Saturday 16 April 2016

ELMS 4 Hours of Silverstone, practice and qualifying sessions

Practice sessions

Wet conditions at the start of the first practice session on Friday morning, giving us a quite eventful session with 2 red flags and a few full course yellows. The #40 Krohn Ligier had 2 big offs during practice, one at the start and one at the end of the session, having the car towed out twice under FCY. The first red flag was caused by the Murphy Prototypes LMP2, the second on by the Eurasia Oreca when Gommendy went into the tyrewall.

At the end of the session, the #46 Thiriet by TDS Oreca set the fastest time, ahead of the #41 Greaves Oreca and #32 SMP Racing BR01. In LMP3 Duquiene Engineering put their 1#19 Ligier on top of the leaderboard, half a second quicker than the #2 United Autosports and the #10 Graff. The fastest GTE was the #99 Aston Martin, holding off the #77 Proton Competition Porsche and the #96 Aston Martin.

The second session in the afternoon was run under on a further drying track, with laptimes dropping significantly in the second half of the session. A quick red flag though when the #23 Panis-Barthez Ligier lost a wheel underway. Again, a few full course yellow with several cars having an off, but never with significant damage. In the drying conditions, the #21 Dragonspeed set the second fastest time, behind the #46 Thiriet Oreca who was quickest again. Leo Roussel managed the third fastest time in the #29 Pegasus.

Duquiene Engineering was on top again in LMP3, Dino Lunardi setting the fastest time ahead of both Graff Ligiers, wth the #9 ahead of the #10. AT Racing set the benchmark in GTE with their #56 Ferrari, only 0.1 second ahead off the #66 JMW Ferrari and the #96 Aston Martin.

ELMS Qualifying

The snow disappeared just in time for ELMS qualifying, with the cars going on a very wet and tricky Silverstone for their first qualifying session of the 2016 season. A newly faced qualifying this year with each class having their own dedicated 10 minute session.

While Thiriet and Greaves were out right away to put in their first laptimes, Damian Faulkner parked his #48 Murphy Oreca 03 in the gravel trap at Luffield, causing a red flag after 3,5 minutes into the session. Right before the checkered flag another car parked itself into the gravel, now the #25 Algarve Pro Racing with Parth Ghorpade at the wheel.

Matthieu Beche, who has been outright fastest the whole weekend so far, took pole in the #46 Thiriet by TDS Oreca 05, 1.1 seconds faster than second placed SMP Racing #32 of Stefano Coletti. Third place is for Leo Roussel, 0.05 seconds behind the BR01. Harry Tincknell put the G-Drive Gibson on fourth, Nicolas Lapierre completing the top 5 for Dragonspeed.

Rob Kaiser put the #6 360 Racing Ligier JSP3 on pole for this afternoons race in the LMP3 class. Ultimately he was 0.05 seconds ahead of the #19 Duquine Engineering Ligier of Dino Lunardi who dominated both practice sessions on Friday. Third spot was for the #9 Graff racing, holding off Alex Brundle in the #2 United Autosport with just 0.004 seconds.

In GTE Richie Stanaway took pole position in the #96 Aston Martin, almost a second ahead of the #88 Proton Porsche of Richard Lietz and the #66 Ferrari of Andrea Bertolini.

The race will run this afternoon at 14.30h local time, and will be streamed live on the ELMS website.