We have a lot of ballast on the car, so we've had to work on the set-up to compensate, and that gave us a good base for today. It's great to have a Vitaphone front row as it's our home race as a team, and for us as a German driver pairing. Also it's important to start from pole as it's quite a narrow track, making it difficult to overtake -- hopefully this is the first step for a successful weekend.

This morning, we used both of our set of tyres; past experience has shown that the morning session is usually quicker, when the air is cooler. This afternoon, we concentrated on the race set up, especially the fuel consumption. Here, in the race, we will have to be careful as the kerbs are very hard on the cars here. After Spa, the Championship classification is very close and we still have 5 races to go. So the Championship is still open... "

2nd in GT1: Fabio Babini, nr 10 Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12

"We had no problems with the car. My car was faster on the first set of tyres, the set-up was perfect. Yesterday we worked on set-up for the race, and the same set-up was very fast for qualifying. I only used one set this morning so we could save a set for this afternoon, but I could not improve. Pirelli has done a great job by providing us with tyres with good consistency. This will be our second start from the first row and tomorrow, it will be important for us to get the maximum points."

3rd in GT1: Mike Hezemans, nr 6 GLPK Racing Corvette C5R

"Qualifying was close, but not enough ! I made a little mistake, and the car snapped away in the first sector. In a perfect world, I could have been a couple of tenths faster, and could be on pole - but this is not a perfect world ! I am doing all the running this weekend as Bert [Longin] and Anthony [Kumpen] are also racing in the 24 hours of Zolder. Hopefully, one of them will be back tomorrow as I can not do the whole race on my own ! We will not be able to catch the Maseratis even though our car is better on braking and on the kerbs, and I have 20kg while the pole Maserati has 90 kg. They just have better acceleration out of the corners."

Pole position, GT2: Tim Sugden, nr 88 Gruppe M Porsche 996 GT3 RSR

"Qualifying was good -- it always is when you are on pole! We had no problems here, and we wanted to be quick; we've had so much bad luck in the last few races. We made one or two little changes, we changed the rear bar a little bit and then I went out and had a clear lap."

2nd in GT2: Mike Rockenfeller, nr 66 Gruppe M Porsche 996 GT3 RSR

"Yesterday we had a problem with the gearbox, so we could only go out in the second free practice session. Maybe we were too optimistic but the 75kg penalty weight make it difficult to beat a lighter car, but Tim did a great lap; I still tried my best. In the race, the penalty weight will make it even more difficult as the tyres will wear quicker. At the end, the one with better luck will win. So far this year, Tim and Emmanuel have been really unlucky, which is why the gap in the Championship is so big. Our goal is to finish the race -- first would be perfect, but we will be happy with second."

3rd in GT2: Luigi Moccia, nr 74 Ebimotors Porsche 996 GT3 RSR

"Free practice wasn't perfect, as Emanuele [Busnelli] had a small accident yesterday in free practice. But the team worked a lot on the car and today, we made the third fastest time. Hopefully, we will get our third podium here as well."

1st in G2: Shaun Balfe, nr 101 Shaun Balfe Mosler MT900 R

"Our qualifying was fine -- no dramas. Jamie and I are both learning the track, andJamie learnt it incredibly quickly. We think we've got good race pace for tomorrow, and the car is handling well. Yesterday, I had the privilege to follow one of the GruppeM Porsche for a couple of laps, and that was enough to realise that it just wasn't going to happen for us this weekend -- they are incredibly quick through the tighter corners. It's going to be a tough race - we will have to be careful tomorrow. This will be our last FIA GT race for this season, so we will try to make the best out of it."

15th in GT1: Thomas Serwin -- nr 23 Wieth Ferrari 550 Maranello

"Yesterday we got it wrong -- we kept going in the wrong direction on set-up. Today we got it right, and you could see that on the times. As we improved, second qualifying was much better than first qualifying; we'll see what happens in the race.I've raced on this circuit in the German Touring Car Championship, so after so much testing I think there are some good spots to overtake. If the car has good balance, we should have a tremendous race."

11th in GT1: Peter Kox, Reiter Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT

"It was a shame we couldn't get a clear lap this morning; we improved our time this afternoon, and only two GT1 cars managed that. I set my quick time on old tyres, so I'm happy with that. We had a problem this morning with the car on new tyres, but the Michelin tyres seem to have consistent race pace, so we're looking forward to the race."

7th in GT1: Rob Schirle, team manager, Russian Age Ferrari 550 Maranello

"We're quite happy with where we are -- top Ferrari 550, top Michelin runner, and I think that's as good as we could hope for -- the Pirelli tyres seem to have the edge in qualifying. We should be okay on race pace. We improved the handling and balance of the car this afternoon, but the track was slower, so the times don't really show that."

7th in GT2: Claude Terrier, GPC Sport Ferrari 360 Modena

"We had no real problems, but we are both still learning the circuit, so we are still getting quicker. Our target for tomorrow is to finish the race."

6th in GT1: Jean-Marc Gounon, Konrad Saleen S7 R

"I think we've got the best performance we could out of the car. I'm hopeful we have good race pace, because the balance is very nice. It's very nice to be back in the Championship; the Konrad team is a nice team, the human side is very important. We have two good drivers, Robert [Lechner] knows the track, so it should be interesting."


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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Michael Bartels , Peter Kox , Mike Hezemans , Luigi Moccia , Shaun Balfe , Tim Sugden , Fabio Babini , Jean-Marc Gounon , Mike Rockenfeller , Claude Terrier