So there we have it, our first qualifying session for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship is done!
Toyota Gazoo Racing locked out the front row with a 1-2 for the Japanese outfit. The #7 TS050-Hybrid of Britain’s Mike Conway, Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi and Argentina’s José Maria Lopez was 0.289 seconds ahead of the sister car with an overall time of 1:37.304.
Mike Conway commented in the Drivers Press Conference: “T9, I felt like I was on the limit, but you never quite now from inside the car, you think you’re ok but obviously they (Race Control) can see better with their cameras. It was a shame, I had traffic on that lap as well so I had to go again and the tyres had kind of lost their edge at that point but still enough to go quicker and to keep the pole… it was an amazing lap from Kamui, a good job by team…”
The #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Jani, Lotterer and Tandy finished 3rd, just over a second behind the Toyotas, with Bernhard, Bamber and Hartley almost half a second behind their team mates.
The remaining LMP1 of Bykolles Racing finished 9th overall, separated from the rest of the pack by four LPM2s and a time difference of some 6 seconds.
Pierre Thiriet and Alex Lynn qualified the #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07-Gibson onto LMP2 pole with an overall time of 1:44.387, a mere hair’s breadth from the #36 Signatech Alpine of Lapierre, Menezees and Rao… a gap of just 0.046 denying the French team pole.
The #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK took pole in the first LMGTE Pro qualifying session of 2017. Britain’s Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell, along with Brazil’s Luis Felipe Derani clocked a time of 1.1:56.202, ahead of the #71 AF Corse of Davide Rigon and Sam Bird. The Aston Martin Racing Vantage #95 of Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Richie Stanaway was third.
And finally, but by no means least, rounding up qualifying we have the LMGTE Am class. Dalla Lana, Lamy and Lauda put the #98 Aston on pole, with a 1:59.562, ahead of the #54 Spirit of the Race Ferrari and in third the Dempsey-Proton Racing #77.
In their first LMGTE Am qualifying session, the #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari 488 GTE of Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin finished 4th in class, 26th overall.
Sunday 16th April
12:00 - 18:00 6hrs of Silverstone
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