Lechner Racing Porsche Supercup
Three Lechner Cars in the Top Six in Qualy Lottery at Hockenheim
The weather was a decisive factor in qualifying for the fifth race of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Hockenheim, which saw Nick Yelloly as the luckiest driver securing pole position. The BWT Lechner Racing drivers Thomas Preining and Michael Ammermüller ended up in P4 and P5, with Dylan Pereira of MOMO Megatron Lechner Racing just behind in P6, completing three Lechner Cars in the Top 6 even being a bit at the wrong place at the wrong time in what turned out to be a real lottery.
Heavy rain until one hour before the start of the qualifying had rendered a lot of Friday´s free practice experiences rather useless. There, Ammermüller and teammate Preining had been very happy with their cars and first and third place respectively. Now on a still wet track Ammermüller put himself on the top of the field in the first outing, only to be overtaken by Preining with ten minutes to go. With the track drying out more and more, most drivers were changing to slick tyres for the last minutes of the session to turn everything completely upside down. In the end it was the question of being the last one to cross the start-finish line before the chequered flag to put in the fastest lap under the driest possible conditions: “In this game we really lost out a bit”, said Preining who would have wished for a nicer present to celebrate his 20th birthday on Saturday. “We had everything to put our cars in the front”, defending champion Ammermüller was adamant, “it just did not go our way today. But we know we have a very good car, so let´s see what we can do in the race tomorrow. Of course a very good start would be very helpful...”
Roar Lindland from Norway in P18 again dominated the ProAm category with an advantage of nearly three seconds over his closest rival, even after slightly touching the tyre wall after an off with about two minutes to go. After the qualifying team Lechner Racing Middle East apologized to Al Faisal Al Zubair (P26), as he had been sent out for is second stint on wet tyres again due to a misunderstanding. One of his mechanics had seen the Ammermüller crew going for the wets again – and done the same thing. The fact that there the decision was changed shortly after with a final switch to slicks unfortunately was overlooked in the hectic situation. On the other hand, staying with rain tyres for Khalid Al Wahaibi (P29) was kind of a precaution due to the very little experience of the young Omani on a still slightly damp track. Josh Webster of MOMO Megatron Lechner Racing could only do five laps due to an off and a broken fan belt at the end of his first run and was stuck in P27.
“For sure a little bit more would have been possible for us today”, team principal Walter Lechner stated. “On the other hand it´s not too bad to have three cars within the Top 6 under these tricky conditions and with such a strong opposition we are facing. Pedersen suddenly turning up in P2 only shows how close it is this year. Of course it´s a bit annoying that our main championship rival Nick Yelloly grabbed pole while Michael Ammermüller is only in P5. But I hope this might still change a bit tomorrow during the race (12.05 p.m., Eurosport).”