Pole Position for Thomas Preining and BWT Lechner Racing at Home Race at Spielberg
It´s his home track – and Austrian Thomas Preining seems to be able to handle it better than anybody else: The 19-year-old from Linz secured pole position for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race at the Red Bull Ring with more than two tenth of a second advantage ahead of Julien Andlauer. “After winning the two Porsche Carrera Cup Germany races here three weeks ago and setting fastest time in the free practice yesterday, I was of course rather optimistic for today´s qualifying”, the BWT Lechner Racing driver was celebrating, “ but now I am really glad that everything worked out perfectly according to plan. I hope it will continue like this during the race tomorrow.”
Tracklimits were a big topic at the Red Bull Ring again – as already three weeks ago during the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany weekend here. After the free practice, which saw more than 500 track limit violations, race director Peter Roberts handed out penalties to twelve drivers, including Thomas Preining and Philip Hamprecht from the Lechner squads. They all had to stay in the pitlane for the first five minutes of qualifying. But nevertheless, Preining already took the lead with 13 minutes of the session done and always had an answer to any competitors coming close.
The second BWT Lechner driver, championship leader Michael Ammermüller, was not too happy after finishing in P6. The Bavarian had his fastest lap deleted due to track limits, and then was stopped by a little off in the last sector when he seemed to be on his way at least into the second, maybe even into the front row. “I was not very lucky today,but the car is good and also my main competitors in the championship are also not starting from the very front of the grid, which is some kind of a consolation. So let´s see what we still can do tomorrow in the race.”
Philip Hamprecht, racing as a guest starter for MOMO Megatron Lechner Racing, managed to secure a strong tenth position for tomorrow´s grid, just ahead of Dylan Pereira who admitted to have expected a little bit more, but never got a really clean lap in. Josh Webster was only able to complete five laps due to stones having broken his water cooler and got stuck in P26.
Al Faisal Al Zubair of Lechner Racing Middle East ended up in P19, still slightly hampered by his ear problems which got recently treated in Austria. His teammate Roar Lindland from Norway in P23 was again fastest in the ProAm class, while 17-year-old Khalid Al Wahaibi had to be content with P25, realising the highly competitive field of the Porsche Supercup field: “It is so close, one or two tenths can make quite a big difference. But I am here to learn and to gain experience and for sure I will be able to do this with the help of the Lechner guys.”
“Of course I am really happy that Thomas managed to get pole in our home race weekend”, team principal Walter Lechner stated. “He is really back to his top form after a difficult start into the season and it was great to see how well he coped with the special pressure here at his home turf. Some of our other drivers were not so lucky today, but I am sure they will be able to make up some ground in the race tomorrow. So stay tuned – the start will be at on Sunday 12.15 pm, live on Eurosport.”