Portimao: Series qualifying report

Corvette tops the pile in Qualifying The Phoenix Racing Corvette No.13 of Marc Hennerici and Alex Margaritas took pole position for this afternoon's Qualifying Race in a keenly contested Qualifying session at Portimao. Bas Leinders and Maxime...

Corvette tops the pile in Qualifying

The Phoenix Racing Corvette No.13 of Marc Hennerici and Alex Margaritas took pole position for this afternoon's Qualifying Race in a keenly contested Qualifying session at Portimao.

Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin in the Marc VDS Ford GT were second with the Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.23 of Peter Dumbreck and Michael Krumm third.

Portimao Qualifying: What the drivers say ...

Marc Hennerici, Phoenix Corvette No.13

"So far its gone really well. This is our first time here out on this track. Last weekend I drove 300 laps on the simulator so I'm getting to know the track now. The car with 20 kilos of ballast was really good.

"The lap was the maximum, maybe we could find one tenth, but I think its going to be a real battle this afternoon, with the tyre wear it will be more of a battle than a race, its going to be very interesting."

Alex Margaritis, Phoenix Corvette No.13

"It's the best feeling that I can have, after a great weekend at the Nurburgring we got the solution for this race and I hope for the next races. It was also the first time for me in Portimao so it was difficult to get the knowledge of the circuit but we both made it, and now I think the the package of the Pheonix team is very strong, now the problem will be the tyre wear."

Maxime Martin, Marc VDS Ford GT No.40

"Its a great result for the team. We've worked real hard and it's not been all that easy this season. It's fantastic to be on the front row. Now we have to go to the end and we'll see tomorrow in the Championship Race."

Bas Leinders, Marc VDS Ford GT No.40

"We've shown potential all the way through the year but never really got to it. This is the first time that I really enjoyed driving the car. Also with Maxime we work well together we are growing into each other, getting to know each other better and we can feel it in the car as well.

"To be on the front row to start a race in this world championship is a first for me, I just hope that Peter (Dumbreck) goes into the first corner a bit nicer than he did at the Nurburgring."

Peter Dumbreck, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.23

"You think that you've got your head around it and someone puts in a mega time and you've got to respond to that. It's a game of chess to get it just right, to get that lap perfect, with all the sectors together.

"If I was a betting man I wouldn't have said that we would be the first three cars, I'd have said that there would be a Maserati here but it was a good session and we both drove well. This afternoon will be hot on the tyres and it will be about who can manage them best and who can keep a cool head."

Michael Krumm, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.23

"The team did a fantastic job, I think that we squeezed the maximum that we could out of the car. We didn't expect P3 but its really the ideal result for us. It equals our best result so far in qualifying.

"I really like the track, it makes it so much more exciting because of the elevation changes, it's really a big big challenge here. The race is going to be even a bigger challenge with the tyres. It's going to be the most exciting and incredible race this afternoon for the people watching, maybe not for us."

Miguel Ramos, Vitaphone Maserati No.2

"The gaps are very small. If you don't have a clean lap in Qualifying you miss your chance for a good lap. Unfortunately the Maserati is not best suited to this track. For the Qualifying Race we are fourth on the grid and will see how our tyres go."

Jamie Campbell-Walter, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22

"We were struggling yesterday with the set-up, particularly rear-end stability. It was our biggest problem on braking. The other car [No.23] had another differential installed, which on paper gives more rear-end stability.

"Therefore we've decided to put that diff on our car for Qualifying. It was obviously untested and on top of that we kept our set-up, just installed the diff.

"But the main reason for our time was I had a problem in my out lap, power steering failed. We've lost all the power steering fluid and had to spend 15 minutes in the pits repairing it. I went out of the pit lane with five or six minutes to go and that was just not enough, having to learn a car which was different from the one I've been driving throughout the year.

"We'll see for this afternoon's Qualifying Race. We usually do good races. So far we've only used one set of tyres, it will be hard but we'll see how it goes."

Peter Cox, Reiter Lamborghini No.24

"Yesterday I was quite pleased with the car but we made some set-up changes overnight and I think we may have gone in the wrong direction. The car was completely different to drive today and it has cost us."

Darren Turner, Young Driver Aston Martin No.7

"We are in the mix and we can pick some points from where we are on the grid so we are reasonably happy. Given the weight we are carrying from the success in Nurburgring we are better placed than we thought we'd be."

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Michael Krumm , Darren Turner , Peter Dumbreck , Jamie Campbell-Walter , Miguel Ramos , Marc Hennerici , Bas Leinders , Peter Cox , Maxime Martin
Teams Nissan Motorsport , Marc VDS Racing , Phoenix Racing