Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, Round 8, GP Hungary, Qualifying:Jeroen Bleekemolen again fastest – 15 drive

Twenty minutes into qualifying for the eighth round of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup on the Hungaroring near Budapest, Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) uncut last year’s fastest qualifying time by 1.2 seconds with 1:48.516 minutes (=145.338 kph) and – like in Monaco and on the Nürburgring – secured pole position. For the Monaco and Nürburgring winner, a nail-biting wait then began. Bleekemolen had used both sets of tyres permitted for the weekend and could only watch from the pit wall while his rivals hunted for a better time.

Ten minutes later, the points leader Richard Westbrook (Great Britain) rolled out of the pit lane, warmed up his tyres and attacked Bleekemolen’s time, missing out narrowly by just five-hundredths of a second. Damien Faulkner (Ireland), currently sitting second in the championship, also went for the Dutchman’s time but in vain. With a gap of almost two-tenths of a second Faulkner takes up the 16-lap race on Sunday from third on the grid. Lining up alongside the Irishman on the second row is Jiri Janak – the best qualifying result for the Czech in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup. Both Faulkner and Janak compete for the first time on the Hungaroring. Christian Menzel (Germany) and David Saelens (Belgium) share row three.

The 17 quickest drivers undercut Patrick Huisman’s pole-setting time from last year. Richard Westbrook explains the considerable improvement in times. “The corner leading onto the finish straight has a new surface. We can take it much faster now and enter the long finish straight at higher speeds. That makes a huge difference.”

Jeroen Bleekemolen (pole-sitter): “This is my first time here which is why I had to learn the circuit. So I set my quickest time on the second set of tyres – and then I had nothing left. I just didn’t want to even look during the remaining 25 minutes. If someone had been faster there was nothing I could have done about it. Since entering the Supercup everything has run wonderfully.”

Richard Westbrook (second in qualifying): “That was a brilliant fight! We waited perhaps a little too long with the second stint, because the circuit was becoming noticeably slower. But I’m happy: I’m in the first row, my toughest rivals are behind me, and this is crucial considering it’s almost impossible to overtake here.”

Damien Faulkner: “My initial attempt with the first set of tyres was not too bad – two-tenths slower than Jeroen’s eventual pole-setting time. Then we sat back and observed our rivals, perhaps for too long. With the second set of tyres I could have possibly done better but I expected too much: At the entrance to the finish straight I put my foot down too early and came sideways – that was the end of my time. Still, my first qualifying on the Hungaroring went well for me.”

Qualifying result:

1. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Golden Spike Pertamina Indonesia RT PZE, 1:48.516 Min
2. Richard Westbrook (GB), HISAQ® Competition, 0.059
3. Damien Faulkner (IR), Lechner Racing Team Bahrain, 0.198
4. Jiri Janak (CZ), Schnabl Engineering-LKM-Team Jebsen, 0.454
5. Christian Menzel (D), tolimit, 0.480
6. Uwe Alzen (D), SPS performance, 0.589
7. David Saelens (B), Team IRWIN SAS, 0.647
8. Stefan Rosina (SK), Lechner Racing School Team, 0.692
9. Jaap van Lagen (NL), Bleekemolen Race Planet PZ Essen, 0.825
10. Martin Ragginger (A), UPS Porsche Junior Team, 0.845
11. Patrick Huisman (NL), Konrad Motorsport, 0.939
12. Emilio de Villota (E), Konrad Motorsport, 0.972
13. Marc Hynes (GB), Team IRWIN SAS, 0.986
14. Alessandro Zampedri (I), Lechner Racing Team Bahrain, 0.988
15. Lance D. Arnold (D), UPS Porsche Junior Team, 1.008
16. Darryl O’Young (HK), Schnabl Engineering-LKM-Team Jebsen, 1.025
17. Olivier Maximin (F), MRS-Team PZ Aschaffenburg, 1.076
18. Nicolas Armindo (F), tolimit, 1.219
19. Richard Williams (GB), Racing Team Indonesia PZ Essen RA Beheer, 1.224
20. William Langhorne (USA), MRS-Team PZ Aschaffenburg, 1.298
21. Norbert Kiss (H), Porsche AG, 1.309
22. Phil Quaife (GB), Racing Team Indonesia PZ Essen RA Beheer, 1.511
23. Marc Basseng (D), HISAQ® Competition, 1.69424. Paul van Splunteren (NL), HSF/Porsche Centrum Eindhoven, 1.94325. Mikael Forsten (FIN), Konrad Motorsport, 2.72226. Simon Frederiks (NL), HSF/Porsche Centrum Eindhoven, 3.05127. Andzej Dzikevic (LT), SPS performance, 3.19328. Oliver Freymuth (D), Bleekemolen Race Planet PZ Essen, 3.808dnq: Maher Algadri (RI), Golden Spike Pertamina Indonesia RT PZE