Porsche Junior Thomas Preining (BWT Lechner Racing) has posted the fastest qualifying time for round three of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Spielberg, Austria. With this, the Austrian occupies the first grid spot for Sunday’s race on the Red Bull Ring. During Saturday’s qualifying session, Preining planted his 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on pole position with a time of 1:30.574 minutes. “Setting pole at my home race feels fantastic. Performing well in qualifying always gives you confidence. Obviously my aim is to win on Sunday,” said Preining. Tackling the race from the second grid spot alongside the Austrian is Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMÉRAS). Andlauer’s compatriot Florian Latorre (martinet by ALMÉRAS) achieved the third quickest time.
In sunshine and a temperature of 23-degrees Celsius, 32 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup took up the hunt for top times in the 30-minute qualifying session. Preining posted his best time on his first set of tyres after 14 minutes. However, almost all of the drivers turned their fastest lap on the second set of rubber, treating spectators on the Formula One grandstand to a gripping qualifying finale. With just three minutes left on the clock, 19-year-old Preining turned the fastest lap of the day. For the youngster from Linz, this is his first pole position in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Immediately afterwards, Andlauer posted his fastest time to secure the second grid spot in a time of 1:30.784 minutes. “It was challenging to turn a fast lap with so many cars on the track. The gap between the drivers was very small, so a first grid row spot is a good basis for the race,” said the young race driver from Lyon.
Twenty-one-year-old Latorre from France concluded the qualifying on the 4.318-kilometre rollercoaster circuit with the third fastest time. “I’m thrilled with this position. Still, what’s important is to repeat this performance in the race. This qualifying showed that we are good for a top position,” said Latorre. The driver from Bordeaux was also the best rookie in qualifying. P4 on the grid is occupied by Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team Project 1) ahead of Zaid Ashkanani (KWT/MRS GT-Racing). Germany’s Michael Ammermüller (BWT Lechner Racing) takes up the race from sixth. The qualifying results are a reflection of just how competitive the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is: In the qualifying session, the first 17 drivers were separated by less than a second.
This weekend marks the first outing in the 2018 season of the VIP vehicle with the starting number 911: for the race in Styria, 31-year-old Matthias Walkner takes the wheel of the race car. The Austrian won the motorbike category of this year’s Dakar Rally and this weekend contests his maiden race in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Walkner starts the race on Sunday from position 30. “The qualifying session was great fun. Over the course of the session I managed to take more and more momentum from the straights into the fast corners. I’ll now take some time to look at my laps, but most of all I want to enjoy the race on Sunday,” said Walkner.
Four Austrians tackle the Spielberg round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on Sunday: Joining Porsche Junior Preining and VIP driver Walkner on the track are Philipp Sager (MRS-Cup Racing) and guest driver Luca Rettenbacher (MSG Huber Racing). Sager from the town of Peggau posted second place in the ProAm class. Rettenbacher from Eugendorf takes up the race from P17.
Round three of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup gets underway on Sunday at 12.15 hrs local time.
1. Thomas Preining (A/BWT Lechner Racing), 1:30.574 minutes
2. Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMÉRAS), 1:30.784 minutes
3. Florian Latorre (F/martinet by ALMÉRAS), 1:30.823 minutes
4. Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team Project 1), 1:30.935 minutes
5. Zaid Ashkanani (KWT/MRS GT-Racing), 1:30.961 minutes
6. Michael Ammermüller (D/BWT Lechner Racing), 1:31.120 minutes
7. Mikkel O. Pedersen (DK/MRS GT-Racing), 1:31.215 minutes
8. Nick Yelloly (GB/Fach Auto Tech), 1:31.216 minutes
9. Philip Hamprecht (D/Momo Megatron Lechner Racing), 1:31.235 minutes
10. Dylan Pereira (L/Momo Megatron Lechner Racing), 1:31.279 minutes