Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD polesitter Josef Král admits that Herberth Motorsport, and luck, will be equally tough competitors this weekend for MiddleCap racing with Scuderia Praha.
Josef Král is hopeful that Scuderia Praha can finally banish its run of bad luck at Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend after securing pole for this weekend’s 12-hour event.
2019 Overall GT Drivers’ champion Král secured the GT Häring Pole Position for this weekend’s Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD after a terrific scrap with both of the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. Kral’s late-session 2m 02.303s aboard the MiddleCap racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 eventually put the top spot out of reach of the Bavarian team.
But when asked by radiolemans.com’s Lukas Gajewski whether the Herberth Motorsport Porsches would be the Czech team’s strongest opponents during the race, Král admitted that another ‘rival’ was playing on his mind this weekend.
“I think definitely, but also luck!” the Czech driver explained. “We were always really unlucky when we raced [at Circuit Paul Ricard]. We never won here, we always had some issues, so I hope that we can solve this and that we can ‘break’ these unlucky races here in Paul Ricard. ‘Luck’ is our biggest rival I think! Once we are more lucky, I believe we will also be fast.”
This weekend marks the second time that Scuderia Praha has started CREVENTIC’s endurance event at Circuit Paul Ricard from pole position, Matteo Malucelli having led the field away at the sodden Hankook 24H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD in 2017. Time lost in the pitlane during seven Code 60 cautions periods, plus a clumsy collision with the overall leader during the night, meant that the #11 Ferrari eventually finished 3rd, the team’s best result at the event to-date. In 2016, gear selector issues, several punctures and even a loose bonnet meant the Ferrari was classified an exhausted 7th overall, and at the inaugural event in 2015, the team was in trouble at the very first corner, Peter Kox having been tipped into a spin by HP Racing’s Jeroen Bleekemolen. Scuderia Praha did at least manage to recover to finish 4th.
Ironically, Herberth Motorsport went on to win two of those three events, and its #91 Porsche 991 GT3 R will start alongside the Ferrari on the front row tomorrow. Not that losing pole position in the closing moments concerned team principal Robert Renauer too much…
“It’s a good result for our team with P2 and P3,” Robert explained to Lukas Gajewski. “In the end we were one-tenth behind the Ferrari so congratulations to them. But it’s a 12-hour race: they can start first and we will finish 1st!”
The green flag for tomorrow’s Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD will drop at 10.00 hrs local time, and will run uninterrupted until the chequered flag is flown at 22.00 hrs local time. Further details can be found HERE.