Two surprises and Sean Edwards on pole position
Stuttgart. Sean Edwards from Great Britain takes up the second round of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup in Barcelona from pole position. Driving the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by the Abu Dhabi by tolimit team, he beat his compatriot Nick Tandy, vice champion of last year and second at the season-opener in Istanbul, to pole by a narrow 0.072 seconds.
Two surprises featured in the hunt for top times on the 4.655 kilometre Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of the Catalonian city. The first came from Poland’s Kuba Giermaziak (VERVA Racing Team) who posted the third quickest time. Until now, he has never clinched such a good grid position in the world’s fastest international one-make series. Another surprise result came from Kévin Estre. Driving for Hermes Attempto Racing, the Frenchman was already the best Supercup newcomer at the season-opener in Istanbul and now claimed the fourth grid spot in the second row for himself. With this, he relegated Jeroen Bleekemolen to start from fifth. The two-time Supercup winner from Abu Dhabi by tolimit shares the third grid row with reigning champion René Rast (Germany), who planted his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of VELTINS Lechner Racing teams on sixth.
His teammate and last year’s winner in Barcelona, Norbert Siedler (Austria), finished the qualifying in seventh but was not able to particularly enjoy it: During the free practice on Friday, he ignored a yellow flag and was shunted down the grid three places by the race directors. As a result, those behind him shuffled up one position: Christian Engelhart from Germany, who won the Istanbul round for Konrad Motorsport, Slovakia’s Stefan Rosina (VERVA Racing Team) and Robert Lukas (Hermes Attempto Racing) from Poland.
Mathias Lauda from Austria demonstrated improving form. In his adopted home of Barcelona, the son of racing legend Niki Lauda had more success with Konrad Motorsport’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup than at the start of the season in Istanbul and narrowly missed out on a top ten spot by just three-tenths of a second.
Sean Edwards (pole-sitter): “That was a great qualifying. I got a perfect lap in and that was enough for pole. Now I hope to turn it into a win tomorrow. I managed it last year, but I was handed a penalty and victory was gone. Now that I’m at the front, I jolly well want to stay there.”
Nick Tandy (second in qualifying): “If it wasn’t for my bumble in my second attempt at pole I would have done better. But still I’m satisfied. It looks like the championship is still wide open this season. I’ve saved a fresh set of tyres for the race. Sean shouldn’t expect an easy ride, not for one minute – that I can promise.”
Kuba Giermaziak (third in qualifying): “Today we had the potential to yield an even better result, but we’re still happy. Now we’ll try to bring home a podium result. I’ve heard that no one from Poland has achieved this yet in the Supercup. It’d be wonderful if I were the first to do it. But it won’t be easy, my rivals are simply too good. After this great qualifying we’re feeling very optimistic.”
1. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, 1:50.469 minutes
2. Nick Tandy (GB), Konrad Motorsport, + 0.072 seconds
3. Kuba Giermaziak (PL), VERVA Racing Team, + 0.386
4. Kévin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 0.447
5. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 0.499
6. René Rast (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing Team, + 0.532