Herberth Motorsport has claimed the first outright pole position for Porsche at the Hankook 24H DUBAI in six years, securing the event’s fastest ever GT pole lap in the process.
Sven Müller in the #92 Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R that he shares with Jürgen Häring, Wolfgang Triller, Vincent Kolb and Klaus Bachler posted an extraordinary 1m 56.553s lap around the 5.39km Dubai Autodrome with just two minutes of the 30-minute session left to run to secure the Bavarian team’s maiden pole position at the Hankook 24H DUBAI. In the process, the German also bettered the previous fastest pole lap in Dubai, a 1m 56.716 set by Mirko Bortolotti back in 2018.
“It was a great qualifying,” Sven Müller said post-session. “It was an intense session and we put on two new sets of tyres because the front was really, really tight! But I enjoyed every moment on-track. There was no traffic, the car was really awesome, and you never know what’s going to happen, but for me, it was a perfect lap. I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
In a frenetic session, the FXPrimus GT pole position was secured by just 0.140s, former event winner Herberth Motorsport pipping the best effort of Matteo Cairoli in the #7 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R with barely 2 minutes left to run on the clock. The Italian team will nevertheless start tomorrow’s 24-hour event from the front row for a Porsche lock-out.
The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo of two-time event polesitter GRT Grasser Racing Team (#63, Rolf Ineichen / Adrian Amstutz / Mirko Bortolotti / Rik Breukers) will line up 3rd for tomorrow’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook season opener, while last year’s COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily winner, the GPX Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#36, Axcil Jefferies / Frederic Fatien / Mathieu Jaminet / Julien Andlauer / Alain Ferté), will share the second row of the grid for its home event.
The second of three Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#91, Ralf Bohn / Daniel Allemann / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) rounds out the overall top five, securing GT3-AM class pole position in the process. Impressively, this means four of the top five runners in GT qualifying at the 2021 Hankook 24H DUBAI are Porsche 991 GT3 Rs.
The Haupt Racing Team, which replaces five-time event winner Black Falcon as a Mercedes-AMG’s customer entry in Dubai, will line up 6th (#5, Khaled Al Qubaisi / Valentin Pierburg / Florian Scholze / Nico Bastian / Patrick Assenheimer) and 7th (#4, Hubert Haupt / Maro Engel / Patrick Assenheimer / Ryan Ratcliffe / Khaled Al Qubaisi) overall. The German team this weekend fields two of only three men to ever win the Hankook 24H DUBAI three times, team owner Hubert Haupt and the UAE’s own Khaled Al Qubaisi.
In an impressive debut showing for the McLaren 720S GT3 in the 24H SERIES, Inception Racing by Optimum (#72, Brendan Iribe / Ollie Millroy / Nick Moss / Joe Osborne) rounds out the GT3-AM top three in qualifying and will start 9th overall on the grid, just behind the Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo (#99, Christopher Mies / Markus Winkelhock / Finlay Hutchison / Alex Aka / Philipp Sager). The Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo of 2016 Hankook 24H DUBAI winner WRT (#31, Dries Vanthoor / Kelvin van der Linde / Louis Machiels / Benjamin Goethe / Frank Bird) rounds out the top 10 on the grid.
One notable absentee from the sharp end of qualifying was Car Collection Motorsport. While the German team’s #34 Audi R8 LMS (Johannes Dr. Kirchhof / Gustav Edelhof / Elmar Grimm / Max Edelhof) was able to post a solid 6th fastest time in the GT3-AM class (14th overall), the sister #88 entry, a former Hankook 24H DUBAI winner, (Milan Dontje / Kim Holmgaard / Martin Lechmann / Tim Müller / Johannes Stengel) was unable to take part in qualifying at all due to heavy damage sustained to the rear suspension during Free Practice.
The DUWO Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#909, Andrey Mukovoz / Stanislav Sidoruk / Sergey Peregudov / Dylan Pereira) has claimed 991-class pole position for the Hankook 24H DUBAI ahead of HRT Performance (#928, Leon Köhler / Erik Behrens / Fabio Citignola / Sebastian Freymuth / JM Littman) and PROFILDOORS by Huber Racing (#924, Larry ten Voorde / Ilya Melnikov / Merabi Mekvabishvili / Gabriele Rindone / Matthias Hoffsümmer).
The top two in the 991 classs will be split on the grid by the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo of GTX polesitter Gt 3 Poland (#708, Grzegorz Moczulski / Andrzej Lewandowski / Rafal Mikrut / Pawel Kowalski / Bartosz Opiola). Former Overall GT Teams’ champion Leipert Motorsport (#710, Gregg Gorski / Gerhard Watzinger / Kurt Thiel / Oscar Lee / Fidel Leib) was the second fastest of the GTX runners, while Vortex V8 (#701, Philippe Bonnel / Lionel Amrouche / Karen Gaillard / Alban Varutti) prevented an all-Lamborghini top three in-class in qualifying with its eponymous Vortex 1.0.
In the GT4 class, Canada’s ST Racing (#438, Samantha Tan / Chandler Hull / Jon Miller / Nick Wittmer) repeated its class pole position from one year with its BMW M4 GT4. The Dragon Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#488, Denis Remenyako / Adam Christodoulou / John Hartshorne / Ollie Hancock) lines up 2nd in-class for its home event, just ahead of the PROsport Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 (#401, Nico Verdonck / Rodrigue Gillion / Stephane Lemeret / Patrik Matthiesen / Constantin Schöll), the 24H SERIES’ reigning Overall GT Teams’ champion.
The reigning 24H SERIES Overall TCE Teams’ champion, Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing, has begun its title defence in striking fashion by securing the FXPrimus TCE pole position at the 2021 Hankook 24H DUBAI.
The Swiss team was in the hunt from the very beginning of the 30-minute qualifying session against long-time provisional polesitter CWS Engineering, with Miklas Born just managing to pip the Ginetta G55 inside the closing five minutes of the session with a 2m 09.405s aboard the #112 Volkswagen Golf GTI (Antti Buri / Kari-Pekka Laaksonen / Gustavo Xavier / Jasmin Preisig / Miklas Born).
This marks Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing’s first TCE pole position in Dubai and the first time a TCR car has taken TCE pole position at the Hankook 24H DUBAI since the division was introduced to the 24H SERIES in 2018.
“This weekend has just started perfectly!” exclaimed reigning Overall TCE Drivers’ champion Miklas Born post-session. “It was an amazing lap, an amazing car, and I want to say a big thanks to the team. Of course to finish first, first you must finish, so we just wanted to make sure we come through without any incidents. But I think we’ve shown we have good speed.”
Having held the TCE top spot for most of the session, the CWS Engineering Ginetta G55 (#279, Bradley Scorer / Mikaeel Pitamber / Paul Hill / Michael Stephen) nevertheless managed to hold on to a TCE front row starting spot and TCX class pole position.
Last year’s TCE winner at the Hankook 24H DUBAI, the AC Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS (#188, Stéphane Perrin / Philippe Thirion / Sebastien Morales / Mathieu Detry), made a superb effort to post the third fastest lap in the closing moments of the session, and will thus start from the second row alongside perennial 24H SERIES runner, the Red Camel-Jordans.nl CUPRA TCR (#101, Ivo Breukers / Henry Littig / Steven Liquorish / Willem Meijer).
The Simpson Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS DSG (#138, Gunnar Jeannette / Sacha Kakad / Rodrigo Sales / Mihail Zamfir / Paul Smith) will start 5th in the TCE division at the 2021 Hankook 24H DUBAI, an impressive performance for the GT and PROTO specialist on its first start in the TCE division in the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook. The BBR CUPRA TCR DSG (#107, Anusorn Asiralertsiri / Chariya Nuya / Kantadhee Kusir / Kantasak Kusiri / Tanart Sathienthirakul) will line up alongside the British squad in 6th.
Although the TOPCAR Sport CUPRA TCR (#131, Fabian Danz / Adrian Spescha / Patrick Sing / Ronny Jost / Benjamin Leuchter) was an outside contender for TCE pole position in the early stages, a time disallowed for a track limits violation means the Swiss team will now start 7th, just ahead of the second of three Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing Volkswagens (#1, Emil Heyerdahl / Marlon Menden / Jérôme Ogay / Constantin Kletzer. The team’s third entry meanwhile (#114, Rhys Lloyd / Marcus Menden / Dario Stanco / Miklas Born / Reto Baumann) could manage only the 13th fastest time in TCE qualifying after an incident in Free Practice required a huge amount of repairs in the aftermath.
The Zengő Motorsport CUPRA TCR DSG (#133, Gábor Kismarty-Lechner / Tamás Horváth / Csaba Tóth / Szabolcs Gál / Zoltán Zengő), an FIA World Touring Car Cup mainstay, will make start its 8th Hankook 24H DUBAI from 9th on the grid, just ahead of the second AC Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS (#199, Thierry Chkondali / Maxwell Hanratty / Thomas Kiefer / Mark Wallenwein / Sebastien Lajoux).
The PK Carsport BMW M2 CS Racing (#208, Bert Longin / Peter Guelinckx / Stienes Longin / Stijn Lowette) meanwhile was the second fastest of the TCX runners, just outpacing the Sally Racing CUPRA DSG (#218, Anders Lund / Peter Obel / Niels Ulrich Nyboe / Henrik Munk Thomsen), which set the class’ third fastest time in qualifying.
On-track action continues at the Dubai Autodrome this evening with a mandatory 90-minute Night Practice session. The green flag is set to drop for the 16th annual Hankook 24H DUBAI on Friday 15 January at 15.00 hrs local time, and the 24-hour event will run uninterrupted to the chequered flag, set to drop at 15.00 hrs on Saturday 16 January.
Live streaming of the race in HD quality will be available on our official website and the 24H SERIES YouTube channel.