Ford and Toyota Maintain Dominance with Pole Positions in GTE Pro and LMP1
Another pole position for Toyota as Conway and Lopez edge out Alonso and Nakajima. Ford claim pole in GTE Pro, while Jackie Chan DC Racing and Team Project 1 take top spots in LMP2 and GTE Am.
Add another front-row lockout for Toyota to the tally - the Japanese team took pole and second position in this afternoon's qualifying session. Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 had about half a second over Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima in the sister car. Following a red flag, Toyota elected to leave the cars in the pitlane for the final five minutes of qualifying, knowing they'd done enough to secure the front row.
The first car lining up behind the Toyotas is the #11 SMP Racing of Jenson Button, Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin. The Russain team look set to defeat rivals Rebellion Racing this weekend as both BR1s out-qualified the Rebellion R13s. Finishing up the LMP1 grid are the #10 Dragonspeed in seventh position and the #4 ByKolles behind it in eighth.
There's a front-row lockout in the LMP2 grid too as Jackie Chan DC Racing secure the top two positions in their class. It's also the first time that the Fortune Cat 37 has out-qualified the Mighty 38. Jazeman Jaafar and Nabil Jeffri put together an average of 1:44.896, less than two tenths clear of their teammates. Behind them in third, sit the championship leaders - the #36 Signatech Alpine of Andre Negrao, Nicolas Lapierre and Pierre Thiriet.
Pastor Maldonado was having a torrid time in the #31 Dragonspeed. Two on-track incidents and two laps deleted for abusing track limits meant it was a long while before he got a time on the board, leaving relatively little time for Roberto Gonzalez to set his lap times. With five mins to go the #29 Racing Team Nederland Dallara in the hands of Frits van Eerd spun into the gravel, bringing out a red flag. Only the #31 Dragonspeed and the #50 Larbre Competition rejoined, in an attempt to improve their grid positions - unfortunately, neither managed to do so.
There's been a Ford at the top of every session so far this weekend. Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla worked together over nine laps to put together an average lap time of 1:55.727 - good enough to put the #66 Ford on pole, but only a tenth or so clear of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin in the #97 Aston Martin behind them. Aston Martin appear to be reaping the benefits of the updated BoP, with both cars qualifying well - their best of the season so far. Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx managed to place the #67 Ford in fourth ahead of the championship-leading #92 Porsche. The two Ferraris qualified sixth and ninth, the two BMWs seventh and eighth, while the second Porsche finishes off the GTE Pro grid.
It's a first in GTE Am as Team Project 1 took their maiden pole position in the World Endurance Championship. An average lap time of 1:50.001 from Jorg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti set the team up brilliantly and places them ahead of the #77 Dempsey Proton Competition Porsche and the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin.
The FIA WEC 6 Hours of Silverstone kicks off at 12.00 tomorrow (Sunday 19th August.)
This article was originally published on Overtake Motorsport.
Shared with permission from the author.
Cover Image: FIA WEC/JEP