First pole position goes to Robert Renauer
Stuttgart. A surprising start to the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland: After many changes at the top of the time charts, Robert Renauer snatched the first pole position of the new season in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with 1:41.822 minutes. Driving for Herberth Motorsport, the German not only relegated last year’s pole-sitter, Nick Tandy (Great Britain), to the second grid by 0.247 seconds, but also many other former champions of Porsche one-make race series down the grid. Particularly disappointed was title defender Nicolas Armindo (France), who only qualified on ninth position due to a driving error.
This marks the second pole position for 26-year-old Robert Renauer, now in his seventh year of contesting Germany’s fastest brand trophy series. His first pole was in the 2009 season when Renauer was the fastest in qualifying in Barcelona but only saw the flag in second. Victory still eludes him. But when tomorrow’s race takes off at 10.20am for the sprint over 18 laps on the 4.574 kilometre Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg circuit, many race drivers will be determined to prevent his maiden win.
One is reigning vice-champion Tandy from Konrad Motorsport, who is eager to repeat his win from last year. Behind the five-time season winner of 2010, Carrera Cup returnee Nicki Thiim (Hermes Attempto Racing) made an impressive start to the season with third position. The 22-year-old Dane, son of former DTM champion Kurt Thiim, contested the 2009 Carrera Cup and achieved fifth overall at the end of that season. Taking up the season-opening race in fourth alongside Thiim is René Rast (Germany, Förch Racing). The 24-year-old was champion of the Carrera Cup in 2008 and last year celebrated his title win of the international Porsche Mobil1 Supercup.
The fifth spot on the grid went to 21-year-old Stefan Wendt. Driving for Attempto Racing, the German was the best newcomer in the 450 hp Cup-Porsche last year. As a highlight, he celebrated fifth at the race in Great Britain. Wendt shares the grid row with another Carrera Cup returnee, Jan Seyffarth (Germany, SMS Seyffarth Motorsport). The 24-year-old secured runner-up honours in the 2008 Carrera Cup and now heads into his fifth season after a year’s break.
The fourth grid row is occupied by two former Porsche brand trophy series champions. Jeroen Bleekemolen won the Supercup in 2008/2009, Uwe Alzen the Carrera Cup in 1992/2007 and the Supercup in 1994. Both the Dutchman, who joins the Deutsche Post by tolimit squad this season, and the German are tactically clever and very strong race drivers. Alzen has entered his own team for the first time under the name of ‘PZ Aschaffenburg Uwe Alzen Automotive’. Title defender Nicolas Armindo (Hermes Attempto Racing) and Austria’s Clemens Schmid (Herberth Motorsport) round off the top ten qualifiers.
Carrera Cup fans that cannot witness the race directly from the track can follow the action via live-streaming on the official Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland website (www.porsche.de/carreracup).
Robert Renauer (pole-sitter): “I’m pleased because that was the best lap I’ve even managed to do here in Hockenheim. Not one skid or slide in the slightest. The key to success was probably that I had a very fast guy in front of me – Nick Tandy. In each corner I could get a little closer to him under braking.”
Nick Tandy (2nd in qualifying): “I’m very surprised about Robert’s fantastic lap time, you can only congratulate him. But I’m still very pleased with my second grid spot and hope that I succeed in fighting for victory tomorrow.”
Nicki Thiim (3rd in qualifying): “It’s a very emotional moment for me to come back after a year and immediately achieve third in qualifying – that’s just amazing. I took the last corner too fast and ran a little wide, otherwise I could have perhaps set pole.”
1. Robert Renauer (D), Herberth Motorsport, 1:41.882 minutes
2. Nick Tandy (GB), Konrad Motorsport, + 0.247 seconds
3. Nicki Thiim (DK), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 0.252
4. René Rast (D), Förch Racing, + 0.374
5. Stefan Wendt (D), Attempto Racing, + 0.403
6. Jan Seyffarth (D), SMS Seyffarth Motorsport, + 0.440
7. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, + 0.465
8. Uwe Alzen (D), PZ Aschaffenburg Uwe Alzen Automotive, + 0.551
9. Nicolas Armindo (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 0.586
10. Clemens Schmid (A), Herberth Motorsport, + 1.659
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