Bleekemolen puts Black Falcon Mercedes on Dubai 24 Hours pole
|By Rene de Boer||Friday, January 11th 2013, 09:33 GMT|
Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen claimed pole position for the eighth running of the Dubai 24 Hours with a lap of 1m59.104s for Black Falcon Mercedes.
Bleekemolen is again sharing driving duties with Briton Sean Edwards and UAE driver Khaled Al-Qubaisi, 2012's winning line-up.
For this year's race, they are joined by multiple DTM champion Bernd Schneider.
The Black Falcon team had worked all night after Al-Qubaisi had crashed the its lead SLS in testing on Wednesday.
As it could not be repaired on site, the team used the spare chassis that the British Preci-Spark outfit had brought to Dubai for testing purposes, but this car had to be converted from its British GT sprint race configuration to make it suitable for a 24-hour race.
"The guys really did an outstanding job," said Bleekemolen, whose pole-winning lap was only his third lap of the week at the Dubai Autodrome.
Danish driver Nicki Thiim qualified second in his Attempto Porsche, 0.381 seconds down on Bleekemolen, followed by the Craft Racing AMR-Aston Martin Vantage, in which last-minute entrant Stefan Mucke claimed third in the grid.
Schubert Motorsport's two BMW Z4 GT3s, run under the Saudi Falcons banner with plenty of works support, qualified fourth and fifth respectively.
The Lapidus entry, including British drivers Adam Christodoulou, Phil Quaife and Tim Mullen, was the best-placed McLaren in sixth position.
Four-time Porsche Supercup champion Patrick Huisman claimed pole in the class for 997 Cup cars, also in a Black Falcon-entered machine.
The British RJN team, running the two cars for the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winners, saw its two Nissan 370Z locking out the first two places in the SP3/GT4 category in 34th and 36th position overall.
Spaniard Lucas Ordonez was fastest in class while Alex Buncombe ended up second.