1000 KM Hungaroring: Danny Watts takes overall pole
Strakka Racing’s Danny Watts took the overall pole position for today’s 1000 KM of the Hungaroring following an epic run in this morning’s qualifying session. The British driver took full advantage of a clear track and put in a lap time almost half a second quicker than his nearest rival.
The Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 HDi FAP of Olivier Panis was the first car out on the track and soon set a quick lap time, but with only the Signature Plus and Beechdean Mansell Motorsport cars out on the track as well it was far from done in the LMP qualifying session.
Behind the LMP1 cars the Quifel-ASM Team Ginetta-Zytek 09S and the two OAK Racing Pescarolo 01 Judds battled for first place in the LMP2 category, but even the Portuguese and French teams knew their main rival was not yet out on the circuit.
With less than ten minutes on the clock the Rebellion Racing cars joined the track and soon after both Boullion and Jani were on their way to beat Panis’ time. Both drivers beat the Peugeot lap time by some margin and then after completing only four laps went back in, while the Peugeot was still out trying to recapture provisional pole.
However it wasn’t to be an Oreca nor Rebellion pole position as Danny Watts was send out with only a few minutes left on the clock. The Brit was quickest on the second and third sector on his first proper flying lap when he put himself in front of the Peugeot and a lap later – on a clear track – his overall lap time was even better and he took the first ever overall pole position with an LMP2 car. Applewood Seven took pole in the FLM class, Mathias Beche setting the fastest lap time.
A few minutes earlier in the GT qualifying things started badly for the Atlas eFX Team FS Saleen. Having been repaired and able to run in qualifying the number 66 Saleen went out only to come to a stop at turn 2 when its right front wheel came off. Yellow flags for the first couple of minutes were the result.
When the car was taken to a safe place and the green flag was waved again there were only ten minutes left. While at first the Porsches jumped in it was soon clear that it would be a Ferrari pole. JMW’s Aston Martin Vantage tried to squeeze in, but its fastest lap time was cancelled after the car cut the chicane. As a result its fastest lap meant the team finished fifth in qualifying.
The first four cars however were Ferrari’s. New to the series this weekend it was Alvaro Parent who put in the fastest lap, a 1:46.535. He was .149 seconds quicker than the number 95 AF Corse Ferrari and the CRS Racing Ferrari number 91. With the number 94 AF Corse Ferrari taking fourth place and the Hankook Team Farnbacher Ferrari in sixth it was obvious that the Porsches struggled on the Hungarian track. ProSpeed Competition took the honors of being the best Porsche team, but they were a second behind the fastest Ferrari.
In GT1 Gabriele Gardel took pole and he was happy with the performance of the Saleen compared to the pace they had at Portimao.