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Friday practice saw everyone getting in plenty of running, but for two teams it generated a huge amount of work.  Preparations were interrupted twice by red flags once for a large off at the exit of Copse for Bruno Senna in the #1 Rebellion R13 Gibson. Unfortunately Bruno suffered a broken ankle in the incident, rattling around in the cockpit, and we wish him a speedy recovery. Subsequent to that stoppage a further red flag was for the expiration of the #4 ByKolles ENSO CLM which consumed yet another Nismo powerplant. The car ran on Saturday morning for 18laps and is back in business for qualifying later today.

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Considering the data from yesterday’s sessions and as ever attempting to decipher race pace and real gaps, it appears that the Toyota Hybrid TS050s are capable of running 1:39s if pushed. The best of the rest although on single laps looking to be SMP Racing, utilising the algorithm developed with @thebpillar has the Rebellion R13 – Gibsons capable of low 1:41s with the SMP BR1 – AERs closer to 42s pace which will add up as the race progresses. 

Credit: Matt Griffin @thebpillar
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Looking to LMP2 all the usual candidates are to the fore. TDS Racing #28 is marginally quicker with a 1:46.360 just 5-hundreds quicker than the #38 (still Mighty!) Jackie Chan DC (JC-DC) Racing. This is a vital race for JC-DC Racing they very much need to bounce back from their poor luck at Le Mans in June, to make up ground on the (provisional Le Mans winners) #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut who are third in the race pace averages a tiny fraction behind. 

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In GT ranks the -Pro balance appears to favour the Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK GTs with both on race averages looking to be at least 8-tenths to the good of the rest of the field. With teams dropping to a two driver line-up again the Brit-Pack Ford of Priaulx – Tincknell #67 needs your support, cheers and luck to recover from its season to-date and get into the championship battle.

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Having caught some further Balance of Performance (BoP) breaks the new ‘limelight’ Aston Martin Vantages appear to have found some pace, both posting decent averages in the top-five. They are separated by the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Pier Guidi – Calado 

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Porsche continue to be a mystery, a good friend commented at how unstable all the RSRs look, with very happy (loose) rear-ends will to trade places with the rest of the car!  We suspect that they are all chasing straight-line pace, remember they can’t just boost the car up, and hence still a relatively low downforce on the rippled surface that Silverstone appears to be providing this year.. BMW Team MTEK still appear to be in a development year, running reliably but without the pace to compete at present. The best that can be suggested is they will be there at the end, and perhaps they are looking for huge breaks for next years Le Mans season finale! 

Credit: Matt Griffin @thebpillar

GTE -AM category is led by the customer RSRs (88 & 77) of Dempsey – Proton Racing pursued for a final time by the beautiful outgoing Aston Martin Vantages of TF Sport and of what we lovingly call PDL – Aston Martin Racing. The curious lack of performance from the Ferrari 488 GTE conclave of customers is simply just odd and quite inexplicable. 

Image Credit: Nick Holland for SportscarGlobal