Strong newcomer Kévin Estre surprises with first pole position
Stuttgart. Kévin Estre’s first season in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup is going much better than he imagined. With the 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Hermes Attempto Racing, the Frenchman secured his first pole position for round seven of the world’s fastest international one-make cup on the Hungaroring. In his last quick qualifying lap on the Grand Prix circuit near Budapest, he undercut the previous top time of Sean Edwards, the Barcelona winner from Great Britain, by 0.041 seconds.
Taking up Sunday’s race from the third spot is title defender René Rast from Germany. Currently leading the points after four victories so far this season, the VELTINS Lechner Racing pilot was a good tenth of a second adrift of the surprising top time of the Supercup newcomer Kévin Estre. Lining up alongside Rast on the second row is Christian Engelhart from Germany, Istanbul winner and Konrad Motorsport driver. Poland’s Kuba Giermaziak (VERVA Racing Team), who recently took up the 200th Supercup race from pole position on the Nuerburgring, posted the fifth quickest time ahead of Britain’s Nick Tandy (Konrad Motorsport). Last year’s vice-champion is still waiting to claim his first win in this season’s Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, the flagship series of 19 Porsche makes cups worldwide.
The fourth grid row is firmly in the hands of the Dutch: Two-time Supercup champion Jeroen Bleekemolen (Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit) in seventh starts next to Patrick Huisman, who with four championship titles and 24 race victories is the most successful pilot in Supercup history. On the Hungaroring, he has notched up three wins by now. Austria’s Norbert Siedler did not manage to secure a particularly good starting position for Sunday’s sprint: Currently ranking third, the VELTINS Lechner Racing driver only set the tenth fastest time.
Kévin Estre (pole-sitter): “I’m thrilled about my first pole position in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup. We were already pretty good during free practice and we were even better today. The team put a perfectly set-up car on the track for me and my lap was great – that’s how things should be. I’m feeling very positive about the race. This track suits me. If I don’t make any mistakes, then it should be possible for us to bring home a top result.”
Sean Edwards (2nd in qualifying): “Things ran much better today than yesterday. Our mechanics worked through the night after free practice and that paid off. The circuit only allowed one quick lap before the grip went. My lap was not optimal, otherwise it would have been good enough to set pole and earn the two extra points which I sorely need. Still, we’re satisfied. Now I’m hoping for a good start tomorrow, then anything is possible.”
René Rast (3rd in qualifying): “Well, I’m actually pleased that it’s Kevin and not Sean who got those two extra points for the pole. I’m happy enough with third place. I take up the race tomorrow from the clean, left side of the track and that surely gives me an advantage that I can hopefully use. With a view to my championship lead, I’d also be totally happy with third in the race.”
1. Kévin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, 1:49.441 minutes
2. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 0.041 seconds
3. René Rast (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing, + 0.113
4. Christian Engelhart (D), Konrad Motorsport, + 0.179
5. Kuba Giermaziak (PL), VERVA Racing Team, + 0.211
6. Nick Tandy (GB), Konrad Motorsport, + 0.272
The race on Sunday will be televised live by TV stations Eurosport 2 (11.30 hours) and Sky Sport 2 (11.40 hrs) on 31 July. Moreover, Eurosport broadcasts highlights of the race at 17.30 hrs in its “Motorsport Weekend Magazin” programme.