Multi-billionaire and sometime Formula One driver Michael Schumacher has qualified ninth for tomorrow's Oschersleben Eight-Hour endurance race. Well, his Holzauer Honda team have anyway.
The ex-Ferrari squillionaire has teamed up with Martin Bauer and Matthias von Hammerstein and, for some reason, there are a lot of people outside their pit garage.
Meanwhile Phase One Yamaha, who are fielding Graeme Gowland for the first time, qualified in 24th place after only bringing in their third rider during the final and wet qualifying session.
Regular rider Damian Cudlin and world endurance newcomer Gowland showed the potential to put the team into seventh place overall, but third rider Sebastien Scarnato’s only qualifying session was held on a drying track, affecting his lap times and knocking back the team’s average qualifying time.
Team manager Russell Benny explains: “I’m happy with the way qualifying has gone, and it’s been lovely discovering a new British rider and introducing him to our sport. Graeme has turned out to be just a few tenths quicker than Damian, which was beyond my expectations, and taking both of their times we would have qualified in the top seven. We’re further down because we only brought Sebastien in at the last minute in a wet qualifying session. Because the grid is based on aggregated times we’re down in 24th place.
“I think once the race gets under way we will show our true form. As is normal for our team we’ve been setting the best time on race rubber rather than on qualifying tyres, so I’m extremely pleased with the 1:29.0 we’ve done on race tyres. I’m not aware that anyone other than SERT Suzuki has done 1:29 flat on race tyres, so I’ve got great hopes for the race.”
Reigning World Champions and current series leaders SERT has taken pole position for tomorrow's World Endurance eight-hour fourth round at Oschersleben in Germany.
Matthieu Lagrive, Julien Da Costa and Vincent Philippe put their GSX-R1000 around the circuit in a time of 1:28.177 to beat Kawasaki France (1:28.340) and Yamaha Austria in third with a time of 1:28.764. All of the fastest times were set yesterday after heavy rain hit the track at the start of today's qualifying session.