Sunday at the Slovakia Ring Part 1 – Hahn on pole
07. July 2019Slovakiaring - A few drops fell overnight, but they brought no relief from the heat. Early in the morning the temperature had already crossed 25°, the partly cloudy sky mercifully preventing the sun from heating the track up to yesterday’s levels. It was no surprise, then, that the lap times in the warm-up – the trucks running worn tyres – were once again emphatically lower than in yesterday’s qualifying and races. Czech Adam Lacko was quickest in his Buggyra Freightliner, setting the only sub-2:43 time with a 2:42.931, the fastest lap so far this weekend.
On the other hand some of the teams had already announced beforehand their intention to use the session to test alternative setups; in all probability their pilots wouldn’t be tearing down the straights at top speed. What’s more, there were almost two and a half hours till qualifying to undo changes that didn’t quite work as they’d hoped.
It was noon when Q2 kicked off. The thermometer now read 30°, although all the forecasts had suggested it would be five or six degrees cooler. The track temperature, however, remained lower than yesterday’s.
Iveco pilot René Reinert set the top time, 2:43.808, the quickest the German has gone this weekend. Only three tenths slower were Hungarian Norbert Kiss (Mercedes-Benz) and the two Germans André Kursim (Iveco) and Sascha Lenz (MAN). Lacko, German Iveco pilots Jochen Hahn and Steffi Halm, MAN pilot Luis Recuenco (ESP), Brit Oly Janes (Buggyra Freightliner), and Fabio Citignola (Mercedes-Benz) completed the Top 10, the young German tankpool24 pilot making the leap into the Super Pole in only his third weekend in the sport.
At the end of the session there was a bit of a delay – and a novelty. Spanish MAN pilot Antonio Albacete had had his lap time cancelled for “exceeding track limits” in a corner, leaving him no opportunity to have another go. After some discussions with his team the Super Pole was delayed by five minutes. Race control then issued a statement that Albacete would provisionally be allowed to take part in the Super Pole, making it the first ever with 11 qualifiers.
Hahn had held himself in check in Q2; now he let it rip. His 2:43.312 was a second and a half quicker and landed the bantam from Altensteig his fifth pole in six qualifying sessions. Kiss was two tenths slower. Lacko came in third with a bigger gap, followed by Halm, Kursim, Reinert, Lenz (the two going slower than in Q2), Albacete, Recuenco, Janes, and Citignola.
At the end of it all the stewards announced further changes. Other pilots who’d had their times cancelled for track limit violations in Q2 now had those times restored. That pushed Citignola down a spot to 12th, Brit Jamie Anderson’s (MAN) original lap having been a wee bit better than the Mercedes man’s.