Image credit: Kelvin Pope for SportsCarGlobal.
With the snow clearing and the track slowly becoming usable again, the 44 cars entered into the season opener 4 Hours of Silverstone took to the track to set their qualifying times.
As the cars entered the track the wet and slippery conditions offered the drivers no real chance to set any lap records or show the true speed of any of their machines.
The session was briefly red flagged while the marshals recovered the #48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03R when Damien Faulkner overshot the corner and, although managing to avert any serious damage, became bogged down against the wall in the gravel trap.
The fastest time was set by Mathias Beche in the Thirlet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 LMP2 clocking in with a 2:06.471 giving a fastest speed of 168 kph. Stefano Coletti in the #32 SMP Racing BR01 takes second on the grid with a 2:07.576 and Pegasus Racing’s Léo Roussel taking third wit a 2:07.624.
In the LMP3 class pole honours went to Ross Kaiser in the #6 360 Racing Ligier JS P3 with a best lap of 2:13.264. Second sport fell to Duqueine Engineering’s Dino Lunardi setting a 2:13.315 and rounding out the top thee we saw the #9 Graff Racing Ligier piloted by Enzo Guibbert clock in 6/100ths of a second slower at 2:13.914.
New Zealander Richie Stanaway, on loan to the newly added #96 Aston Martin Racing Vantage, set the pace in the GTE class taking the top step with a blistering 2:19.348, 0.8s faster than second place qualifier Richard Leitz in the #88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR (2:20.286). It is important to note here that no sooner had the Kiwi finished in ELMS he was rushed from the ELMS pitlane to the WEC pitlane where he transferred to the WEC GTE Pro spec Vantage to run the qualifying times for tomorrow’s WEC Season Opener! Back to ELMS and third spot in the GTE qualifying session went to Andrea Bertolini in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia setting a respectable 2:20.378 lap time.
Despite many spins the session ended without any harm for any car. The race starts at 2.30 pm local time, let’s hope in better conditions!