In temperatures of around 35 degrees Celsius, the 23-year-old German from the Lechner Racing Middle East squad turned the fastest lap in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with a time of 1:48.245 minutes. “Everything ran smoothly for us today. During the qualifying we were able to change several things and that’s when I clinched pole position. I’m pleased,” said Müller. This now makes it the fifth different polesitter from five race weekends. Sharing the front grid row with Müller is Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing), with Barcelona winner Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East) tackling the race from the third grid spot.
The qualifying session in Budapest developed into a real thriller. With the track temperature increasing under the midday sun, the performance of the control Michelin tyres also changed. In the final five minutes of the session, the name at the top of the time sheets changed in rapid succession: Ammermüller, who had held the lead spot for 25 minutes, was shunted off the top spot by Engelhart. Two minutes before the end, Müller turned the perfect lap to become the poleman. “It was incredibly hot during the qualifying. On my fastest lap I had to overtake someone so I actually could have managed an even better time. My plan for the race is to go max-attack,” declared the second-qualifier Engelhart.
The French rookie pilot Côme Ledogar (Martinet by Almeras) occupied fourth place ahead of Poland’s Kuba Giermaziak (VERVA Lechner Racing Team), who won last year’s race in Budapest. Philipp Eng (A/Market Leader Team by Project 1), the current leader in the championship, had to settle for sixth place on the start lineup, however he leads the overall standings by 14 points. His closest rival on the points’ table is Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), who takes up the race from seventh on the grid. Eighth place is occupied by Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/The Heart of Racing by Lechner).
The Porsche Juniors Matteo Cairoli (I/Market Leader Team by Project 1) and Connor de Phillippi (USA/VERVA Lechner Racing Team) posted the 13th and 14th quickest times. “That was my first qualifying on this circuit. It didn’t run ideally, but I’ll see what I can do in the race,” said the 19-year-old Cairoli after his Hungaroring debut. De Phillippi is well aware that things can get turbulent in the midfield of a 25-strong lineup: “It’s not that easy, particularly at the start because that’s when everyone wants to gain ground. And I’m hoping I can make up positions, too.”
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup regulars welcomed a special guest in free practice on Friday: the ex-Formula 1 pilot from Great Britain, Johnny Herbert, was impressed with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. “Driving this car was huge fun and it was great to get a taste of this series. I would have liked to have stayed out on the track and driven a lot more laps. However, I’m now a TV presenter instead of a race driver and that’s why I can’t contest the entire weekend. Maybe I’ll come back next year,” said Herbert with a wink.
Sky Deutschland broadcasts a live preliminary report of the 14-lap race on Sunday from 11.30 hours. Eurosport televises the race live on Sunday from 11.45 hours.
1. Sven Müller (D/Team Lechner Racing Middle East), 1:49.245 minutes
2. Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing), 1:49.440
3. Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East), 1:49.464
4. Côme Ledogar (F/Martinet by Almeras), 1:49.538
5. Kuba Giermaziak (PL/VERVA Lechner Racing Team), 1:49.615
6. Philipp Eng (A/Market Leader Team by Project 1), 1:49.627
7. Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), 1:49.645
8. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), 1:49.769