LMES – Monza – Saturday Afternoon Qualifying
Herbert Nips It – First Pole Since 1988!
just maybe, the Zytek team wasn’t that dispirited by not taking
the pole here at Monza. If the track wasn’t supposed to favour
the smaller car, how on earth did Stefan Johansson go so fast so
soon, both yesterday afternoon in the wet, and this morning in first
had his first go at the start of the second qualifying session,
but as he explored the braking points, he was delayed in the inevitable
traffic. David Brabham went out at the end on the second set of
tyres, but, “traffic again mate,” was the problem. This
team had anyway been working on race set-up this afternoon (as the
Audi teams inevitably were too), so Johnny Herbert nipped in and
made it Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx fastest at Sebring, Paul Ricard,
Le Mans Test Day and Monza. Johansson’s morning time left
Zytek second fastest.
Brabham care to comment on the time he might have set? “No.”
Two of the three
Audis improved this afternoon (not Goh), and will start first, third
and fifth – Creation in fourth, so both ‘Reynards’
split up the Audis. With Advan and Creation not going quicker in
fifth and sixth, from seventh to twelfth all improved – typically
by about half a second – although the order remained much
the same: Rollcentre, Pescarolo, Nasamax, Belmondo, Jota, RML.
the greatest improvement, but as Sam Hignett explained, “yesterday
afternoon was the shakedown, this morning the first test session,
now we can try and set a time.” He’d hoped to get into
the top eight, but eleventh it was, despite finding over two seconds.
only ran one flying lap before “the engine lost a lot of power
and they’re doing a precautionary engine change” (Mike
improved to a 1:42.078, “but the only clear lap I had was
before the tyres were really warmed up.” It was that sort
of session – with the exception of Johnny Herbert.
is my first pole-position since 1988 - I’d forgotten what
it was like to be fastest - and I’ m delighted. I wasn’t
too happy in the morning session but we sorted some things in between
the two sessions and the changes worked very well. For me, the Audi
is the best it’s been this year and that showed in my times.”
in GTS came from the Vitaphone Saleen and Mike Hezemans in the faster
B-C Ferrari 575, but these two are still separated by a similar
amount – well over a second.
The big improvement
in LMP2 came from Jon Field, who brought the car’s best down
by nearly four seconds. “It’s a good car now, but it’s
going to be a great car – the engine is awesome, but maybe
the tyres are designed for a heavier car.”
Bil Binnie is
at Monza this week, Monaco (with his Maserati) next week. He’s
the proud owner of a Ferrari 312PB too, chassis 880, “the
Ickx car from 1972.” Lucky, lucky man.
In GT, Freisinger,
JMB and Cirtek all found about a second, while the quick Seikel
car didn’t improve. At this time of the day, it’s still
a puzzle as to who is driving which of the Seikel Porsches, but
we’ll sort that out tomorrow.
finish today’s text with some positive Taurus Diesel news.
A water pipe melted on the exhaust yesterday, in the wet session,
and with all the spray, no one saw the leaking fluid – and
with the water gone, the gauge didn’t register the temperature
rise. Half an hour after the car stopped, the engine temperature
was apparently 180 degrees Centigrade, and it took an age to completely
cool. All that heat was the cause of the seals leaking this morning,
but this afternoon, Calum Lockie got in his first seven laps of
the meeting, and urged on over the radio, was just about to set
a representative time when an intercooler pipe popped off. “If
we had more track time, we’d be down to something like a 1:48.
It’s a shame that we’re doing our testing in public.”
The sister car
set a qualifying time too, a 1:48.178 – but the gearbox broke
again. It will start.
– and it’s going to be a cracker.