Rene Rast clinched his fourth pole of the season in qualifying for the fifth round of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, around Valencia's America's Cup harbour circuit.
The German, who also has also won three of out of previous four races, and leads the championship, swept to the top spot around the 5.4km track with lap of 2:07.818 in his Al Faisal Lechner Racing entry, 0.684 seconds clear of the only other man to win a race this season – Norbert Siedler of Veltins MRS Racing. The Dutchman was left wondering if he could have gone faster, never completing a perfect lap after not being happy with his first set of tyres during the session.
“I can't really explain how I attained this fabulous time,” admitted Rast. “Actually the lap didn't feel that good. I simply pushed and braked as late as I could. This was obviously the right tactic for this track – brake, throw the car into the corners and then go flat out again.”
Reigning series champion Jeroen Bleekemolen will start third, directly behind Rast after lap 0.904 seconds slower than the pole man's startling – of “incredible” as Bleekemolen described it – effort. He will be joined on the fourth row by Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit man Sean Edwards. The Briton was unable to repeat his front row start from Barcelona, instead matching his Monaco qualifying effort in fourth.
Lechner Racing driver Stefan Rosina and ex-WTCC pilot Jaap van Lagen share the third row of the grid, van Lagen one spot on the grid ahead of the series' record winner Patrick Huisman.
Huisman's Konrad Motorsport teammate, and Rast's closest challenger in the overall points standings, Nick Tandy will start the race a seemingly distant tenth, alongside Porsche veteran Sascha Maassen.
Rast will try to convert his fourth pole position into a fourth win in a 14 lap (or 30 minute) race tomorrow, the race start due just after 11:45 local time.