PROsport Aston Martin and Verschuur McLaren claim Brands Hatch poles
4 May 2019
Florian Thoma (PROsport Performance Aston Martin) and Daniel McKay (Equipe Verschuur McLaren) were the fastest drivers in the qualifying sessions for the two GT4 European Series races at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. Thoma was quickest in the first session, whilst McKay secured pole for the second race tomorrow.
Thoma claimed pole position for the first race of the weekend in a session that saw laptimes drop gradually as the track dried out. The Swiss driver waited until the end and then timed his lap perfectly, initially pushing team mate David Griessner down to second.
Griessner (#19 PROsport Performance Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4), Cedric Freiburghaus (#1 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4), Benjamin Lessennes (#14 Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4), Max Koebolt (#4 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4) had all been been fastest at some point, but in the end it was Thoma in the #18 PROsport Performance Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 who took pole.
In the final moments of the session it was Lessennes secured a front row start, with Koebolt and Griessner in third and fourth overall and in the Silver Cup. Patric Niederhauser placed the #16 True Racing KTM X-Bow GT4 fifth overall and on the Pro-Am pole, with Liesette Braams claiming her first ever pole position in the #11 Las Moras by Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4.
Only a handful of drivers had put in a timed lap in the second session, when a crash for Phil Hill in the #24 Valvoline – True Racing KTM X-Bow GT4 brought out a red flag. After the session was restarted Daniel McKay in the Equipe Verschuur McLaren set the fastest time, but with just over seven minutes left on the clock another red flag halted the session.
Soheil Ayari in the #9 CMR Alpine A110 GT4 ran wide and went off into the barriers, but like Hill he emerged unharmed from the damaged car.
Qualifying was not resumed, resulting in pole position for the McLaren 570S GT4 of Silver Cup leader Daniel McKay. Jan Kisiel qualified the #2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 in second place, whilst Marc Basseng in the #13 Schwede Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 claimed the Pro-Am pole, with the third fastest overall time.
Akhil Rabindra (PROsport Performance), Reinhard Kofler (True Racing) and Nicolaj Møller-Madsen completed the overall top six in qualifying for the second race of the Brands Hatch weekend.
The first one-hour race of the GT4 European Series at Brands Hatch will get underway at 10.20, with the second and final race of the weekend set to start at 14.45. Both races will feature a mandatory pit stop with driver change between the 25th and 35th minute.
Florian Thoma, #18 PROsport Performance Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4: “The key moment was to wait until the last moment. The track was drying up a lot and the fastest laps would be set in the last minutes. I had some traffic, then I did some slower laps to have a free lap and then the last lap was amazing.”
Daniel McKay, #14 Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4: “A strange session, but not uncommon for the UK. I think the team did a really good job with the car. They turned it around from practice, where we didn’t look too competitive. I think we got very lucky with the timing of things, but to be on pole at a circuit that shouldn’t suit the McLaren is amazing.”
Marc Basseng, #13 Schwede Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4: “I’m really happy. In Monza I had a bad qualifying and this time it went really well. In these conditions experience counts a bit. From the moment I went out I was pushing, because I was aware that something like the red flag would come quite quickly. My last lap was the quickest lap and I’m very happy for the team and myself.”
Luci Trefz, #2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4: “The dry and wet conditions were very difficult. It was my first time here, so in these conditions it was not easy for me. I think I managed good, although I had some luck in traffic. I had one lap where I didn’t have any traffic. I did my best and had a really good lap. My team did a really good job, Marcus was seventh, so I’m really happy.”
Liesette Braams, #11 Las Moras by Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4: “I made the decision to go for rain tyres. I had to choose and for me this was the best option. Obviously, that meant I had to find some wet spots, as the track was drying. I finally found the right rhythm and I really felt well in the car. I hope it will be dry tomorrow so that Gaby and I can fight for the highest step on the podium. And of course, a big thanks to the guys at Equipe Verschuur.”
PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING 1 RESULT
PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING 2 RESULT
(Qualifying results remain provisional pending result of appeal)
The two GT4 European Series races at Brands Hatch will be streamed live on the GT4 European Series website, Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well SRO’s GT World Youtube channel. Both races will have English and German commentary.