Damien Faulkner (Ireland), currently ranking second in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, gave a clear signal of his intentions in the fight for the championship title. In qualifying for the penultimate round in Monza, Italy, the 30-year-old turned the pole-setting time already in the first ten minutes. On Sunday, Faulkner takes up the race on the high-speed circuit near Milan from the first place on the grid. Lining up alongside the reigning champion of the Carrera Cup Great Britain is Uwe Alzen from Germany.
The start duel of the tenth round promises to be particularly exciting. Next to Faulkner, who lies only twelve points behind series leader Richard Westbrook (Great Britain), Alzen still holds a theoretical chance at the title. The 40-year-old Porsche specialist proved last year that the 5.79 kilometre Grand Prix circuit suits him: He won on the Autodromo Nazionale averaging 183.060 kph – the fastest race in the history of the Porsche Supercup.
Reigning champion and points leader Richard Westbrook starts the 13-lap race on Sunday from fifth position. During qualifying Westbrook sat in fourth for a long time, only for the 32-year-old to be shunted from his position by Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) towards the end of the session, with David Saelens (Belgium) occupying third. Positions six to eight respectively are taken by a pack of German pilots, Christian Menzel, UPS Porsche Junior Lance David Arnold and Marc Basseng.
Damien Faulkner (pole setter): “The qualifying was extremely exciting, although I was only on the track for twelve minutes. After setting pole position I waited in the pits. It seemed to take forever until it was over. Then when Uwe came within three-hundredths of a second of my time I got nervous. My team prepared a fantastic car today. Our goal for tomorrow is to bring home maximum points. That is our only chance to secure the title.”
Uwe Alzen (second qualifier): “I am happy with my performance today. Second is good. We had problems with my first set of tyres. The car’s set-up didn’t really work. But with the second set we solved the problem. The team did a great job. For tomorrow we have to check the set-up again and think about what we could do better.”
David Saelens (third qualifier): “I’m pleased with third. My team put together an excellent set-up for my car. I want to thank the boys very much. As a result I set my best time since the start of the season. I hope it continues like this for the race.”
Richard Westbrook (fifth qualifier): “Of course things could have gone better for us. But at this point in the season we want to be conservative. I’ve got a lead of twelve points. It would be wrong to take any major risks at this stage.”