The Pro-Am Pro GT by Almeras Porsche of Franck Perera and Eric Dermont will start the Silverstone race of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series from pole position. On a drying track Perera was just over a tenth quicker than Alvaro Parente in the quickest Pro Cup car, the #98 ART Grand Prix McLaren. Francisco Guedes repeated his Monza performance and will start from pole in the Gentlemen Trophy in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari.
For the first time this weekend the teams of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series were greeted by sunshine when they arrived at the Silverstone circuit this morning. The track was still damp however, which meant that times improved considerably during the three qualifying sessions.
In Q2, four drivers managed to get into the 2’01 bracket, with Kevin Estre in the #99 ART Grand Prix McLaren quickest in 2’01.653. A time that proved hard to beat in the final qualifying session, but Franck Perera in the #93 Pro GT by Almeras Porsche was able to complete a faultless and largely traffic free lap in 2’00.912. Estre’s team-mate on the other ART Grand Prix McLaren, Alvaro Parente, came close to Perera’s time, but eventually had to settle for second. The Portuguese driver conquered top spot in the Pro Cup, however. In the final stages of Q3 – the session was cut short when the #41 Sport Garage Ferrari went into the barriers some two minutes before the scheduled end of Q3 – Alex Buncombe in the #80 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan almost equalled Parente’s time, but Buncombe was one thousandth of a second slower than the McLaren driver. His Nissan will share the second row of the grid with the #7 M-Sport Bentley, with Steven Kane lapping in 2’01.214.
The second three hour race of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series will start at 14.55 (UK time) this afternoon.
Franck Perera (#93 Pro GT by Almeras Porsche, pole and 1st Pro-Am): “This is the result of months of hard work by the team. I know the car well by now and I love driving on this kind of track. Since my team-mate Eric is improving all the time and the car is much better this weekend, so we should be able to get a good result in the race this afternoon.”
Alvaro Parente (#98 ART Grand Prix McLaren, 1st Pro Cup): “Here in Silverstone, you get one lap to get the most out of a set of new tyres. I had a decent lap, but I had to overtake another car in the final corner. Still, we are quite happy with this front row starting position. For the race, I think we will try to follow the same strategy that lead us to the win in Monza.”
Francisco Guedes (#51 AF Corse Ferrari, 1st Gentlemen Trophy): “I am happy with this result, since I only drove a couple of laps yesterday evening to prepare the new brakes on the car. I did not have any reference with slick tyres before I started my qualifying run, so I am pretty satisfied with this result.”