– Fastest in practice and qualifying: Dutchman from GP Elite again outshines the competition on the Formula 1 circuit in Monte Carlo
– Second and third grid spots go to BWT Lechner Racing: Harry King from the UK narrowly ahead of Porsche-Junior Bastian Buus from Denmark
– Monaco debut for the five-time motorcycle world champion: Jorge Lorenzo from Spain contests his first Supercup season
In 2021 and 2022, Larry ten Voorde already demonstrated his unbeatable form in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup races in Monte Carlo. Driving for the GP Elite team, the Dutchman will head into Sunday’s season-opening race from pole position. He once again outpaced the rest of the field during the qualifying session on the Formula 1 circuit through the streets of the Principality. Positions two and three on the grid are occupied by the two BWT Lechner Racing drivers Harry King from the United Kingdom and Porsche-Junior Bastian Buus from Denmark.
Less than a second separated the ten fastest qualifiers at the season opener of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Monte Carlo. The first two grid rows are locked out by the teams GP Elite and BWT Lechner Racing. Pole position for Sunday’s race went to GP Elite driver Larry ten Voorde, who had previously set the top time in free practice. The racer from the Netherlands shares the first grid row with UK driver Harry King, who lapped the 3.337-kilometre Formula 1 circuit around two-tenths of a second slower. The third fastest was King’s teammate at BWT Lechner Racing, the 19-year-old Porsche-Junior Bastian Buus from Denmark. P4 on the grid was claimed by another GP Elite driver, Loek Hartog.
« I think I could’ve been even quicker, » analysed Larry ten Voorde, who set the best time early in the qualifying on his first set of tyres. « But on the laps with the second set of tyres I made too many mistakes. » Harry King had a similar experience. « The track definitely got faster towards the end of qualifying. Unfortunately, my last attempt to beat Larry’s best time was thwarted because of a red flag, » said the driver from the UK. The qualifying session was interrupted twice due to minor accidents, which almost always cause a gridlock on the comparatively narrow circuit through the urban canyons of Monte Carlo.
For Porsche-Junior Bastian Buus, the qualifying session brought good and bad luck in quick succession. « While attempting a flying lap on my second set of tyres, I was stopped by the first red flag. However, at the restart, I was the only one in the leading group who could turn a lap without any problems before the second red flag came out. That turned out to be my fastest lap, so I can’t complain, » he said, describing how he clinched third position. Buus lines up on the second grid row next to Dutchman Loek Hartog.
The fastest rookie in qualifying also came from the GP Elite team: Setting the eighth fastest time, Huub van Eijndhoven from the Netherlands narrowly relegated another Supercup newcomer – the Italian Giorgio Amati from the Dinamic Motorsport squad – to ninth place.
Ex-motorcycle world champion Jorge Lorenzo: Preparations with video games
As a five-time motorcycle world champion, Jorge Lorenzo knows also many Formula 1 racetracks from a driver’s perspective. However, the street circuit in Monte Carlo is completely new terrain for the 36-year-old Spaniard, who drives with an Italian racing license. After contesting a season in the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia, Lorenzo tackles his first race on Sunday as a permanent competitor of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup for the German team Huber Racing.
« I prepared for this race by playing video games and in the simulator. So basically I know where the corners are, » joked Lorenzo, who last year drove the VIP 911 at the Supercup race in Imola, Italy. « But of course, it’s something very different to drive a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on this unique racetrack. I have to admit, it’s tougher than I expected. The smallest mistake and you end up in the crash barrier. Nevertheless, it is a terrific feeling to experience this incomparable atmosphere and the fans in the packed grandstands. »
Lorenzo tackles round one of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup from P24. « I improved by around two seconds compared to free practice, so that’s positive. However, I’m still further from the fastest than I would’ve preferred,” he admitted. “My goal for the race is to finish in the top 20. »
TV and internet coverage of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season opener
The opening round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup takes off on Sunday (28 May 2023) at 11:55 am CEST and runs over 17 laps. TV channel Sky Sport provides a live broadcast, with the streaming service f1tv.formula1.com also televising the race.
Qualifying result, race 1 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Monte Carlo (Monaco)
1. Larry ten Voorde (Netherlands/Team GP Elite), 1:33.573 minutes
2. Harry King (United Kingdom/BWT Lechner Racing), + 0.190 seconds
3. Porsche Junior Bastian Buus (Denmark/BWT Lechner Racing), + 0.254 seconds
4. Loek Hartog (Netherlands/Team GP Elite), + 0.273 seconds
5. Dorian Boccolacci (France/CLRT), + 0.362 seconds…