Posted by: porschebahn | May 15, 2011

Qualifying for Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland round 2 in Zandvoort, Netherlands

Jeroen Bleekemolen fastest in turbulent qualifying

Stuttgart. For Jeroen Bleekemolen, qualifying for the second round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland season ran exactly to plan. At his home race, the Dutchman snatched pole position with 1:40.741 minutes on the 4.307 kilometre dune circuit. In a turbulent qualifying session featuring several journeys into gravel traps, the Deutsche Post by tolimit pilot beat reigning champion Nicolas Armindo (France, Hermes Attempto Racing) to pole by 0.410 seconds – which is a lot in Germany’s fastest one-make race series.

Bleekemolen knows the fast and tricky circuit with sand blowing in from the North Sea beach close by like the back of his hand. The double Porsche Mobil1 Supercup champion grew up just a stone’s throw away from Zandvoort and has raced there at least 60 times. For Armindo, the first row is somewhat of a compensation for him, with the 29-year-old not having had the greatest relationship with the race track by now. Martin Ragginger (Austria) is also pleased with his third spot on the grid, just 0.011 seconds slower than Armindo. The former Porsche-Junior’s lap time is all the more astounding due to the fact that his Schnabl team was not able to contest the first round and Ragginger’s 911 was only ready to race in time for the Zandvoort meeting.

For season-opener winner and last year’s victor, Nick Tandy, the qualifying session ended with a huge disappointment. Driving for Konrad Motorsport, the Briton had initially dominated in free practice, but lost control of the 911 GT3 Cup and rolled shortly before the end of the second session at the fast corner leading onto the finish straight. In qualifying, Tandy had the bad luck of always encountering a competitor going off into the gravel just as he was attempting his flying lap, forcing the pilots to reduce speed. The five-time winner of 2010 only turned the twelfth quickest time but was relegated to start from the very back of the field. The race directors accused him of ignoring a yellow flag during free practice.

Behind the three quickest, Stefan Wendt (Attempto Racing) again put in a good qualifying performance. Having taken off into the race from fifth in Hockenheim, he secured a second row spot with fourth on the demanding dune circuit. The 21-year-old German faces a tough task, however, because behind him is a whole pack of seriously experienced brand trophy professionals. Directly behind Wendt is Jaap van Lagen from the Netherlands (Land Motorsport), who claimed a clear second at his Carrera Cup guest appearance here last year. Then comes Sean Edwards in sixth position (Team Deutsche Post by tolimit), another pilot with good title chances. And the fourth grid row is made up of the two strong contenders, double Carrera Cup champion Uwe Alzen (PZ Aschaffenburg Uwe Alzen Automotive) and series returnee Nicki Thiim (Hermes Attempto Racing). Rounding off the fastest ten are Austria’s Clemens Schmid (Herberth Motorsport) and the 2008 Carrera Cup vice champion Jan Seyffarth (Germany, SMS Seyffarth Motorsport).

Carrera Cup fans who are not able to witness the races live at the track can watch the action per live-streaming on the official website of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland (www.porsche.de/carreracup).

Jeroen Bleekemolen (pole-sitter): “Yesterday things didn’t run that smoothly, so my sensational lap today is all the more sweet. We changed the set-up slightly on my car and it worked perfectly. Having only used one set of tyres for the qualifying, I’m feeling optimistic for the race. It would be simply amazing to win at home.”

Nicolas Armindo (second in qualifying): “A good grid position in Zandvoort, at last! The key to success was because the set-up of my 911 was perfect right from the first session, so I had total trust in the handling of the vehicle. This is very important, particularly on such a demanding, fast and slippery circuit.”

Martin Ragginger (third in qualifying): “Third position is a good spot to start from for the race, and I’m also feeling positive because my car is brand new. We’ve learned something from the qualifying. Tomorrow we’re going for the podium.”

Qualifying result:
1. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, 1:40.741 minutes
2. Nicolas Armindo (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 0.410 seconds
3. Martin Ragginger (A), Schnabl Engineering, + 0.421
4. Stefan Wendt (D), Attempto Racing, + 0.477
5. Jaap van Lagen (NL), Land Motorsport, + 0.557
6. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, + 0.608
7. Uwe Alzen (D), PZ Aschaffenburg Uwe Alzen Automotive, + 0.668
8. Nicki Thiim (DK), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 0.812
9. Clemens Schmid (A), Herberth Motorsport, + 0.944
10. Jan Seyffarth (D), SMS Seyffarth Motorsport, + 1.011


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