24h Paul Ricard: Pole position for Ram Racing's Mercedes SLS
Thomas Jäger put the #30 Ram Racing’s Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 onto the pole position for the 24 Hours of Paul Ricard race, fourth round of 24H Series. Jäger managed a lap time of 2.06.390 and was 1.002 seconds faster than Matteo Malucelli in #4 Scuderia Praha’s Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
The second row of the grid has the #33 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes SLS AMG of Lance David Arnold which is ahead of the similar car from the HP Racing team with Jeroen Bleekemolen setting the fast time in the #2 Mercedes. Nicolas Armindo with #7 HB Racing Team Herberth Porsche 997 GT3 R was the early leader and was also fastest in the Free Practice session but dropped to fifth. There was a margin of less than two seconds covering the top five cars in the A6 class.
Dimitri Enjalbert’s time of 2:11.660 was enough to place the 997 class championship leading #17 Ruffier Racing team into top spot in the all-Porsche category. The time held up despite a furious assault by multiple GT champion Emmanuel Collard in the #55 Crubile Sport entry. Luca Rettenbacher set the third lap time in the 997 class with the #51 MSG Motorsport car.
Olivier Gomez recorded a late surge and put the #150 GC Automobile GC 10 onto the SP2 class pole with a 2:17.537. Alban Varutti was the early leader in the class but his similar GC, entered by Team Alten, stopped with some wheel problems and was unable to challenge Gomez. Zdeno Mikulasko in the #66 ARC Bratislava Porsche 997 Cup S was third in SP2.
A separate qualifying session was held for all the other classes. There were stirring battles in each class with frequent changes in positions. Torsten Kratz in the #161 Securtal Sorg Rennsport BMW E92 M3 ended quickest in SP3 with a 2:20.823 at the very end of the session. Sebastien Dussoillet’s time of 2:21.020 was good enough to place the #100 Seat Leon Cup Racer of local French favourites, Motorsport Development, onto the A3T class pole.
Bernd Küpper’s 2:25.429 in the #75 Hofor-Küpperracing BMW E46 M3 was set early in the session and was never challenged as the best time in A5. Maciej Dreszer’s 2:31.948 with the #70 Mission Possible entry was plenty for top spot in the all BMW M235i Racing CUP1 class. Martin Byford with the #76 Synchro Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R was the quickest in A2 Class.
The race will start at 14.30 (CET) on Saturday. Live video and audio streaming of the entire race will be available on www.24hseries.com. Motors TV is providing 6 hours of live broadcast. There are also regular updates on Twitter (@24HSERIES) and Facebook (24H Series).