The Silverstone race weekend began according to plan for Toyota Gazoo Racing. The Le Mans champions were quickly on the pace, setting the fastest times in free practice. In qualifying, the Japanese manufacturer continued its impressive form and secured pole position for Sunday’s race. In GTE Pro, it was Ford who took the pole, finishing marginally ahead of local heroes Aston Martin Racing.
MIke Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López set the fastest average lap time in Saturday’s qualifying – a 1:36.895. Starting second on the grid tomorrow will be the championship-leading #8 Toyota TS050 (Buemi/Nakajima/Alonso), whose fastest average lap time was around 0.411 seconds behind the sister car.
The gap to the LMP1 privateer teams is somewhat larger. Rebellion Racing had some issues in free practice, after Bruno Senna crashed the #1 car and suffered a broken ankle, and qualifying didn’t get much better. SMP Racing took the honours as the highest-placed privateer car, with former Formula 1 driver Jenson Button securing third position on the grid with the help of teammates Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov with a fastest average lap time of 1:38.932. Fourth position on the grid went to the #17 SMP Racing machine ahead of the pair of Rebellions.
Silverstone pole for Ford in GTE Pro
Aston Martin and Ford delivered a tense battle for pole position in the GTE Pro category. Stefan Mücke and Olivier Pla finished just 0.078 seconds ahead of the #97 Aston Martin Racing crew in the latter’s home race. The sister Aston Martin finished third in qualifying, with the session showing how close the GTE Pro field is: The remaining cars in the class all qualified within one second of each other.
The battle in GTE Am looks to be just as tight, again with all cars qualifying more or less within a minute of one another. The quickest in the class was the Project 1 Porsche with a fastest average lap time of 1:59.001, closely followed by the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche. In LMP2, Jackie Chan DC Racing locked out the front row with championship contenders Signatech Alpine Matmut back in third position
For more information on the Silverstone circuit and the start times for tomorrow’s race, simply click here.
Images © WEC-Magazin / Walter Schruff / Ton Kerdijk