· Ferrari fends off Herberth Motorsport Porsches to take GT Häring Pole Position.
· Reiter Engineering seals GTX pole after Vortex V8 hits trouble.
· Porsche Lorient Racing on 991 pole on 24H SERIES return.
· Standings leader ST Racing on top in GT4.
CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD (23 April, 2021) – MiddleCap racing with Scuderia Praha has come out on top in a thrilling three-car shootout for pole position for this weekend’s Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD.
Scuderia Praha, which started from pole position on the 24H SERIES’s previous outing at Circuit Paul Ricard in 2017, set the benchmark early around the 5.842km Circuit Paul Ricard with a 2m 02.996s by Josef Kral, but was then leapfrogged by a full half-second by Robert Renauer aboard the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#91, Ralf Bohn / Daniel Allemann / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer). The sister Herberth Porsche (#92, Jürgen Häring / Bobby Gonzales / Stefan Aust / Marco Seefried) slotted in soon after to briefly lock out the front row, but a sensational 2m 02.303s from Josef Kral on his last flying lap was enough to secure the GT Häring Pole Position for the MiddleCap racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Josef Kral / Miroslav Výboh / Matúš Výboh) by just 0.132s. Behind, the two Herberth Porsches were eventually split by just 0.016s.
“I definitely didn’t think we could improve that much,” an overjoyed Josef Kral explained to radiolemans.com’s Lukas Gajewski. “The first laps I was like, ‘okay, we’re pretty much on the edge’, and both Herberth Porsches are very quick. But I thought, let’s try one more lap because conditions on-track were changing quickly. That definitely helped us and it’s a nice feeling [to be on pole position]!”
The Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 (#8, L.M.D.V / Alessandro Cutrera / Marco Talarico / Marco Frezza / Nicola Cadei), which had been in the mix for pole position early on, will start 4th, just ahead of the Rutronik Racing by TECE Audi R8 LMS GT3 (#18, Michael Doppelmayr / Pierre Kaffer / Elia Erhart / Swen Herberger). David Gostner meanwhile set his personal best lap of the session on his last flying lap, sealing 6th on the grid for the MP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (#58, Thomas Gostner / David Gostner / Corinna Gostner) in the process.
The Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (#88, Milan Dontje / Pierre-Yves Paque / Tim Müller / Robin Rogalski) and the SPS automotive performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#20, Valentin Pierburg / Christian Hook / Steffen Görig) round out the GT3 field on the grid in 7th and 8th respectively.
GTX pole position has been secured by the Reiter Engineering KTM X-BOW GTX (#724, Eike Angermayr / Nicolai Elghanayan / Horst Felbermayr Jr. / Mads Siljehaug), which will also start 9th overall. The Vortex V8 Vortex 1.0 (#701, Olivier Gomez / Bastien Gouret / Philippe Gruau) had been on course to take GTX class pole position but lost power halfway down the Mistral Straight and ultimately retired from the session. The French team’s fastest lap was still quick enough for 10th on the GT grid overall and 2nd in-GTX. Nearest rival Speed Lover, which this weekend will run a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#979, Jean-Pierre Verhoeven / Jaxon Verhoeven / Gilles Smits), will start one place further back in 11th.
Former 24H SERIES class champion Porsche Lorient Racing Porsche Lorient Racing Porsche 911-II Cup (#911, Philippe Polette / Frederic Lelievre / Lionel Amrouche / Frédéric Ancel) made a good start to its series return by taking 991 pole position ahead of category standings leader, DUWO Racing (#909, Andrey Mukovoz / Stanislav Sidoruk / Sergey Peregudov) and Speed Lover’s second entry (#978, Olivier Dons / Dominique Bastien / Eric Mouez). The second Vortex 1.0 meanwhile (#712, Philippe Bonnel / Pierre Fontaine / Nicolas Nobs) splits the 991 contingent and will start 13th overall on home soil.
The ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 (#438, Samantha Tan / Chandler Hull / Jon Miller), which currently leads the GT standings outright, made a good start to its maiden run at Circuit Paul Ricard with GT4 class pole position. Its nearest rival – the PROsport Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 (#401, Nico Verdonck / Rodrigue Gillion / Kurt Hensen) – was unable to run at all after a collision in Free Practice destroyed the Aston’s oil cooler. The German team is now working to prepare its spare car ahead of this evening’s Night Practice.
On-track action continues this evening at Circuit Paul Ricard with two hours of Night Practice, set to take place between 20.00 hrs and 22.00 hrs local time. The action will be live with commentary from radiolemans.com on the official 24H SERIES YouTube channel. Regular updates will also be published on Twitter (@24HSeries), Facebook (24H Series) and Instagram (24H Series). Further information can be found HERE.