Al Faisal thrilled after impressive qualifying session in Hockenheim

Oman’s Al Faisal al Zubair is set to start the fifth round of the 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup from seventh position after delivering several potent qualifying laps at the Hockenheim Grand Prix Circuit.

The BWT Lechner Racing Team driver carded a best lap of 1min 41.796sec around the 4.574km circuit in southern Germany and that put him 0.551 seconds behind pole position winner Larry Ten Voorde in the qualifying classification.

Luxembourg’s Dylan Pereira and Al Faisal’s BWT Lechner Racing Team colleague and defending champion Michael Ammermüller rounded off the podium places. “I am thrilled with our performance to qualify in seventh place. It is a good achievement, even though I missed the test session here. I am hoping to achieve a better result in the race and finish in the top 10. The team performed very well we had five cars in the top seven,” Al Faisal said. Ten Voorde went to the top of the leader board on his first full qualifying lap with a run of 1min 42.135sec and he was shadowed by Al Faisal’s early flyer of 1min 42.396sec. Ten Voorde then ran even faster with a run of 1min 41.840sec to stay out in front of Jaap Van Lagen and Ammermüller with Al Faisal pushed down to fifth.

Al Faisal bounced back to third with a 1min 41.992sec fourth lap to stay ahead of his team-mates Ammermüller and Julien Andlauer, but a tour of 1min 41.886sec lifted Ammermüller into second on lap five and demoted Al Faisal to fourth. Ten Voorde and Van Lagen then pitted and were followed by most of the remainder of the grid with around 19 minutes of the session to run.

The leaders left the pits with eight or nine minutes of the session remaining and Ten Voorde extended his advantage with a run of 1min 41.817sec. But Dylan Pereira came from nowhere to snatch provisional pole with a 1min 41.652sec heading into the last four minutes and pushed Al Faisal back to fifth.

Ten Voorde regained the lead with a 1min 41.245sec run on his next tour, as Pereira and Ammermüller squabbled for second and third and Tio Ellinas and Andlauer pushed Al Faisal down to sixth with two minutes remaining.

The Dutchman held on to claim pole position from Pereira and Ammermüller, with Al Faisal demoted to seventh by Florian Latorre in the final seconds.

A mere 0.7 seconds separated the top 10.

Al Faisal ran for nine laps in Friday afternoon’s aborted practice session where 32 drivers braved the heat in the one-hour stint. He had just returned to the track for a second stint when the session was stopped prematurely following an accident involving two South African drivers and Al Faisal’s best time of 1min 43.948sec was enough to earn 11th position.

The fastest time fell to Australian rookie Joey Mawson with a fastest tour of 1min 43.106sec. Al Faisal’s team-mate and defending champion Michael Ammermüller was seventh. Round five of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup gets under way at 10.25hrs (CET) on Sunday.

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