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Hofor Racing Claims 12H Hungary Pole

Christiaan Frankenhout puts Mercedes on pole in Hungary…

Photo: 24H Series

Photo: 24H Series

Christiaan Frankenhout reeled off a set of fast laps late in qualifying, vaulting the No. 1 Hofor Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG onto the pole spot for tomorrows’s 12 Hours of Hungary. His final time was a blistering 1:46.787.

Lance David Arnold set an early quick time in the No. 4 SPS Automotive Mercedes. He improved upon it and was not headed for much of the session. Arnold posted a 1:49.229 early during the 75-minute qualifying session. He bettered it by precisely two seconds before handing the car over to Tim Müller.

After laps in the general range of Arnold’s times the team parked the hour as the late afternoon shadows began to engulf the circuit.

Meanwhile a fine battle for second on the grid was waged between the Stadler Porsche and the Hofor Mercedes. Rolf Ineichen was the quicker in the No. 20 997, just clear of Hans Heyer driving the No. 1 SLS.

Heyer handed over to Christiaan Frankenhout for several laps but the Dutch driver was unable to better the time. It was left for Rolf Ineichen to reel off a fine 1:47.697 to solidly hold onto second spot.

Frankenhout reemerged near the end of the session and ran two quick laps, bettering the car’s time but still only third on the grid. Then a 1:47.65 put the No. 1 Mercedes into second spot with their rivals already packed up.

In the early going Lukas Schreier was up to third overall with the No. 8 Team ZaWoTec Porsche. His position slipped a bit as the A6 class cars got faster but the No. 8 car finished the session first in the SP2 class.

The fight for pole in A5 was contested between the No 41 Team Rimo BMW 335d and the No. 18 Team Altran Peugeot. Saulius Vitkauskas led the class in the early going.

Indeed, as the first car out on the course it can be said that a Lithuanian driver held provisional overall pole, if only for the most fleeting of moments. The order in A5 changed when Vincent Radermecker took the No. 18 Team Altran Peugeot out on track and soon set the class pole.

That order remained until the end of the session although the quicket of the Rimo Racing drivers, Martynas Samuitis, improved on the team’s time but not position.

Tom Onslow-Cole set a good time early on and this stood for the class pole in D1. The English driver was aboard the No. 38 KPM Racing Volkswagen Golf.

Today’s activity will conclude with a 60-minute night practice. At least one lap by each driver is mandatory. Conditions will mimic tomorrow in that the session starts at 19:00 while the race runs from 08:00 to 20:00. A tight schedule means most teams will likely opt for an early call to the bunks before an almost dawn revelry.

The only car with issues is the No. 32 HM Motorsport Peugeot which crashed during practice. The team has plenty of spares and the damage is repairable. They were unable to make it out during qualifying but should be ready for the start—of course from the back of the grid.

It’s been a cloudy and cool day here to the north of Budapest. We’re expected to see more typical autumn weather tomorrow. Jó éjszakát mindenkinek. Majd meglátjuk mindenkit, túl korán holnap!

János Wimpffen is an American motorsport historian and journalist, contributing to Sportscar365's international coverage. He is the author of "Time and Two Seats" and numerous other award-winning books documenting the history of sports car racing.

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