AF Corse Ferrari have always been good at Silverstone and they look on course to continue their success with a dominant performance in qualifying to grab P1 and P2 for Sunday’s 4 hour race. The #51 of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado took pole position with an average time of 1 minute 54.171. just 0.131 ahead of the #71 sister Ferrari of Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon. Calado admitted later to not putting in a perfect lap with a couple of mistakes creeping in but it was enough to get the top spot.
The #97 Aston Martin of Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn took P3 ahead of the Porsche of Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni who did well to get a time following a massive spin on the exit of Farm. The car rotated several times before ending up at Village corner resulting in flat spots on the tyres and ultimately a puncture in the front left. This took the front wing off the Porsche at the bottom of the Hangar Straight leaving debris on the circuit but the resulting red flag gave the Porsche crew time to repair the car and get it back out on track.
In AM it was the TF Sport Aston Martin of Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood and Jonny Adam who took pole with excellent laps from both Yoluc and Eastwood. The Team Project 1 #56 Porsche took second place with the Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana taking P3 following quick laps from WEC debutant Ross Gunn and experienced old hand Dalla Lana.
Prototype qualifying didn’t throw up any real surprises with the top spot going to the #7 Toyota with Mike Conway behind the wheel and the #8 car just 0.300 seconds behind it. Despite carrying an extra 28 kilograms in weight, the Toyotas put in solid laps straight away in the early part of qualifying.
Conway did one flying lap to take the top spot although his third lap was deleted for exceeding track limits. However this was enough for the team who felt confident enough that the car didn’t need to return to the track to consolidate its position.
Rebellion Racing took P3 and P4 just half a second back for the #1 car in P3 and 1 second for the #3 car in P4. The #3 car could have gone better but had a big off into Village corner when Pipo Derani was forced to take evasive action to avoid the slowing #42 Cool Racing car.
The Team LNT Ginettas took P5 and P6 just 1.2 and 1.4 seconds back from pole on their debut in the championship. With limited running in Friday’s practise session, especially for the #5 Ginetta which suffered from electrical gremlins all day, the team will be satisfied with the times development drivers Mike Simpson and Charlie Robertson posted.
It’s clear from the results that Toyota won’t have it all their own way in the race and any mistakes or problems could easily hand the race win to one of the privateers.
Racing Team Netherlands take LMP2 pole with a Job van Uitert getting the Dutch crew ahead of the United Autosports car with a lap of 1 minute 40.948. Phil Hanson secured P2 for the #22 United Autosports car with a lap of 1.41.683 seconds with #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing car in P3 just 0.300 seconds back.
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