Dubai 24H: Series qualifying report

Lamborghini locks out front row for Dunlop 24H of Dubai

DUBAI (January 13th, 2011) Lamborghini teams locked out the front row for the sixth running of the Dunlop 24H of Dubai, the first major international endurance race of the year for GTs, touring cars and 24H specials. In qualifying at the 5.390 kilometres long Dubai Autodrome, Dutch driver Peter Kox claimed pole position with a lap time of 2:00.753 minutes, the fastest qualifying time ever set for the Dunlop 24H of Dubai. Kox, the reigning German ADAC GT Masters champion, is sharing the Blancpain-Reiter Engineering-Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 GT3 with his compatriot Nico Pronk, German Bernhard Muller and Swiss Marc A. Hayek. Completing the all- Lamborghini front row is the identical car, entered by the UAE-based Gulf Team First with drivers Fabien Giroix and Frederic Fatien (both France), German Roald Goethe and Brit Mike Wainwright. This year marks the first time Lamborghinis are on the starting grid for the Dunlop 24H of Dubai.

Fastest after the first one hour heat for all entrants was Nicolas Armindo in the number 99-Hermes Attempto Racing Porsche (2:03.688 minutes), followed by Sascha Maassen in the Tolimit-Arabia-Porsche (2:04.566 minutes) and Thomas Jager in the number 7-Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS (2:05.066 minutes).

Dutch BMW team JR Motorsport topped the time sheets in the half-hour qualifying session for the A1 to A4 classes plus the two D1 and D2 diesel categories, claiming pole position in the A3T class with a lap time of 2:11.519 minutes. Front-running diesel car was the Nooren Autosport Team- BMW on top in D2 while German BMW team Kueperracing dominated in A4 and the fastest time in the D1 diesel class was set by Volkswagen Racing Austria-1 (Volkswagen Golf TDI).

Halfway through in the final 30 minutes' heat for the biggest categories, Fabien Giroix was the first driver of the day to crack the 2.03 barrier with his Gulf Team First-Lamborghini (2:02.520 minutes). He was followed by Sean Edwards in the Tolimit-Arabia-Porsche (2:03.065 minutes) and Vincent Radermecker in the Gravity Racing-Mosler (2:03.074 minutes). With ten minutes to go, William Langhorne put the MRS-PZ Aschaffenburg-Porsche up into second place (2:02.786 minutes).

A little bit over three minutes before the end of the session, Peter Kox charged to a time of 2:00.915 minutes with the Blancpain-Lamborghini, the fastest ever qualifying lap for the Dunlop 24H of Dubai. Thomas Enge improved to 2:02.567 minutes with the Gravity-Mosler, moving up into third place. Then, the chequered flag was out, making it a clean sweep of the front grid row for Lamborghini with the Blancpain-car on pole from the Gulf car and the Gravity-Mosler third as the best-placed SP2-entry. The fastest Porsche was the MRS-PZ-Aschaffenburg entry in fourth place overall. Fastest 997-class car was the number 33-De Lorenzi Racing-Porsche, 26th overall.

Lamborghini stalwart Peter Kox was delighted with his pole position: "Last year, I already won the title in the German ADAC GT Masters with the Reiter- Lamborghini and now, we are keen to do well in this race. I had a clean lap and the car was fantastic, so that is how I got it on pole. It is especially nice for us to have beaten the other Lamborghini... No, jokes aside, this is a great success for all of us and we are eager to keep up the good performance in the race!"

-source: 24h series

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