The qualifying for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Monza (Italy) became the casualty of a torrential downpour. Hence, the times from Friday’s practice session determine the grid lineup for the race. As a result, Porsche Junior Matt Campbell (AUS/Fach Auto Tech) takes up round nine on Sunday from pole position. “I was pretty lucky this time with the first grid spot and for some drivers, like my teammates for example, it’s extremely annoying that they didn’t get the chance to turn a good qualifying time. But at the end of the day it was a good decision not to hold the qualifying, because, even at low speed, I experienced aquaplaning on the finish straight,” explained Campbell. Lining up on the second grid spot is Ashkanani (MRS GT Racing) from Kuwait. Sharing the second grid row in positions three and four respectively are the two rivals for the championship, Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner MSG Racing Team) and Porsche Junior Dennis Olsen (N/Walter Lechner Racing Team).
In the morning, rain set in and drenched the high-speed racetrack. Around midday when the qualifying session for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup was supposed to start, the 31 drivers went out on the track in their 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, however, for safety reasons, the session was halted without timed laps. As a result, the regulations adopted two years ago, which state that the practice time should determine the grid lineup, were implemented. This is Campbell’s fourth pole position this season after the double-header in Barcelona and the qualifying at Spielberg.
For Ashkanani, this marks the first time he starts from second on the grid this season. Ammermüller and Olsen share the second grid row, and spectators are guaranteed to witness a gripping duel between the pair. In the championship standings, only eight points separate the two Lechner pilots. “If I’d known this would happen I would’ve driven my last practice lap towards the end. But it was the right decision to cancel the qualifying. The finish straight has just been repaved and that section was under water. You couldn’t drive flat-out there and that wouldn’t have been a real qualifying. Under these circumstances, third on the grid is okay,” said Ammermüller.
Olsen struggled somewhat with his fate after the cancellation: “I’m feeling extremely strong at the moment and I could have taken pole position here. I usually do really well under wet conditions and if it’d been a normal session I would’ve done better. Last weekend at Spa I scored two victories. Now I’ll have to see what I can do from fourth place. Ultimately, every point is important towards the championship and I would’ve liked to have started from a better position.” The reserve driver Jaap van Lagen (NL/MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax) takes up the race from fifth, with the Italian Mattia Drudi (Dinamic Motorsport) on sixth.
The 19-year-old Porsche Junior Thomas Preining (A/Walter Lechner Racing Team), who receives support in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and found himself in the gravel a few seconds into the qualifying, was satisfied with the outcome: “This is only my second Supercup race after Hungary. I simply lack the experience for such difficult conditions. I’m pleased that the result is taken from free practice, because that puts me on tenth place. From there I’d like to work my way up the field and use my good speed from free practice.”
Round nine of the championship gets underway on Sunday at 11.25 hrs (CEST).
1. Matt Campbell (AUS/Fach Auto Tech)
2. Zaid Ashkanani (KUW/MRS GT Racing)
3. Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner MSG Racing Team)
4. Dennis Olsen (N/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
5. Jaap van Lagen (NL/MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax)
6. Mattia Drudi (I/Dinamic Motorsport)
7. Daniele di Amato (I/Dinamic Motorsport)
8. Daniel Cammish (GB/Lechner MSG Racing Team)
9. Dylan Pereira (L/Lechner Racing Middle East)
10. Thomas Preining (A/Walter Lechner Racing Team)