LMES - Silverstone 1000 Kms - Qualifying Report
What Does Today Hold In Store?
Minassian, Erdos, Bouchut & Kirkaldy
Faster Than Kerr, Ian?
The two cars
that 'didn't' qualify last night are OK - the A:Level Porsche and
Kruse Courage. The LMP2 was in clutch master cylinder trouble, but
Kai kruse iss confident that the team will be allowed to race into
the night tonight. Wolfgang Kaufmann did one lap last night, but
that will be enough for him to race in darkness.
The #56 Viper though was in trouble, after an accident
in night practice it requires a part for the suspension that is
currently not in the immediate vicinity of the circuit.
forecast? Torrential rain at lunchtime....
- Prototype Qualifying
It was dry and fairly bright as the LMPs ventured out
An early spin
for Jonathan Cochet in the No 13 Courage caught out Bob Berridge
too, both rejoining undamaged.
First of the
LMP1s to show real pace was Sam Hignett in the Team Jota Zytek,
a 1:37.422 though was just a taster for the real battle for pole
Cochet was next
up with a 1.38.4 but then the pace was upped dramatically by Nicolas
Minassian in the Creation DBA - with a storming triple lap stint,
the first of which demolished the previous mark (a 1:35.9) only
to be challenged by Hayanari Shimoda with a 1:36.3. But the little
Frenchman was not to be denied, a 1:35.2 was reeled off next before
the DBA hammer finally drove the nail into the competition with
a storming 1:34.562.
two the battle for the second row was being fought between McNish
and Collard, the Audi and Pescarolo exchanging fastest laps before
the French car prevailed, just 48 thousanths behind the #15 Zytek
as the LMP session drew to a close..
Both of the
Rollcentre Dallaras meanwhile had broken the 1:40 barrier - but
both lay behind the RML MG Lola, Thomas Erdos bettering his predicted
1:39.5 potential by a substantial margin, a 1:38.722 good enough
for 7th overall at the halfway mark and a second quicker than the
still very quick #41 Binnie Motorsport Lola, Sam Hancock.
Next up in LMP2
was the Kruse Courage with the Noel Del Bello Courage rounding out
the top 12 as a result of Christophe Tinseau's efforts. The quick-fire
20 minute sessions work wonderfully!
Erdos: "I did two flying laps, a 1:38.8 then 38.7.
One was maybe held up a tiny little bit by traffic, but only half
a tenth. Then at the end of the second lap, Bob Berridge saw me
coming and got out of the way, like a perfect gentleman."
Newtion: "That's it we're on pole. First part of the
Miller (Creation PR angel): "I didn't hoop and holler
(when Nic set pole) but I did the movements." Very special
they were too, apparently. What a mover.
"I'm just glad to get a good night's sleep."
"It was a hell of a lap to be honest. Since last year we have
improved the car a lot, and we have found the prfect set-up. We
knew what we needed for qualifying, and the car was blindingly fast.
I was pushing really hard - but still with that little margin you
need - because it's an endurance race and you can't risk the car."
Bickerton: "That's quicker than Kerr's time last year,
with 70 kg more and smaller restrictors."
Er... no it
isn't Ian. Robbie Kerr set a 1:34.033. But with the handicaps, this
is a remarkable time, last year's Creation qualifying time being
The BMS Ferraris
were both quickly up to speed and under 1:50, but the bar was about
to be raised substantially by the Aston Martin, a 1:46.217 well
over a second better than the leading Ferraris. Peter Kox took up
the chase in the MenX 550, only to be shaded by Christophe Bouchut
in the #61 Convers Team 550 - a GT1 1,2 for Rob Schirle's team at
the halfway point in the session. It would stay like that with the
next improvement, but it would be the Ferrari to the fore, Bouchut
posting a 1:46.054, Prodrive Classic beats New Prodrive, thus far
In GT2 it was
Andrew Kirkaldy, looking for a double pole position this weekend
(with the British GT session to follow the LMES qualifying), a 1:51.713
half a second ahead of the second 360, Babini pushing hard in the
Third up was
the #82 Team LNT TVR, Marc Hynes at the wheel with Marc Lieb in
the 'oldie but goodie' Sebah Porsche sandwiched between the LNT
boys, the #81 T400R half a second shy of the 2004 class winning
car. The TVR would narrow the gap by the end of the session but
would remain sixth in class.
was looking to uphold Porsche pride: he put the Autorlando, Porche
development 911RSR up to second in class, still half a second down
on the Scottish Ferrari but a hundredth up on the GPC 360.
Kirkaldy: "Our frst pole - that was good. We did our
set-up yesterday morning, although the track is a little different
now and we've got a bt of oversteer. We wanted to see what Rockenfeller
would do, and I think he did his time on his first lap. I did mine
on my third, but the second and third were quite similar."
Rockenfeller: "I set it on my second lap - on my first,
a TVR came out of the pits right in front of me. Our set-up is not
perfect, I had a lot of understeer. The Ferrari times was very impressive
- but they were testing here earlier this week. I'm a little worried
that our set-up will get worse during the race - more understeer."
is looking forward to the next ALMS race, in the BAM! Porsche, with
Wolf Henzler (at Road America). So are we.
In the meantime,
we have the pospect of a fabulous 1000 km race ahead - but what
is that weather going to do? The clouds are getting lower, and moving
Next up from
us will be reports throughout the race, which starts at 16.00 BST.