A rain shower shortly before the start of the qualifying session for the eighth round of the Carrera Cup Deutschland on the Circuit de Catalunya brought rapidly changing and difficult track conditions.
Richard Westbrook’s steady nerves helped him secure pole position just a minute before the end of the qualifying, after receiving a fright early on in the session. A competitor had nudged the Briton’s Porsche into a spin and off the track shortly before the end of the first qualifying segment. Initially, it looked as if Westbrook would not be amongst the fastest 15 to take part in the second qualifying for top positions. However, just before the end of the first session Westbrook popped up in third and went on to grab the pole.
In planting his GT3 Cup second, Jiri Janak (Czech Republic) achieved his best qualifying result of the year. The law student contests his first season in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and currently lies tenth overall in the series. With fourth at the EuroSpeedway and on the Norisring, the 24-year-old narrowly missed out on podium results.
To his great relief, Nicolas Armindo (France) claimed third position, after missing out on a top 10 position from the qualifying sessions on the Norisring and in Zandvoort and a disappointing sixth on the Nürburgring.
Jan Seyffarth (Germany) occupies fourth ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) and Martin Ragginger (Austria), who round up the top six on the grid.
Points leader Uwe Alzen (Germany) experienced a troublesome start to the weekend. Suspension damage during free practice was followed by eleventh place in qualifying – with his toughest rival Richard Westbrook shining in the qualifying.
Richard Westbrook (pole-sitter): “I had unbelievable luck at the start after another competitor forced me into a spin, I got on the gravel and made it back to the track. In the decisive second segment it was all about perfect timing and staying calm. We waited until the last possible second as the track was drying up and getting faster. Then out I went and did my stuff. I’m happy – thanks team.”
Jiri Janak (second qualifier): “During the first session I couldn’t manage a decent time because my car was oversteering badly in the slower corners. My team cured the problem perfectly. Now I’m almost satisfied with the handling. I think I could be even quicker in just one corner. Let’s see in the race tomorrow.”
Nicolas Armindo (third qualifier): “More than anything today it was about finding the right point in time. Only in the very last minutes was the track really quick. Unfortunately my tyre temperature was too high to attempt anything. But today’s result is the best after a long troublesome time. We’re back on track for this.”
Uwe Alzen (eleventh qualifier): “What a horrible weekend! During free practice my suspension was damaged and now eleventh on the grid! We haven’t been able to find a good handling. There’s too little grip. As far as the race goes tomorrow, the tyres will play a big role. The track surface is very rough, and the tyres are under permanent stress. I’m not really looking forward to the race, I find the chicane prior to the finish straight annoying. It’s totally unnecessary for touring and GT cars. It disturbs the flow and takes away the challenge that the last corner once provided.”