Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, round 7 at the European Grand Prix, Qualifying: Bleekemolen on pole – local

Jeroen Bleekemolen from the Netherlands secured pole position at the seventh round of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup on the Nürburgring. Already in his first flying lap the 25-year-old former DTM pilot undercut last year’s pole-setting time by two-tenths of a second. In the closing phase of the qualifying, he even improved on this time by almost three-tenths of a second to achieve a time of 2:03.324 minutes. For Bleekemolen this marks his second pole position of the season, after celebrating a pole to flag victory in Monaco.

Richard Westbrook (Great Britain) and Christian Menzel (Germany) added an extra portion of suspense during the 45-minute qualifying session. After ten minutes and again at half-time, Westbrook as reigning Supercup champion and local hero Menzel put the Dutchman’s pole-setting time in jeopardy. After the Monaco winner countered their attack eleven minutes before the end of the session, the 36-year-old Menzel and 32-year-old Briton had to settle for second and third respectively.

Starting alongside Westbrook, who currently leads the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup points table, is Uwe Alzen (Germany). The 39-year-old Porsche stalwart, presently ranking second in the drivers’ standings, finished the qualifying with a gap of around three-tenths of a second to the pole-sitter. A total of 13 pilots qualified their 911 GT3 Cup cars within less than one second.

Making up the third grid row are the reigning champion of the British Carrera Cup Damien Faulkner (Ireland) and the Supercup champion of 2005 Alessandro Zampedri (Italy). Faulkner currently ranks third in the overall standings. Sitting fourth in the series, the four-time record champion Patrick Huisman (Netherlands) takes up the 14-lap race on Sunday from seventh.

The five-time Le Mans victor Frank Biela (Germany), who accepted an invitation from Porsche AG to man the 400 hp 911 with the starting number 88, qualified in position 21.

Jeroen Bleekemolen (pole-sitter): “It wasn’t a perfect lap. I actually made a couple of mistakes, but it was enough and I’m really very pleased about this. I’m feeling optmistic for the race. I’m well prepared and I’m eager to get going. My car is perfectly set-up.”

Christian Menzel (second in qualifying): “I’d rather be on pole. Especially here on the Nürburgring where I feel at home and where lots of people know me. Surprisingly, the track had little grip today and we should have perhaps made a few adjustments to the tyre pressure. Still, I’m rather amazed that I’m on the front row. Tomorrow I hope for a good start. If everyone crosses their fingers for me I might just move up one position.”

Richard Westbrook (third in qualifying): “I’m satisfied with my qualifying. It wasn’t too bad. The gap to Jeroen and Christian is small. One-tenth of a second. That’s nothing with a lap time of over two minutes. Congratulations to Jeroen and Christian! They did a great job.”

Uwe Alzen (fourth in qualifying): “My goal was to qualify amongst the first four and that’s just what I did. I’m happy with my result. At the moment nothing is lost. Tomorrow I’m going to fight.”

Frank Biela (21st in qualifying): “Actually I wanted to be only 1.5 seconds off the fastest. It’s about 1.9 seconds. That’s not exactly what I had hoped for but I’m satisfied. I need a little more time to get used to the car. To drive the 911 on the Nürburgring is huge fun. I would climb aboard this great race car anytime.”

Qualifying result:
1. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Golden Spike Pertamina Indonesia RT PZE, 2:03.324 minutes (150.277 kph)
2. Christian Menzel (D), tolimit, 0.042 seconds behind
3. Richard Westbrook (GB), HISAQ® Competition, 0.120
4. Uwe Alzen (D), SPS performance, 0.356
5. Damien Faulkner (IR), Lechner Racing Team Bahrain, 0.428
6. Alessandro Zampedri (I), Lechner Racing Team Bahrain, 0.653
7. Patrick Huisman (NL), Konrad Motorsport, 0.685
8. Jaap van Lagen (NL), Bleekemolen Race Planet PZ Essen, 0.741
9. Marc Basseng (D), HISAQ® Competition, 0.763
10. Richard Williams (GB), Racing Team Indonesia PZ Essen RA Beheer, 0.821
11. Nicolas Armindo (F), tolimit, 0.823
12. Olivier Maximin (F), MRS-Team PZ Aschaffenburg, 0.958
13. David Saelens (B), Team IRWIN SAS, 0.960
14. Jiri Janak (CZ), Schnbal Enigneering-LKM-Team Jebsen, 1.046
15. Lance D. Arnold (D), UPS Porsche Junior Team, 1.048
16. René Rast (D), MRS-Team PZ Aschaffenburg, 1.048
17. Martin Ragginger (A), UPS Porsche Junior Team, 1.121
18. Marc Hynes (GB), Team IRWIN SAS, 1.503
19. Darryl O’Young (HK), Schnabl Engineering-LKM-Team Jebsen, 1.630
20. Phil Quaife (GB), Racing Team Indonesia PZ Essen RA Beheer, 1.751
21. Frank Biela (D), Porsche AG, 1.920
22. William Langhorne (USA), MRS-Team PZ Aschaffenburg, 1.936
23. Bernhard ten Brinke (NL), HSF/Porsche Centrum Eindhoven, 1.961
24. Mikael Forsten (FIN), Konrad Motorsport, 1.975
25. Emilio de Villota (E), Konrad Motorsport, 2.077
26. Michael Bleekemolen (NL), Bleekemolen Race Planet PZ Essen, 2.553
27. Andzej Dzikevic (LT), SPS performance, 2.870
28. Simon Frederiks (NL), HSF/Porsche Centrum Eindhoven, 3.098
29. Jörg Peham (A), Lechner Racing School Team, 4.122
30. Maher Algadri (RI), Golden Spike Pertamina Indonesia RT PZE, 7.290