The first round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship is also the first race for CEFC Manor TRS RACING; this year’s two car entry racing with numbers 24 and 25. Jean-Eric Vergne, Jonathan Hirschi and Tor Graves are driving #24 with Vitaly Petrov, Simon Trummer and Roberto Gonzalez in #25.
Silverstone in April is rarely warm and although the sun was shining, there was still a cold wind blowing across the circuit throughout the morning, helping to dry the track which had been damp at the start of Free Practice 3.
Jean-Eric and Vitaly were out first before handing over to Tor and Roberto halfway through the session. Unfortunately, both drivers in #24 had times disallowed due to track limits. At the end of the session #25 was classified sixth and #24 eighth.
Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director
“We would have preferred to have a better first qualifying session of the year but considering the timescales we’ve had to work with in order to get the cars prepared, I think we are in good shape. We have some work to do overnight but we will be pushing to move forward up the field during the race.”
Jean-Eric Vergne, Driver Car 24 “I think for my first ever qualifying in an LMP2 car I can be very happy. I was very happy with my fastest lap but unfortunately it was deleted. My second lap was not quite so quick but that’s ok. The team has done a great job, we made a huge step forward today and although we need to do some work to catch up with the teams that were quicker, we are looking good and we will be there sooner rather than later.”
Tor Graves, Driver Car 24 “We are not really happy with Qualifying considering we should have been faster. But we have been concentrating mainly on race pace. Although we have work to do I think we can have a good race tomorrow.”
Vitaly Petrov, Driver Car 25 “I think we must be pleased today. We lost a lot of time in FP1 and FP2 which is understandable as the car is basically completely new. Finding a setup was difficult at the beginning but the team has done a great job. We have a great car and I think we can be competitive. Roberto has very little mileage with this car and has never driven at this track so I think he did a good job. It is a long race and anything can happen.”
Roberto Gonzalez, Driver Car 25 “It was a difficult day today, it’s been a tough weekend so far. We were not able to run this chassis at the Prologue at Monza and so we have had to work through issues in FP1 and FP2 instead and that has meant we are running behind in finding a setup. We tried to catch up this morning and made changes for Qualifying. Vitaly had a great lap but I struggled with the rear end of the car and I didn’t feel I was able to set my best lap. We will be working on the car for the race and I think if we stay out of trouble we will be able to improve quite a bit.”
Car 24 - P6: 1:46.102
Car 25 – P8: 1:46.494