Kevin Estre and Rene Rast have claimed pole position for the final two rounds of the 2011 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Abu Dhabi.
Frenchman Estre, winner of the last round at Monza, posted the fastest time of the qualifying session. He will thus start the penultimate race of the season tomorrow (Saturday) from P1.
“That was a perfect qualifying, a lap without the slightest mistake and that's not easy on this circuit,” said rookie Estre. “I've never driven here before. So, to start from pole is a superb result. Now I hope I can conclude an already successful season in a fitting way.”
Points leader Rast missed out on the fastest time by just 0.033 seconds, and will start the first race on the front row alongside Estre. The German did however manage the best second fastest time of all the drivers though, and will therefore start Sunday's season finale from pole.
The two bonus points for pole give Rast a 19 point lead over nearest rival Kuba Giermaziak. The Pole could only manage tenth on the grid for Saturday's race.
“I went well on my first set of tyres, but I messed up with the second set,” said Rast. “I was going for my best time and made an error which cost me a lot of time. Still, with the two extra points for pole position in the second race, my position looks really good. Now I just have to reach the flag well and the title should be in the bag.”
Estre will start Sunday's race from third, behind Nick Tandy. The Briton, recently crowned Carrera Cup Deutschland champion, will be third on the grid on Saturday.
“I'm happy,” said Tandy. “These two races will certainly be very interesting. Of course I'd love to finish up the season with a victory. In race two, where I start from the first grid row, my chances look good.”
Rast's Veltins Lechner teammate Norbert Siedler, who is third in the standings, qualified fourth for the first race, ahead of Christian Engelhardt. Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen and Sean Edwards, who are both still in with a mathematical chance of the title, will start from sixth and seventh at the home track of their team sponsor.
Grid line-up race 1
1. KÃ©vin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, 2:12.007 minutes
2. RenÃ© Rast (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing, + 0.033 seconds
3. Nick Tandy (GB), Konrad Motorsport, + 0.065
4. Norbert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing, + 0.401
5. Christian Engelhart (D), Konrad Motorsport, + 0.553
6. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 0.585
Grid line-up race 2
1. RenÃ© Rast (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing, 2:12.162 minutes
2. Nick Tandy (GB), Konrad Motorsport, + 0.083 seconds
3. KÃ©vin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 0.351
4. Christian Engelhart (D), Konrad Motorsport, + 0.691
5. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 0.668
6. Norbert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing, + 0.688