René Rast secures fifth pole position
Stuttgart. The race for the title of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup remains gripping. In the qualifying session for the eleventh round of the season on the Grand Prix track in the Royal Park of Monza, René Rast (Germany) claimed his fifth pole position of the year at the wheel of his VELTINS MRS Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. With this, he closes the gap to the leader of the overall classification, Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), by two points. Competing for Konrad Motorsport, the title defender turned the second quickest time, just 0.363 seconds behind Rast.
Nevertheless, the Dutchman can claim the championship title again on Sunday. With his current 45-point advantage, he only has to see the chequered flag ahead of his strongest rival René Rast to clinch the title prior to the two final rounds on 31 October and 1 November on the new Formula 1 circuit in Abu Dhabi at the Persian Gulf.
Jiri Janak (Konrad Motorsport), a surprising third in qualifying, takes up the race from the second row. Lining up alongside the Czech is Slovakia's Stefan Rosina (Walter Lechner Racing School), who relegated his teammate Damien Faulkner (Ireland) to fifth place. The sixth quickest time went to Austria's Norbert Siedler (VELTINS MRS Racing), who notched up his best result of the Supercup season a fortnight ago in Spa with second place.
The fourth grid row is reserved for the SPS Performance pilots Lance David Arnold (Germany) and Supercup record winner Patrick Huisman from the Netherlands. Rounding off the top ten on the grid are two guest drivers from the Carrera Cup Italia series: Andrea Sonvico (Centro Porsche Padova) and Massimiliano Fantini (Ebimotors).
René Rast (pole-setter): “We did everything right again today. If I can bring home victory tomorrow I'll be really happy. That was my fifth pole position this season and I was even four-tenths of a second faster than Jeroen – and that's significant. Again our strategy was different from our competitors' and it worked. It would be great if things ran as smoothly in the race.“
Jeroen Bleekemolen (second qualifier): “I'm very pleased. In my fastest lap I unfortunately lost some time, but the first row of the grid is always good – especially on a fast circuit like Monza. Let's see was happens in the race. In any case, I'm feeling very confident.“
Jiri Janak (third qualifier): “That was a great qualifying session for me. I'm completely satisfied. In the first section things didn't run so well, I had several problems with the track, but when we came out for the second part everything was almost perfect. I didn't make one mistake and now I'm looking forward to the race.“
1. René Rast (GER), VELTINS MRS Racing, 1:52.484 minutes
2. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Konrad Motorsport, + 0.363 seconds
3. Jiri Janak (CZE), Konrad Motorsport, + 0.569
4. Stefan Rosina (SVK), Walter Lechner Racing School, + 0.595
5. Damien Faulkner (IRL), Walter Lechner Racing School, + 0.595
6. Norbert Siedler (AUT), VELTINS MRS Racing, + 0.649