Ivan Bellarosa set a 2m 06.098s laptime around the 5.554km Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi to take a comfortable pole position for the upcoming Hankook 4H Abu Dhabi, the first official Creventic event to ever take place in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Having also taken pole position and the PX-class win last time out in Dubai, despite a small fire on pitroad, the Italian team is confident of another strong result for the race.
Ivan Bellarosa said: “I’m very happy because our lap time is also one of our best around this circuit. We had a small fire last time in Dubai – small, but very dangerous – because we broke an oil line over one of the kerbs. Hopefully that won’t happen again, as we have a lot of experience around this track. But the important thing is to make the finish.”
The Speed Lover Porsche 991-I Cup (#78, Yusif Bassil / Al Faisal Al Zubair) made its 24H Middle East Championship debut in Abu Dhabi, the 24H Series’ reigning SPX-class European Champions ending a good qualifying session with the second fastest lap overall.
Yusif Bassil said: “I think we have a good strategy for tomorrow. I will start, we have a very fast PRO driver who’s going to do some good times, and then I’ll do the third one. The race also depends on whether anybody else has issues – this is endurance – but we have to be consistent across those four hours to keep ourselves ahead of the TCR cars. That will be very important.”
The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic FK7 TCR (#77, René Münnich / Luc Breukers) meanwhile was the fastest of the TCR runners, René Münnich posting an impressive 2m 23.679s over the pursuing Red Camel-Jordans.nl CUPRA TCR DSG (#101, Luc Breukers / Ivo Breukers), which starts second in-class.
Having also set the fastest lap during qualifying for the second round of the TCR Middle East Series in Abu Dhabi – Münnich remained confident in the pace of the ‘FK7’-spec Honda around the fast but technical Yas Marina Circuit.
René Münnich said: “The Honda is a good car through the technical sections and good on corner speed.We don’t necessarily have the power thanks to balance of performance and we’ve had to put 50kg of ballast in, which I was feeling a lot to start with. Also our setup is quite different to Dubai because the circuit is very different with a lot more kerbs to take. But it’s a good result and we’re looking forward to the race.”
The J W BIRD Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR (#21, Paul Dehadray / Kieran Griffin) made a good start to its inaugural 24H Middle East championship campaign with the third quickest time in the TCR class, narrowly pipping the first of two Zengő Motorsport Cupra TCRs competing this weekend. The inter-Hungarian team battle in qualifying was ultimately won by the #8 machine (Zoltán Zengő / Tamás Tenke), which will start just ahead of the sister #10 CUPRA (Zoltán Zengő / Csaba Tóth).
Pos No Name Class Fastest Gap Km/h
1 45 Avelon Formula PX 2:06:098 158.59
2 78 Speed Lover SPX 2:22:000 15.902 140.83
3 77 All-Inkl.com/Munnich Motorsport TCR 2:23:679 17.581 139.19
4 101 Red Camel-Jordans.nl TCR 2:24:989 18.891 137.93
5 21 J W Bird Motorsport TCR 2:26.604 20.506 136.41
6 8 Zengo Motorsport TCR 2:27.927 21.829 135.19
7 10 Zengo Motorsport TCR 2:42.292 36.194 123.22 By Melissa Warren