Saturday 11 April 2015

Qualifying for Round One of the World Endurance Championship 2015

Final free practice was rather soggy
The day started badly with heavy rain, wind and a very wet track. It didn't look good for a clean qualifying session . However the English climate was always unpredictable and by the the time WEC qualifying began the circuit was dry so it would be a straight fight for the prestige of getting pole. The grid position is established by taking the average speed of the
two nominated drivers.

As Mark Webber had said earlier they knew they had plenty of single lap pace and they certainly proved it. At the end of the session we had  a front row lock out by Porsche with #17 Bernhard/Webber/Hartley on pole with #18 Porsche Dumas/Jani/Lieb beside them. This was a pretty remarkable pole time by the #17 car. Last year's pole was 1:42.7 secs and this year was a mind boggling 1:39.72 secs. Maximum speed 302.5kms (187.96 mph)

Audi hadn't shone on sheer pace yet this weekend and they were 3rd with #8 car and 5th with #5. We doubt the team are unduly concerned since most people reckoned that the Porsches would be quick.

Toyota might be just a little concerned lying 4th and 6th but to use a well worn cliche six hours is a long race !

The #4 LMP1 Team ByKolles CLM P1/01 was lying 11th and in amongst the LMP2 cars. It is early days and they will hopefully do better in the race.

LM P2 saw #28 G-Drive Ligier JS P2 Nissan on pole just ahead of their team mates in the #26. 3rd on the grid will be #47 KCMG Oreca 05 Nissan.

Aston Martin will be delighted with a clean sweep in LMGTE Pro with the first three cars. #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 driven by  Nygaard/Soresen was on pole with the #99 car driven by MacDowell/Rees/Stanaway beside them. 3rd was #97 Turner/Mucke. Normally we might have expected the Turner/Mucke car to have been quickest.

Aston Martin Racing will be equally happy to have taken pole in LMGTE Am with the #98 car driven by Lana/Lamy/Lauda. Finally somebody else got a look in with the #50 Labre Competition Corvette C7 driven by Roda/Roberti/Poulsen