Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, round 6, Circuit Park Zandvoort (NL), Qualifying:Revolution of the

Two new-comers banished the old-hands to the lower ranks on the grid in qualifying for the sixth round of the Carrera Cup Deutschland. Olivier Pla from France secured pole position on the 4.3 kilometre track in the Circuit Park Zandvoort (NL). Taking up Sunday’s 19-lap race alongside Pla is Germany’s René Rast. Both drivers compete for the MRS Team PZ Aschaffenburg.

Before joining the Carrera Cup Olivier Pla exclusively drove single seaters, most recently in the 2005-2006 GP2 Series. The 25-year-old from Toulouse currently ranks 13th in the drivers championship, with his best qualifying result achieved in Oschersleben and on the Norisring with tenth position. René Rast (20) won the VW Polo Cup in 2005 and concluded his 2006 season as vice-champion of the Seat Leon Supercopa.

Occupying third on the grid is Robert Renauer (Germany), for whom this result is also his best so far this year. The 22-year-old businessman contested the Carrera Cup from 2003 to 2005, took a break in 2006 and presently ranks 19th in the points.

Points leader Richard Westbrook (Great Britain) claimed fifth in qualifying, one position behind his arch rival Uwe Alzen (Germany). Chris Mamerow (Germany), who sits fourth overall, rounds up the top six on the grid.

Disappointment for Nicolas Armindo (France): Travelling to Zandvoort as third, the Frenchman has to start from 16th on the grid after experiencing bad luck in qualifying. With his Porsche not optimally set-up for the race track, the 25-year-old missed out on reaching the last ten minutes of qualifying where the fastest fight for the top 15 grid positions. Like Armindo, his team mate Christian Menzel (Germany) also complained about the bad road-holding of his car. Menzel, who won on the Norisring, starts from 15th.

Joerg Hardt (Germany), who with two pole positions is the top qualifier this season, turned the second quickest lap but due to overtaking during a caution phase he was shifted back five grid positions.

Olivier Pla (pole-sitter): “My switch from Formula cars into a GT was of course not easy. It took a while but now I seem to have made a decisive step forward. But we mustn’t forget that the qualifying and race are two very different things. Tomorrow we will see if we are able to find a good set-up for 19 laps.”

René Rast (second in qualifying): “With a fresh set of tyres you can drive exactly two quick laps here, albeit the second should actually be faster. Of all things, in my second flying lap I made a small mistake. For the start there are no team orders. But Olivier and I will sort things out ourselves. I’m quite a quicker starter so I’m not too worried…”

Robert Renauer (third in qualifying): “Zandvoort simply suits me! I drove here for the first time four years ago, and things just clicked. You could say it was love at first sight.”