Valencia 04
Linel TEX
Qualifying Notes
Qualifying Quotes From Valencia

GT Pole Position: Michael Bartels - nr 5 Vitaphone Saleen S7-R:
"Uwe and I tried to concentrate on developing the car this morning to find a good race set-up, because we couldn't collect a lot information yesterday when the track was wet. We saved our last set of new tyres until the end of the session. The car was very good at the end, very well balanced, so we could make a competitive lap time that was good enough for pole position. Anyway, both cars of our team seem to be very strong. The track characteristics suit the Saleen cars really well. Of course, setting the fastest lap time is one thing - a three-hour race distance is quite different. But we are well-prepared and confident for tomorrow."

N-GT Pole Position: Sascha Maasen - nr 99 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3:
"Things were going very well today. We didn't have any problems, the car was fine and the tyres were good as well. I had a clean run on my fast lap at the beginning of the session. So despite not having any experience on the track, it worked out fine. Even if it rains, I don't think it'll be possible to win tomorrow - and that's not what we're aiming for, either. Of course it would be nice, but we have to concentrate on the competition in the N-GT class, which is strong enough. That's where our priorities are."

2nd in GT: Walter Lechner Jr. - nr 4 Konrad Motorsport Saleen S7-R:
"I'm very happy with the second position. We worked hard on the car after the bad weekend at Monza, and it paid off. We gambled a bit in the first qualifying session, which turned out to be a good idea. So we finished first in the morning session. But then we had no chance to make a better lap time in the second qualifying, and we had to watch on the screen as we dropped down to second place. But it's still a great result, and I'd like to thank the team and Pirelli, our tyre partner for this season, who did a great job."

2nd in N-GT: Emmanuel Collard - nr 50 Freisinger Yukos Motorsport:
"Of course I'm not really happy with my position - I'd prefer to be on pole instead. But this is my first time in Valencia, and it's been rather difficult. It was raining all day yesterday, and then we had a problem with the gearbox this morning, so we lost a lot of time. The gearbox problem was still there this afternoon, unfortunately. We'll have to wait and see for tomorrow. Overtaking is not easy on this track, but there are a couple of corners where you can manage. But it's the same for everyone, so it's not going to be a huge problem."

3rd in GT: Fabrizio Gollin - nr 2 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello:
"We were struggling with a problem on the car this morning, but I don't know what exactly it was, yet. The car was okay in the afternoon session. We tried another fast lap and the time wasn't so bad. The Saleens were fantastic today, though! I think our cars should do well in the race, because we can make a very fast stint. On a track as slow as this one, though, the weight handicap will affect the performance quite a bit."

3rd in N-GT: Fabrizio de Simone - nr 62 GPC Giesse Ferrari:
"The conditions this morning weren't ideal for our set-up, but I was quite happy with the car this afternoon. Our performance wasn't so bad, if you take into consideration that we were on used tyres. I think we improved a lot. It looks good for the race tomorrow; we'll do our best to catch the Porsches."

Matteo Bobbi - nr 1 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello:
"It has not been going so well today. The main problem I find is that the track is very short, and there is always traffic. I didn't manage to find a clear lap. We have some problems, so we are not as fast as in Monza, but we can improve by two or three tenths. I have one more set of tyres for the afternoon session, and I think the track could be fast. But it will be very difficult to catch the Saleen here; they are very fast. I know the circuit, but it is very hard on the drivers here, as you are always turning and there is no time to relax. It is quite difficult to drive as there is just one driving line, and it will be very difficult to overtake. So qualifying is important, as well as the tyre choice."

Peter Kox - nr 29 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Murciélago - 5th in GT:
"The car is improving all the time. We are still learning a lot, but I think we can say the car has performed beyond our expectations. We still think there is more time in the car. We did most of our running in the wet, so it was quite logical that we should manage a good time yesterday. To be now in P3 is a fantastic result. I was never really happy with my laps, and I know there is more to come from the car, so I am quite confident. "

Thomas Erdos - nr 7 RML Saleen S7-R - 6th in GT:
"That was not a bad time today. We got bogged down a bit in qualifying. This is a difficult circuit from a traffic point of view, and that's just the way it worked out . We are not too unhappy; Lechner had a good run in the morning, and maybe the track was not able to give us the sort of grip to match that in the afternoon. I think we could have had the speed to match his time, but not in the morning, when we had a little issue with the brake system, and which took time away from us. For the race, I think it is looking good for us. A lot of cars are very close together, it's going to be a busy track, and you have to keep your nose clean. It'll be hard on tyres and on the drivers, as it is a very physical track. But we're quite confident for tomorrow."

Emanuele Naspetti - nr 13 GPC Giesse Squadra Corse - 8th in GT:
So far it has not been going too badly. We had many things to test, and with yesterday's rain, we could not do that. So we are developing the car in qualifying and we are much closer than in Monza. We think that we have not run exactly the time we could have done, and we are expecting good things for the race. If we don't do any mistakes, I think we can be much closer in the race. In Monza, although our result was good, in terms of performance we were a bit far from the competitors. We know we have to work hard, we can't wait for others to make mistakes, but have to go ahead ourselves. But the positive thing is that a new team did not make any mistakes, which was an incredible result, and makes us very happy and confident for the future."

Toto Wolff - nr 17 JMB Racing Ferrari 575 M Maranello - 10th in GT:
"The car is doing everything we don't want it to do, with huge understeer in the entrance, and huge understeer in the exits, and we are trying to find the right set-up. We hope to improve in the second qualifying, but we had hoped to be further ahead by this stage. We thought this track would be better for us; we were lacking in top speed in Monza, but our car handled really well there. Now the handling is bad - it is strange. But the race is totally different. The three of us - Robert Lechner Jr, Karl Wendlinger and me - are all on the pace, and during the race we should be OK."

Christophe Bouchut - nr 10 Zwaan's Racing Chrysler Viper GTS- 12th in GT:
"The differential broke this morning, while I was on my first real flying lap, which was a real shame as I think it would have been a very good time. The car is really going well, and significant progress has been made by the team. It is clear, it is still a Viper, and we are not going to suddenly go a second faster than the Ferraris, but I think that on the winding tracks like this one, we can still manage to get quite an exceptional result."

Jamie Campbell-Walter - nr 27 Creation Lister Storm - 14th in GT:
"It was a question of bad timing today. I came across a car in the gravel just after the chicane. I'd just put the new tyres on, and I was on my second flying lap, and it had been going really well until then. I did two slow laps, trying to keep the tyres OK, and the when the yellow flags stopped, I went for it and then the session was red flagged. And that was it you only get two laps, maybe three, on your tyres, and then it drops off. Jamie didn't do many laps in the morning, so it was more important to get him out on the track."

Miro Konopka - Vonka Racing Porsche 996 GT3 7th in N-GT:
"It's our first race, and we're just trying things out for now. We are only going to do a couple of races this year, and not the whole season; but I hope that we can compete the entire season in 2005. Our first race weekend is going very nice, so far. We've had some problems with the weather yesterday: the rain is really bad for us, but now it's perfect. As for the race tomorrow, our main goal is to see the finish line!"

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