Saturday 11 April 2015

Gibson-Nissan dominates Friday free practice sessions.

Under the sunny Silverstone sky (no... really), both Gibson-Nissan LMP2s dominated the ELMS free practice sessions on Friday.

Harry Tincknell put his Jota Sport on top of the timing screens, a second faster than John Lancaster of Greaves Motorsport.  The AF Corse Oreca's came in third and fourth, with the Murphy prototype being the best of the rest.  The new LMP3 cars were struggling for grip and pace, putting themselves at the back of the pack with the University of Bolton #7 car being the fastest.  Technical problems kept the SVK car in the garage during the first session of the day. AF Corse came out on top in the GTE class, with the #81 and #52 Ferrari's beating the Marc VDS BMW of Andy Priaulx.  The GTC BMW run by TDS racing put himself in between the GTE cars (only two tenths slower than the GTE Z4) holding off the #63 and #62 AF Corse Ferraris. The session was briefly interrupted when the #45 Ibanez racing stopped on track, causing a full course yellow at the end of the session. 

The second practice session was briefly interrupted with a red flag when the AF Corse Ferrari of Peter Mann made a visit to the gravel trap.  Later in the session, the Marc VDS BMW had a clash with the Proton Porsche in the chicane at Club, the latter not being able to make it to the pits again.  Thiriet by TDS also had their part of the problems with the Oreca 05 that had to be towed away.  At the end of the session, both Gibson-Nissans switched places when John Lancaster recorded the fastest lap, almost 0.6 seconds faster than Felipe Albuquerque in the Jota LMP2, outpacing the Murpy Prototype that came in third. 

All LMP3 cars came out this session with both Team LNT cars on top, lapping in the high 2.01's, a huge improvement compared to the morning session.  The #56 AT Racing Ferrari was fastest in GTE, before the #88 Proton Porsche and the Marc VDS BMW, all within half a second.  In GTC it was AF Corse topping the timesheets this time with the #63 and #62, in front of Thiriet's BMW.  The #68 Aston Martin made it to fourth, the difference between those 4 cars a mere 0,4 seconds.

Qualifying might be interesting on Saturday morning … 

Kristof Vermeulen.