LMES – Silverstone – Friday Morning Report
Similar, But Faster
this morning, but dry, and rain looks less likely than yesterday.
A low 1.38 from
Robbie Kerr yesterday became a 1:36.705 this morning, in the second
and last free practice session – with the McNish / Kaffer
Audi just 14 thousandths slower, and the other Veloqx car only three-tenths
slower. The Goh car had been fixed and was only another three tenths
slower than that. Johnny Herbert and Allan McNish set the times
in the two purple / silver R8s.
found some real form in the RML Lola, fifth fastest, and less than
two seconds slower than Kerr in the Zytek. The conventional LMP1s
neatly filled out the top ten – in the order Creation, Rollcentre,
Jota, Lister and Nasamax.
was just as happy as yesterday, perhaps more so with ten laps of
the track under his belt this morning. “We’re making
slight adjustments, but it was very good out of the truck. It helps
for me to look at Robbie’s trace, so I’m picking up
time very quickly.” Chris pointed out that Dyson engineer
Peter Weston was on his ‘phone (for some considerable time)
to his “male wife, James”. Can you guess who that could
be? James, you should be here to see all this.
was much happier than yesterday. “We had the wrong tyres yesterday:
they went away very quickly. But we’ve got different tyres
on today, and we’ve made some minor changes, so the car is
much better. We’ve got much more grip.”
It was Pat Pearce
who was eased onto the grass at Woodcote yesterday, not Barbosa.
Pearce got three laps in this morning, and was finding the track
very busy as expected, but he was gaining confidence with every
The Lister was
in a minor spot of trouble – both yesterday and today: plug
leads. A later design of lead was causing a misfire, so a team member
has been despatched to Kent to collect replacements – which
should arrive in time for qualifying this afternoon. The handling
of the car is very good.
The LMP1 we
haven’t mentioned yet is the Lola-Caterpillar – but
Calum Lockie was a very happy chappie: “It’s running
beautifully this morning, and the handling is the best we’ve
had it. I set a 1:51 this morning, but there’s more to come,
maybe a 47 or 48. Overall, hugely improved. This is what we need,
some reliable running.”
LMP2 was hotting
up, with both Courage C65s in the 1:44s, about a second and a half
slower than the Nasamax, which seems to be about right. The K2 Pilbeam
wasn’t sent out to do a time, the team working away on the
set-up. Pullan was suitably pleased with his time yesterday, but
admitted to being “a bit of a pansie through Stowe. There’s
loads of time in me and the car.”
happy – in the form of John Ingram and Rick Pearson. “The
car is excellent,” said the latter. “It’s the
drivers getting up to speed, not the car. We’re picking up
two seconds in each session.”
GTS was Vitaphone
and Larbre, separated by a few tenths – but Thomas Biagi was
within a few tenths in the faster #61 Barron Connor Ferrari. This
one has some aerodynamic updates for this race, although to confuse
matters slightly, the numbers have been swapped over, so this one
is the #62 from earlier this season.
got a revised diffuser and front splitter modifications on the Biagi
car,” explained Mark Koense. “Nothing major –
but we don’t need anything major.” A few moments before
the end of the session, Biagi was faster than the Larbre 550, but
either Bouchut or Lamy put in a quick one at the end.
a grassy off yesterday in the unmodified #62, which Andrea Piccini
sampled this morning for the first time. He’s here because
Mike Hezemans is recovering from the ‘flu: the team hasn’t
yet made a decision as to whether Piccini will actually race #62.
Hezemans looks under par, but was out this morning, but found that
“the brakes weren’t too good.” He’ll be
racing at Zolder next week, and describes the 24 hours there as
“the toughest 24 hour race – there’s no rest for
the driver at all.”
cost 5 Euros to spectate there – and the crowd is huge. A
lesson there perhaps?
was happy with progress with the A-Level Porsche – until he
saw the speed trap figures. “We’re 8mph down on top
speed. We badly need larger restrictors. But step by step the car
is getting better. I think we could get into the 1:51s on new rubber.”
A 1:52.9 was his best this morning, in a quick few laps at the end
of the session, Eric van de Poele having been at the wheel for most
of the 45 minutes.
had his first try in the GNM Saleen – getting in with six
minutes of the session left. “It’s OK, I had plenty
of time in the car at the Nurburgring.”
GT was Cirtek,
JMB, JWR, then Pompidou in the repaired Sebah 911, then the purple
TVR – 1.7 seconds quicker than yesterday, but the Cirtek RSR
was 1.9 seconds quicker than the Freisinger GT fastest yesterday.
vacated the JWR RSR five minutes before the end of the session,
Johnny Mowlem heading out on fresh rubber. “We’re sixth
quickest now, but we’ll be third in a few moments….”
And do you know, Jordan was absolutely spot on, Mowlem setting a
1:54.490 on his only flying lap. Sadly for JWR, the Maassen / Jones
Porsche was quickest in GT by 1.1 seconds.
Next up are
the two qualifying sessions - at 13.05 and 17.45.