Surprises in the FIA WEC qualifying

The FIA World Endurance Championship qualifying at Silverstone was two times twenty minutes with full action from start to finish.

The first 20 minutes started with the 19 GTE cars.

Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK was the first to set a time in GTE Pro, but they were quickly split by Aston Martin Racing #97 and AF Corse Ferrari #71.

Several laptimes of some cars got deleted due to track limit violations.

Dempsey-Proton Racing #77 and #88 were the top two cars in the GTE Am class.

Team Project 1 Porsche #56
Photo: JJ Media

Nicki Thiim’s first laptime in AMR #95 was deleted, but he got an alright time afterwards, that Marco Sørensen could continue with.

The qualifying in FIA WEC was decided by an average between the two drivers in the car, so it’s important that both are quick.

The second drivers in Ford #66 and AMR #97 could match their teammates, while Sørensen in AMR #95 drove to P3. There were still a few minutes left so changes could still happen.

But it was Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #66 with Stefan Mücke and Oliver Pla that took Pole Position, ahead of Aston Martin Racing #97 and #95. Ford completed the top four with #67, while Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre in Porsche #92 were in P5. AF Corse #71 was the best Ferrari in front of the two BMW Team MTEK cars.

Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK #66
Photo: JJ Media

In GTE Am it was Team Project 1 Porsche #56 that was the fastest car, with Jörg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti behind the wheel. It’s their first Pole Position in FIA WEC, but they were on the track less than a month ago for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race. The two cars are very different, but the experience has surely helped Perfetti to drive the fastest time in today’s qualifying. Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77 was the second fastest ahead of TF Sport Aston Martin #90. They were followed by AMR#98 and Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77. Spirit of Race #54 was the best Ferrari on P6.

And then it was time for the LMP cars to do their qualifying.

It wasn’t a surprise that Toyota Gazoo Racing set the fastest times with Mike Conway and Fernando Alonso as the first drivers in #7 and #8 respectively.

Pastor Maldonado in DragonSpeed #31 had a tour on the gravel, so he had to pit and get the car checked.

SMP Racing #17 and #11 were the next two cars on LMP1 standing. Jackie Chan DC Racing #37 and #38 were the two quickest cars in LMP2, but they still should have their second drivers to set a time.

The problems continued for #31 when Maldonado kept driving over the track’s white lines and his laptimes kept being deleted.

DragonSpeed #10 and Larbre Competition #50 had a contact in the Becketts corner, when the latter drove and scrambled around the racing line, while Renger van der Zande came flying from behind. Luckily, there wasn’t any damage on either car.

Toyota Gazoo Racing #7
Photo: JJ Media

There was a red flag with five minutes left, when Frits van Eerd in Racing Team Nederland #29 spun and ended up with their rear wheels on the gravel. Marshals had to tow them free.

It didn’t take a long time to pulled him off the gravel, but it caused a disruption for five other cars out of the 15 that hadn’t set a time with their second driver yet.

Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 with Jose Maria Lopez, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi secured Pole Position, ahead of their sister car #8. But there were still some battles for the remaining positions.

The majority of the LMP2 field stayed in the pits, with only DragonSpeed #31 and Larbre Competition #50 came out on the track again when the green flag was given.

Jackie Chan DC Racing #37
Photo: JJ Media

SMP Racing #11 ended up taking P3, in front of SMP Racing #17, Rebellion Racing #3 and #1, while DragonSpeed #10 and ByKolles Racing Team #4 completed the LMP1 class.

Jackie Chan DC Racing #37 with Nabil Jeffri, Jazeman Jafar and Weiron Tan claimed Pole Position in LMP2, ahead of their teammates in #38. Signatech Alpine Matmut #36 was in P3, followed by TDS Racing #28, Racing Team Nederland #29, DragonSpeed #31 and Larbre Competition #50.

The race will start tomorrow at 13.00 CET.

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