Porsche Junior Matteo Cairoli posted the fastest qualifying lap in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on Saturday with a time of 1:32.174 minutes. The hilly racetrack in Spielberg, Austria, turned into the yardstick for precision driving after the race director had to invalidate some of the fast laps due to the vehicles crossing the white lines of the track boundary. Behind the Italian pilot of the Fach Auto Tech, Porsche Juniors Mathieu Jaminet (F/Martinet by Almeras, 1:32.177) and Sven Müller (D/Lechner MSG Racing Team, 1:32.265) posted the second and third fastest times. “In the qualifying we were all incredibly close. Mathieu was just three-thousandths of a second behind me. A hair’s breadth. It was the same with Sven. In any case, I’m really pleased with my third pole position in a row,” said Cairoli.
Although Müller dominated the first half of the qualifying, Cairoli set his top time just five minutes before the end of the session. In sunny temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius, the new surface of the Red Bull Ring heated up considerably. During the qualifying the track temperature was measured at 53 degrees Celsius. However, the French Supercup rookie Jaminet remained cool. “I’m very pleased with my qualifying time. This is my first time on this racetrack and Matteo and I were very close. Things didn’t go so well with my first set of tyres, but I drove my heart out with my second set of rubber. That worked well,” smiled Jaminet who hails from the Metz region.
Müller on the third grid spot was not entirely happy with his result. Four minutes before the end of the qualifying session he had turned the fastest lap on the 4.326-kilometre circuit, only to have it annulled by the race director because he had driven over the track limits. “As a race driver I always want to be the fastest in qualifying. You have to drive at the limit but if I was over the track limit then I simply have to accept this,” said Müller who comes from the town of Bingen on the Rhine River.
Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Middle East) planted his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on the fourth grid spot. The Austrian local hero Klaus Bachler, who competes in Spielberg as a guest driver for race:pro motorsport team, occupied the fifth grid position after 30 minutes. Supercup rookie Steven Palette (F/Martinet by Almeras) managed to secure the sixth starting position in the 29-strong field. The close competition in the international series was evident in the fact that the times of the top 14 drivers were all within a second.
Round three of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is contested on Sunday at 11.35 hours.
1. Matteo Cairoli (I/Fach Auto Tech), 1:32.174 minutes
2. Mathieu Jaminet (F/Martinet by Almeras), 1:32.177 minutes
3. Sven Müller (D/Lechner MSG Racing Team), 1:32.265 minutes
4. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Middle East), 1:32.474 minutes
5. Klaus Bachler (A/race: pro motorsport), 1:32.539 minutes
6. Steven Palette (F/Martinet by Almeras), 1:32.610 minutes
7. Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing), 1:32.684 minutes
8. Ben Barker (GB/Momo-Megatron Team Partrax), 1:32.689 minutes