Paul Ricard: Series qualifying report

Bertolini Secures Second Pole for Maserati Andrea Bertolini scored the second pole position of 2010 for the Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12 at Paul Ricard and teammate Michael Bartels will start at the from for this afternoons Qualifying...

Bertolini Secures Second Pole for Maserati

Andrea Bertolini scored the second pole position of 2010 for the Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12 at Paul Ricard and teammate Michael Bartels will start at the from for this afternoons Qualifying Race. In a nail biting session that saw five of the six manufacturers represented in the final 8, Bertolini finished 0.5 seconds ahead of Peter Kox in the nr24 Reiter Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-SV, the best qualifying performance for the Italian brand in the FIA GT1 World Championship sao far this year.

Third place on the grid went to the nr23 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R of Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck, the Sumo Power team having both cars in the top 5 for this afternoon's race which begins at 17:30 (local). The two Nissans were split by the Mad-Croc Racing Corvette of Mike Hezemans and Xavier Maassen.

Championship leaders Thomas Mutsch and Romain Grosjean (nr 5 Matech Competition Ford GT Matech) failed to progress beyond the second qualifying session and will start in 15th place this afternoon.

Andrea Bertolini - Nr1 Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC12 - Pole Position
"The session was good. The balance of the car was good yesterday in the beginning of the free practice as well. WE are really happy. Also for the race, the tyre degradation will be important. The qualifying was good. The average of the lap time was 4.1, 4.2, like all the cars in the second lap in Q3, they tried to do a maximum speed, maybe they cut a part of the track. I don't know. The car was good, everything was perfect. We are here. We did 2 pole positions, but at the same time, the final result is really important. We didn't get a very good result in Brno; I made a mistake at the start, and paid a lot for it. Here it's important that we score points for the championship; we'll take the start normally, but it won't be easy with the Nissan and the Lamborghini."

Michael Bartels - Nr1 Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC12 - Pole Position
"I think all the qualifying system this year is very important to get to Q3. If you have the possibility to always get to Q3, the race weekend develops in a different way, because if you start in the middle of the grid, there is a big danger for an accident in the start, and it's difficult to overtake. As we saw in Brno, it's not so easy, all the cars are very well balanced by way of performance. So for this for me it was important to do the job. I don't know if would be an easy job to get to Q3, but when I saw Andrea's lap time in Q1, I saw I had a good chance to survive. I think this pole position with the lap time in the end that Andrea set in Q3 is due to the fact that, I don't think there are many people in the world who know the track better, and the line like Andrea. I looked through all the data yesterday, and I couldn't find that line, so it's a very brilliant drive here. I think the main goal all the season long is to arrive in Q3. I'm enjoying the qualifying points we're getting but I hope tomorrow will be a lucky Sunday for points. I prefer to have 25 or 20 on the account."

Peter Kox - nr24 Reiter Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-SV - 2nd Position
"First of all I want to congratulate Michael and Andrea on their lap. We have a fantastic car and we're very happy with this position. It's the maximum it can put out and we're pleased. I think the team has had some time to work on the car and they needed the time as I shunted the car quite heavily in Brno. They did a fantastic job. I think all 4 Lamborghinis are reasonably competitive. That is good for the manufacturer. It shows as well how close the championship is. It's always important to be in the front."

Christopher Haase - nr24 Reiter Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-SV - 2nd Position
"The track is difficult. It looks like an easy one, but as Michael Bartels pointed out, it's hard to find the right line or the fast line. But I did a lot of laps in the second practice and Peter helped me, and looked at data and found a good line. I've improved on myself and I'm delighted because we did a great job. Peter did a great lap time on our car and I'm looking forward to the qualifying race."

Michael Krumm - nr23 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R - 3rd Place
"I found it a bit more slippery than yesterday. I had a very good Q1, the time was good, but I was hoping for more from Q3. But it wasn't to be. I pushed it a bit too hard and overdrove a little bit, and small mistakes add up. But I want to say congratulations to Andrea, the time is mind blowing. They're over half a second better than us, and that's like it is. Mike and I would like to see the data, but it's a bit difficult. I don't think they'd show us. I hope to get a glimpse in the race, to see where he's driving at; it's clear we have a lot to learn here. I also want to say thank you to Peter, because Q2 I think is the most stressful and I'm glad I'm not doing it but that Peter is, and there's a lot of pressure to get to the last 8. I really appreciate it every time. The team has done really well. We've done some testing and found better setups and we've shown that today both cars are in the top 5 which is a great result for Sumo Power GT and I hope we'll come back after the qualifying race, which is a completely different story as usual."

Peter Dumbreck - nr23 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R - 3rd Place
"I didn't cope very well with the pressure in Q2. As Michael spoke about his Q1 lap, and I thought it was pretty quick, and I went out to do the same. But in the first lap, the tyres weren't ready, in the second they were already over the peak. I just didn't get it right and made a couple of mistakes and as he said, they add up. I came away with a lap that I wasn't that happy with, but I was still P3. I know I've got to improve, but, going back to this track, it's...I've driven lots of tracks all over the world, and this isn't one I like."

-source: gt1world

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Michael Krumm , Peter Dumbreck , Michael Bartels , Peter Kox , Andrea Bertolini , Xavier Maassen , Romain Grosjean , Thomas Mutsch , Christopher Haase
Teams Nissan Motorsport