FIA GT: Hezemans takes Monza pole

Hezemans on pole for Monza 500

FIA GT: Hezemans takes Monza pole

Mike Hezemans, driving the Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper, claimed pole position for Sunday's third round of the FIA GT Championship, outpacing the field after an extremely wet day of qualifying. "It wasn't the fastest time I could have done," Hezemans said of his best time of 1:58.250. "I didn't get a single clear lap. But it was quick enough."

Wolfgang Kaufmann gave the #3 Freisinger Porsche 911 GT2 a front row position, setting a time of 1:59.920. "I hope we can do as well here as we did last year," he said, commenting on his 1999 third place finish. "I'm happy with the car, after changing the engine and a few set-up modifications. The Dunlop rain tyres work really well."

Current championship joint leaders will share the second row of the grid, with third place going to the Paul Belmondo Racing line-up of Belmondo and Vosse after Vosse set the best time in the afternoon. The Lister, unbeaten this year, will start from fourth.

The first session was wet, but the heaviest rain came in the afternoon. This session was also interrupted by a spectacular crash when Xavier Pompidou, driving the #1 Chamberlain Chrysler Viper, slid across the grass into the path of the #4 Freisinger Porsche 911 GT2, driven by Hane. Neither driver was hurt, but by the time the red flags were taken away, the weather had deteriorated.

"Anyone who went quicker in the second session deserves a medal," Tim Sugden said, after Luca Riccitelli did just that, taking N-GT pole in the RWS/Red Bull Porsche 911 GT3. "I'm very happy to get pole. This is one of my favourite tracks, so to get pole here is especially satisfying, " Riccitelli said. "The condition of the track made things difficult for everybody."

Sudgen, who shares the GTC Porsche GT3 with Steve O'Rourke, was happy with second place, but hopes for a dry race tomorrow. "Our car was really good in the dry yesterday, but our wet tyre doesn't last as long as some of the others." The Haberthur N-GT Porsche, victorious in class at Daytona this year, took the third time for Babini and Rosa.

Bouchut and Goueslard, who won in Valencia and Estoril, had a difficult day. Bouchut was unable to set a time in the first session after a first-lap misunderstanding with a Belmondo Viper left him stranded in the gravel. And Goueslard, warming up his tyres and waiting for clear track, was caught out by the afternoon's red flag and torrential rain.

1, Hezemans/Hart (Viper) 1:58.250

2, Kaufmann/Wollek (Porsche 911) 1:59.920

3, Belmondo/Vosse (Viper) 2:00.051

4, Bailey/CampbellWalter (Lister Storm 2:00.851

5, Gosselin/Derichebourg (Viper) 2:01.751

6, Euser/Buurman/Becker (Marcos) 2:02.808

7, Pompidou/Watson (Viper) 2:03.308

8, Brun/Seiler (Viper) 2:03.572

9, Cappellari/Matteuzzi/Sang (Viper) 2:03.991

10, Springer/Hardman/Favre (Lister Storm) 2:04.009

11, Konrad/von Gartzen (Porsche 911) 2:04.162

12, Giroix/Deletraz (Ferrari 550) 2:04.251

13, Martinolle/Lagniez (Viper) 2:04.591

14, Lafon/Jarier (Viper) 2:04.973

15, Hane/Palmberger (Porsche 911) 2:05.167

16, Felbermayr/Felbermayr (Porsche 911) 2:05.194

17, Höfer/Riccitelli/Willems (Porsche 996) 2:05.244

18, O'Rourke/Sugden/Day (Porsche 996) 2:05.246

19, Rosa/Babini (Porsche 996) 2:05.253

20, Sabatini/Spinelli/Villa (Porsche 911) 2:05.870

21, Bertuzzi/Masselli (Porsche 996) 2:06.102

22, Chereau/Arhle/Lesseps (Porsche 996) 2:07.699

23, Smith/Neugarten (Porsche 996) 2:07.980

24, Vuillaume/Casadei/Schmid (Porsche 911 2:08.147

25, Wallinder/Nearn (Porsche 996) 2:08.879

26, Frigerio/Rapetti (Porsche 996) 2:10.387

27, Cattaneo/Castro/Premoli (Porsche 911) 2:10.834

28, Pregliasco/Lambertini (Ferrari 360) 2:10.893

29, Orlandi/Bicciato (Porsche 996) 2:10.959

30, Wieth/Wieth (Porsche 911) 2:13.255

31, Bouchut/Goueslard (Porsche 996) 2:13.989

32, Monteiro/Rovelli (Porsche 911) 2:14.554

33, Rael/Bucane/Migault (Porsche 996) 2:14.989

34, Garbagnati/Kessel/Ligre (Ferrari 360) 2:16.152

35, Reid/Reid/Mastropietro (Porsche 911) 2:16.278

36, Cappelli/Prinot (Ferrari 360) 2:16.719

37, MauryLaribiere/Chauvin (Porsche 996) 2:17.108

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