LMES – Silverstone – Friday Second Qualifying Report
Few Improvements

Allan McNish found just over a fifth of a second in the #8 Audi Sport UK / Team Veloqx Audi R8, and moved up to third on the grid – but was still suffering from a shortage of grip. And that was the only significant improvement in the front half of the grid, although the Vitaphone Saleen did marginally improve to consolidate second in GTS.

Jamie Davies had quite a moment down at Stowe in the #88 Audi, having to avoid a suddenly slowing / changing direction Freisinger Porsche (Ortelli), and taking to the rough stuff, which apparently broke a rear pushrod. Oddly, Pierre Kaffer in #8 had an incident with the same car, but at Abbey, his gesture suggesting that Ortelli (or Collard this time?) had turned in on him.

The biggest improvement was by Stephane Daoudi, who as predicted, found half a second in the JMB Ferrari 360, to close the gap to the Cirtek Porsche to seven-tenths: at least that is a respectable margin… unlike Kerr’s seventeen tenths.

All right, the biggest improvement was by the Chamberlain-Synergy TVR. Warren Hughes was first out in the repaired T-400R, 15 minutes into the session, but Jonny Kane set the 1:56.935, 21 and a half minutes quicker than the morning time. Hugh Chamberlain reported a reluctance to “shag the tyres”, the team having lost one set this morning, in the Becketts drama. We’ll have to wait until the race to see the purple TVR’s real pace.

Cirtek’s pole-in-GT Porsche (changing the sixth gear ratio – the team reluctant to do it this evening as they’ve had a very hard week already) didn’t set a time late this afternoon, nor did the #35 G Force Pilbeam, the #28 Tampolli or the (withdrawn) A-Level Porsche.

Vladimir Raikhlin and Wolfgang Kaufmann were loitering as we left the circuit - and sadly confirmed that the #50 Porsche has been withdrawn, the team owner unwilling to contest the event with a car that is so down on straight line speed (GTS figures in italics, below). Raikhlin is hoping to persuade the ACO to allow the team to fit larger restrictors for Spa. If they don't, the team will not enter the car.

JW Racing will be without its (Nurburgring) team manager, David Warnock reluctant to leave his family in Florida with a hurricane approaching. We wish all residents of the south-eastern corner of the USA a safe Friday and Saturday - and Mike Jordan and Johnny Mowlem a successful Saturday.

Let’s round up today’s coverage (text at least – gallery images to come) with some speed trap figures. They make interesting reading in their own right (figures from first qualifying, along the Hangar Straight, but presumably not at the end).

#14 Nasamax 175.2 mph
#6 Dallara 170.3
#22 Zytek 169.4
#88 Audi 169.0
#69 Zytek 168.6
#3 DBA 166.9
#8 Audi 166.5
#20 Lister 165.2
#5 Audi 165.2
#13 Courage 165.2
#7 Lola 164.4
#28 Tampolli 160.5
#26 Courage 160.5
#34 Pilbeam 157.5
#62 Ferrari 575 156.7
#61 Ferrari 575 156.7

#59 Saleen 156.4
#35 Pilbeam 156.4
#52 Saleen 156.0
#10 Lola Caterpillar 154.6
#36 WR 154.6
#86 Ferrari 550 154.6
#99 Pilbeam 152.1
#27 Lola 151.8
#31 Lucchini 151.1
#50 Porsche turbo 150.1
#85 Porsche 149.7
#80 Porsche 149.4
#91 TVR 149.1
#81 Porsche 149.1
#71 Porsche 148.7
#93 Porsche 148.4
#77 Porsche 148.4
#84 Porsche 148.1
#90 Porsche 148.1
#92 Ferrari 360 147.1
#70 Ferrari 146.8
#89 TVR 143.0 (out lap).

The Nasamax is the fastest LMP1 (as it was at Monza and Le Mans): now imagine the fastest R8 when fitted with 5% smaller restrictors for 2005…

Notice that the two fastest cars over a whole lap are far from the quickest in a straight line (Cirtek Porsche and JMB Ferrari). Now imagine what the Cirtek Porsche will be able to achieve with a development engine, as planned for Spa.


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