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Mueller Leads Porsche Front Row for 24H Dubai

Herberth on pole as Porsches occupy four of the top five places in 24h Dubai qualifying…

Photo: Petr Fryba/24H Series

Sven Mueller put Herberth Motorsport on pole for the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai as Porsches occupied four of the top five grid places including both spots on the front row.

Former Porsche factory driver Mueller posted a time of 1:56.553 aboard the No. 92 Porsche 911 GT3 R to lead Thursday’s half-hour qualifying session at Dubai Autodrome.

This ensured the German racer took pole by a margin of 0.14 seconds from Matteo Cairoli, who lapped second-quickest in the No. 7 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche.

Mueller is sharing Herberth’s Pro-class machine with Klaus Bachler, Vincent Kolb, Juergen Haering and Wolfgang Triller, while Cairoli is teamed up with Roberto Pampanini, Mauro Calamia and Stefano Monaco who finished second in last weekend’s Gulf 12 Hours.

Porsche entries also qualified fourth and fifth, while newly-signed Lamborghini factory driver Mirko Bortolotti prevented Stuttgart from sweeping the top five grid positions.

Bortolotti qualified third on his return to the Italian manufacturer, turning in a time of 1:57.126 for GRT Grasser Racing Team.

Mathieu Jaminet was fourth for Porsche outfit GPX Racing, while 2017 Dubai 24H winner Robert Renauer placed fifth in Herberth Motorsport’s No. 91 Am-class car.

Haupt Racing Team qualified sixth and seventh as the best-placed Mercedes-AMG runner.

Nico Bastian produced a time of 1:57.290 in HRT’s Am-category vehicle to beat Maro Engel in the Pro-class HRT Bilstein car.

The highest-ranked Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo finished 1.2 seconds off the overall pace, with Christopher Mies coming through in eighth for Attempto Racing.

Inception Racing by Optimum’s McLaren 720S GT3 ended up ninth in the hands of Joe Osborne, ahead of Dries Vanthoor who rounded out the top ten in a Team WRT Audi.

The highest-placed non-GT3 car was DUWO Racing’s Porsche 991-II Cup driven by Mobil 1 Supercup ace Dylan Pereira.

The Luxembourgish driver clocked in a time of 2:01.608 which put him 18th overall, behind all but one of the GT3 entries.

SRO America front-runner Nick Wittmer paced the GT4 field with a 2:08.824 behind the wheel of ST Racing’s BMW M4 GT4.

The 24H Dubai is due to start at 3 p.m. local time on Friday (6 a.m. ET, 11 a.m. GMT).

RESULTS: Qualifying

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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