Hezemans gambles on pole at Lausitzring

Mike Hezemans, driving for Carsport Holland, took his third FIA GT pole position of the season at the new Eurospeedway Lausitz today, after a gamble on the weather paid off

Hezemans gambles on pole at Lausitzring

"I saw the clouds gathering and told my team I wanted to be first in the line to go out in the first qualifying session," the Dutch Chrysler Viper driver said. "I managed to get my tyres up to temperature, and got two good laps in before the track got too wet."

His best time of 1:43.854 was nearly three seconds better than the second placed car, the Lister Storm driven by Philippe Favre and Nicolaus Springer.

When the second forty-five minute session got underway on Saturday morning, the track was still wet from an early morning shower. Despite no further rain falling, the surface remained wet and slippery and there were very few improvements, meaning Hezemans kept his pole position. So far, the Dutchman has gone on to win the races for which he has claimed pole, and he believes that if the rain forecast for this afternoon comes, he stands a good chance.

Other leading FIA GT competitors were less lucky with the weather. New championship leaders Paul Belmondo Racing, whose pits were at the far end of the lane, found themselves at the back of the queue as everyone pushed in, missing the only dry window in the qualifying sessions. The two yellow and white Chrysler Vipers will start from 17th and 22nd on the grid. Julian Bailey's Lister Storm was still in the pits when the session started, and he only got started 10 minutes from the end of the session, his time of 2:02.169 placing him 25th out of the 27 cars.

"The weather was not on our side," Bailey said after the second session ended. "We definitely could have taken pole if I could have got out early - the car is going very well in the dry, but it's always difficult in the wet. It's going to be quite exciting tonight - but we've got three hours to catch them !"

In the N-GT Category, Patrick Huisman placed the RWS Red Bull Racing Porsche 996 GT3-R on pole for his first visit to the FIA GT Championship. The Dutch Porsche Supercup champion, who won his category at Le Mans in a Porsche 996 GT3-R in 1998, was pleased with his time of 1:47.993, placing him sixth overall.

"I just did one lap, and the tyres were not up to temperature, so it was luck, really," he said.

The team's second car, driven by Luca Riccitelli, will start just behind them on the grid, with category leader Christophe Bouchut putting the Larbre Competition car third.

"Our objective is not to focus on victory," Christophe Bouchut said. "We have a mathematical chance of claiming the Drivers' Championship for Larbre Competition this evening, so we really want to concentrate on getting the points."

The race will start at 1755 (1655BST) this evening, ending in darkness three hours later.

Pos, No, Driver , Car, Lap Time
1 25 GT Hezemans/Hart Carsport Chry. Viper 1:43.854
2 15 GT Springer/Favre Lister Lister Storm 1:46.215
3 3 GT Kaufmann/Haupt Freisinger Porsche GT2 1:46.349
4 5 GT Konrad/von Gartzen Konrad Porsche GT2 1:46.624
5 2 GT Brun/Seiler Chamberlain Chry.Viper 1:47.570
6 79 NGT Höfer/Huisman RWS Porsche 996 1:47.993
7 77 NGT Riccitelli/Quester RWS Porsche 996 1:48.922
8 52 NGT Bouchut/Goueslard Larbre Porsche GT3 1:49.171
9 50 NGT Wallinder/Smith G-Force Porsche GT3 1:49.251
10 22 GT Wieth/Wieth Wieth Porsche GT2 1:49.622
11 51 NGT Nearn/Willems G-Force Porsche GT3 1:49.984
12 8 GT Garbagnati/Casadei Haberthur Porsche GT2 1:50.597
13 56 NGT O'Rourke/Sugden EMKA GTC Porsche GT3 1:51.191
14 53 NGT De Lesseps/Arhle Larbre Porsche GT3 1:51.281
15 24 GT Müller/Trunk MRT Lamborghini 1:51.332
16 4 GT Hane/Palmberger Freisinger Porsche GT2 1:53.768
17 12 GT Derichebourg/Vosse Belmondo Chry Viper 1:54.543
18 67 67 NGT Collini/Mancini MAC Porsche 996 1:54.550
19 60 NGT Ligonnet/Neugarten Haberthur Porsche GT3 1:54.865
20 21 GT Cappellari/Matteuzzi Racing Box Chry. Viper 1:55.614
21 27 GT Sabatini/Spinelli/Villa Orlando Porsche GT2 1:56.684
22 11 GT Gosselin/Belmondo Belmondo Chry Viper 1:57.842
23 7 GT Reid/Reid Proton Porsche GT2 1:59.660
24 57 NGT Colloni/Mancini ART Porsche GT3 2:01.175
25 14 GT Bailey/CampbellWalter Lister Lister Storm 2:02.169
26 58 NGT Fomenko/Vasiliev Freisinger Porsche GT3 2:09.554
27 55 NGT Bertuzzi/Masselli ART Porsche GT3 2:10.520

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