On the legendary street circuit of Monte Carlo, Kuba Giermaziak snatched pole position at round two of this season’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Driving for the VERVA Lechner Racing squad, the Polish pilot turned the fastest qualifying lap in 1:36.722 minutes. Sharing the first grid row alongside him on Sunday is Philipp Eng (A/Team Project 1), who posted the second quickest time on the Cote d’Azur circuit. “It’s critical to score a good qualifying time on this narrow track,” said a beaming Giermaziak. Austrian Philipp Eng, who now lives in Stuttgart, was also pleased: “I had very ambitious plans so it’s fantastic that I could continue on from my great start to the season. Claiming second in Barcelona added that extra self-confidence.”
Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Principality at the Mediterranean, 28 pilots took up the hunt for top times in their 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers, which are based on the lightweight 911 GT3 production sports cars. Giermaziak and Eng dominated the 30-minute session right from the start, taking turns in setting the top times. With five minutes left until the end of the qualifying, the session was red-flagged due to the salvaging of a vehicle. Afterwards, none of the other contenders managed to knock the two leaders off the top of the time sheets. Only four-thousandths of a second separate Giermaziak and Eng. Taking up the race from the second grid row are Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Team) and Porsche junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport). “Somehow I’ve had this feeling over all the days I’ve been in Monaco that I’m living in a dreamworld. And this unbelievable qualifying is part of it,” said de Phillippi.
Heading into the race from fifth place is Ben Barker (GB/VERVA Lechner Racing Team). The sixth grid spot on the Grand Prix circuit is occupied by the Porsche junior newcomer Sven Müller (D/Team Project 1). “I pushed to the absolute limit and at one point I was so close to the barrier that there wasn’t even enough space for a piece of paper between,” stated Müller after his first ever Monaco qualifying. Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (A/Konrad Motorsport) scored the ninth grid spot: “At one point I was running in second, but I experienced a little trouble with my second set of tyres. The result is not exactly what I’d hoped for.” The winner of the International Cup Scholarship Earl Bamber (NZ/Fach Auto Tech) was also not completely satisfied: “This is my first time in Monaco. I couldn’t do any better than tenth, but I’m hoping to move up a couple of positions in the race,” said Bamber.
Porsche junior Alex Riberas (E/Mc Gregor powered by Attempto Racing) was unable to repeat his good result of the last weeks. In his second qualifying lap, he touched the guardrail and had to park his vehicle in the pit lane. “Unfortunately I was too fast and I badly damaged the right rear side of my car. Now I’m feeling incredibly annoyed with myself,” explained Riberas. The close competition in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup that was already apparent at the Barcelona round is also underlined on the demanding Monaco track. The first 13 drivers are all within one second.
The race on Sunday over 16 laps (53 km) is broadcast live on Sky from 9.30 hours.
1. Kuba Giermaziak (PL/VERVA Lechner Racing Team), 1:36.722 minutes
2. Philipp Eng (A/Team Project 1), 1:36.726
3. Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Team), 1:36.864
4. Connor de Phillippi (USA/FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport) 1:36.894
5. Ben Barker (GB/VERVA Lechner Racing Team), 1:37.009
6. Sven Müller (D/Team Project 1), 1:37.207
7. Robert Lukas (USA/FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport), 1:37.226
8. Christian Engelhart (D/Konrad Motorsport), 1:37.229
9. Klaus Bachler (A/Konrad Motorsport), 1:37.237
10. Earl Bamber (NZ/Fach Auto Tech), 1:37.348