Buurman takes FIA GT1 pole for Vita4One BMW squad with stunning qualifying lap at Slovakia Ring
|By Jack Nicholls||Saturday, August 18th 2012, 10:19 GMT|
Yelmer Buurman's stunning qualifying lap gave him and BMW team-mate Michael Bartels pole position for the FIA GT1 qualifying race at the Slovakia Ring.
The Vita4One racing driver set the pole time on his first timed lap in Q3, even surprising himself with the pace he was able to find in the BMW Z4.
He edged out the Munnich Mercedes of Marc Basseng by just four hundredths of a second, meaning the top two pairings in the drivers' championship will start the race on the front row.
Nikolaus Mayr-Melnhof completed a strong session for Vita4One, lining up third on the grid ahead of Stephane Ortelli.
Ortelli was pushing his car to the limit, flying off the circuit a number of times but managing to wrestle his WRT Audi back onto the circuit on each occasion. The sister car of Frank Stippler qualified fifth.
Albert von Thurn und Taxis had a huge off at the end of Q1, bringing out the red flags and delaying the start of Q2 by some 25 minutes. When Q2 did happen, the big news was that neither AF Corse Ferrari nor Hexis McLaren could get their cars into Q3.
The McLaren's reliability problems struck again in free practice, and with little running time it was always going to be a tough ask to challenge at the front. The situation is more concerning for AF Corse, which did not have any major issues to help explain its struggles.
Pos Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. Buurman/Bartels Vita4One BMW 2m00.684s 2. Basseng/Winkelhock Munnich Mercedes 2m00.723s + 0.039s 3. Lauda/Mayr-Melnhof Vita4One BMW 2m01.074s + 0.390s 4. Ortelli/Vanthoor WRT Audi 2m01.102s + 0.418s 5. Stippler/Jarvis WRT Audi 2m01.361s + 0.677s 6. Zuber/Pavlovic SUNRED Ford 2m01.620s + 0.936s 7. O'Young/Kox Reiter Lamborghini 2m02.382s + 1.698s 8. Pastorelli/Jager Munnich Mercedes 2m02.602s + 1.918s 9. Demoustier/Parente Hexis McLaren 2m02.023s Q2 10. Vilander/Salaquarda AF Corse Ferrari 2m02.179s Q2 11. Ide/Castellacci AF Corse Ferrari 2m02.279s Q2 12. Makowiecki/Dusseldorp Hexis McLaren 2m02.495s Q2 13. von Thurn und Taxis/Rosina Reiter Lamborghini 2m03.743s Q1