PSC Last gasp lap gives Olsen pole for Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup race at Spa
PORSCHE MOBIL 1 SUPER CUP
Rounds 7/8 – Spa, Belgium, August 25-27, 2017
For immediate release
Saturday, August 26th, 2017
LAST GASP POLE POSITION FOR OLSEN AS OMAN’S AL-ZUBAIR QUALIFIES
20TH FOR FIRST OF TWO PORSCHE MOBIL 1 SUPER CUP RACES AT SPA
· Al-Zubair set to start second race on Sunday morning from 16th position
SPA (BELGIUM): Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair qualified in 20th position for the first of the weekend’s two Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup at Belgium’s famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, on Saturday morning.
The Lechner Racing Middle East team clocked a fastest lap of 2min 26.142sec during 11 tours of the famous Belgian circuit in a session where Dennis Olsen snatched a last gasp pole position for race one from Mattia Drudi, Michael Ammermüller and Matt Campbell with a potent lap of 2min 23.857sec.
The fastest time recorded by each driver was used to determine pole position for the first of the 30-minute races on Saturday evening and the second fastest time was used to determine the grid line-up for the second race on Sunday morning. That meant that Al-Zubair qualified 16th for the second race, although the times were still provisional pending a review of certain other drivers’ lap times by race officials.
“It was a double-header qualifying session this morning and I think my pace was alright for my first time here in dry conditions,” said FZ Racing’s Al-Faisal. “I was blocked by another driver on two of my laps and that did not help my qualifying. I know I have a lot more pace than that and I will have to push in the race.
“It is not an easy circuit. It is very challenging. I need to get my head down and try and finish in the points.”
The majority of the 31 drivers opted to go out on to the circuit late in the 30-minute qualifying session to avoid slightly damp conditions on slick tyres. Frenchman Steven Palette set the early target time of 2min 36.791sec on his second lap, as Al-Zubair also got some early time out on the empty course and carded a 2min 30.951sec starter. He improved soon afterwards with a tour of 2min 29.649sec to remain in an early second place behind Palette.
Dennis Olsen holds second place in the championship standings behind Al-Zubair’s team mate Ammermüller and he stormed to the top of the timings with a lap of 2min 27.323sec, but the lap time was cancelled and Mattia Drudi moved in front with a 2min 27.437sec tour. Olsen bounced back with a 2min 25.078sec lap to hit the front with 13min 40sec of the session remaining. Al-Zubair held ninth with a best lap of 2min 28.195sec with 11 minutes to run.
Guest driver Nick Yelloly displaced Olsen at the top of the timings with a lap of 2min 24.676sec. With five minutes to run, Yelloly led from Olsen, Dan Periera, Pallette and Drudi. Ammermüller was down in 25th place and Al-Zubair had slipped to 16th.
Daniel Cammish stormed to the top with a late lap of 2min 24.531sec, Yelloly slipped to second and Zaid Ashkanani improved to fifth, as Al-Zubair climbed to 15th with a 2min 26.917sec tour. With less than two minutes to run, Drudi stormed into pole position with a lap of 2min 24.101sec and Ammermüller moved into second – a mere 11/1000ths of a second behind.
But Drudi was pipped to the pole position by a late lap of 2min 23.857sec by Olsen with Drudi and Ammermüller in second and third and Al-Zubair pushed down to 20th.
Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup runners were permitted to take to the circuit for a first training session on Friday evening. Thirty-one drivers benefited from the test that was won by Robert Lukas of Olimp Racing with a fastest lap of 2min 25.777sec. Al-Zubair ran for 15 laps and carded a best tour of 2min 28.532sec to slot into 14th position.
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