Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland
Nicki Thiim relegates favorites down the grid
Stuttgart. The fight at the top of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland remains lively at round four. At the end of a gripping qualifying session Nicki Thiim snatched his first pole position. The 22-year-old Dane turned the quickest lap on the 3.478 kilometre Lausitzring circuit in 1:24.727 minutes.
Driving for Hermes Attempto Racing, he easily outstripped points’ leader Nick Tandy and last year’s winner Nicolas Armindo.
Förch Racing pilot and champion of the international Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, René Rast (Germany), planted his 911 GT3 Cup on the second grid spot, 0.163 seconds shy of the pole-sitter.
Nicki Thiim, son of former DTM champion Kurt Thiim, already contested the German Carrera Cup in 2009. After claiming third as his best result and five further top ten placings, he concluded the season ranking fifth overall as the best rookie. Thiim made a promising start to the 2011 season with third qualifying place in Hockenheim. In the race, however, his team made a wrong tyre choice which prevented a top result. After a 14th and two eighth places, the Dane heads into tomorrow’s 24-lap sprint ranking only tenth overall.
Third in the qualifying on the Lausitzring went to Robert Renauer.
Driving for Herberth Motorsport, the German yielded a surprising first pole position from the season-opening qualifying session. However, after missing out on two rounds, his position in the championship standings plays no role. The opposite is the case for the driver starting from the second row alongside Renauer – points’ leader Nick Tandy.
In the final moments of the qualifying, the Briton failed to crack Thiim’s lap time. At the wheel of his Konrad Motorsport 911, last year’s second place-getter took a journey into the gravel trap.
The two Deutsche Post by tolimit pilots are also not particularly thrilled with their grid positions in the third row.
Sean Edwards from Great Britain already has four Supercup wins under his belt and was determined to finally achieve a top result in the German brand trophy series on the Lausitzring. Jeroen Bleekemolen had also hoped for more.
Sitting second on the points’ table, the Dutchman has notched up a clear lights-to-flag victory at his home race in Zandvoort this season.
Austria’s Martin Ragginger (Schnabl Engineering) and Nicolas Armindo (Hermes Attempto Racing) share the fourth grid row in seventh and eighth respectively.
For the champion from France, the result is a bitter disappointment and a continuation of a difficult season so far. The two drivers behind are also seasoned campaigners in the Porsche one-make race series.
Jan Seyffarth (Germany, SMS Seyffarth Motorsport) was the 2008 Carrera Cup vice-champion, and Uwe Alzen is three-time champion of the Supercup and the Carrera Cup. In the closing phase of the qualifying, tyre damage prevented Alzen from Germany (PZ Aschaffenburg Uwe Alzen Automotive) from hunting for a better time.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland race is shown live on the official website (www.porsche.de/carreracup). On 24 June, TV station Sport1 broadcasts a race review, interviews and reports from 16.30 to 17.00 hours in the ‘Carrera Cup Magazin’.
Nicki Thiim (pole-sitter):
“I could have cried with relief because until now it just wasn’t working. Mostly I’m pleased for my team. The breakthrough came today when I managed all sectors perfectly and with total concentration. The field is so incredibly close that you only have a chance when everything comes together one hundred percent.”
René Rast (second qualifier):
“I’m completely happy with second on the grid. In fact, this position could even be better than the pole. I took off from first on the grid here three years ago and was promptly overtaken by the second starter at the first corner.”
Robert Renauer (third qualifier):
“To be honest, I hadn’t expected to do so well after taking a break for the last two races. In Hockenheim I experienced bad luck from pole position. So a podium result tomorrow would be great, but I know I have a lot of drivers breathing down my neck wanting the same thing. It’ll be exciting.”