PORSCHE MOBIL 1 SUPER CUP
Round 1 – Barcelona, May 12-13, 2018
OMAN’S AL-ZUBAIR QUALIFIES IN 14th POSITION FOR OPENING
ROUND OF PORSCHE MOBIL 1 SUPER CUP IN BARCELONA
Pole position for Germany’s Michael Ammermüller in thrilling finale
BARCELONA (SPAIN): Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair qualified in 14thposition for the first round of the 2018 Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup at the Circuit de Barcelona in Catalunya on Saturday.
The Lechner Racing driver is bidding to follow up his memorable victory in the Porsche Cup Challenge Middle East with a solid start to his 10-race campaign in the world’s premier Porsche racing series.
Al-Zubair said: “I think the session was alright, but not the best. We had the pace to get into the top 10, but we had a bit of traffic in qualifying. I think we can expect to make up a few positions in the race and finish inside the top 10. It’s difficult in the Super Cup to make up positions, but I am confident that I can do it.
“Twice drivers were blocking me on my fastest lap and that put us down the order. Now I am focused on the race. All the drivers are saying that it is a lot tougher this year. We are here to learn, so we will learn more.”
Teams were permitted to carry out testing and training on the Circuit de Barcelona on Friday evening before the pole position session. Last year’s champion Michael Ammermüller staked an early claim to pole with a lap of 1min 47.604sec to head Dylan Pereira by three-tenths of a second.
After three laps, Al-Faisal was down in 15th position with a best tour of 1min 50.185sec, but he climbed to 10th place with a fourth run of 1min 48.509sec. Most of the front-runners returned to the pits after four or five laps.
With less than seven minutes of the session remaining, Nick Yelloly displaced Periera to claim second position behind the leading German driver and Al-Zubair slipped to 14th. But a sensational lap of 1min 47.587sec by Florian Latorre catapulted the Frenchman into provisional pole position. Al-Zubair improved with a lap of 1min 48.288sec to reclaim 14th spot after dropping down the order for several minutes.
Young Frenchman Julien Andlauer dramatically snatched pole position in the last minute with a lap of 1min 47.416sec and was then overhauled by Ammermüller (1min 47.253sec) in a thrilling finale in the dying seconds.
The first race of the 2018 season fires into life at 11.45hrs on Sunday morning.