Changing conditions during the qualifying session for the Silverstone round of the Blancpain Endurance Series produced an exciting battle for pole position. With a last gasp effort in the #23 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN GT-R, Alex Buncombe took the best starting position for this afternoon’s race. Joe Osborne in the #888 Triple Eight Racing BMW was the fastest of the Pro-Am drivers, with Fabien Barthez in the #16 Akka ASP Ferrari taking pole in Am Cup.
With showers going over the Silverstone track, qualifying for the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series was always going to be tricky. For a long time the times set during the dry first part of qualifying looked good enough to determine the grid, but right before the start of Q3, the track started to dry quickly.
Alex Buncombe, who made a first try on used tyres, left it until the final minutes of the session to claim the first pole position for the Nissan GT-R Nismo. Buncombe just beat Norbert Siedler in the #333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari and Laurens Vanthoor in the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8. Next to the Belgian on the second row of the grid will be the #58 Von Ryan Racing McLaren, with Kevin Estre setting its fastest time.
On the third row of the grid is the first of the Pro-Am cars, with Joe Osborne clocking the fastest time of the #888 Triple Eight Racing BMW. Considering that the #63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini is in 6th overall, there are six different cars in the top six.
Qualifying in the Am Cup was a close affair yet again, but the car that has been fastest all weekend is on pole, with Fabien Barthez setting the time in the #16 Akka ASP Ferrari.
Alex Buncombe (#23 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN GT-R) : « To be honest, I did not think that my lap would be good enough. I expected a mid 2’01, but when it became clear that I had set pole, I was of course very happy. This is the home track of the team, so we really want to perform well here. The race will be difficult, considering the high level of the series. But that is exactly how we like it. »
Joe Osborne (#888 Triple Eight Racing BMW) : « I was first out of pitlane in Q3 and was a bit of a guinea pig for the others. I nearly lost it in Stowe, but gradually the track became quicker. It was just a question of judging how tricky the conditions were and push hard where it was possible. »
Fabien Barthez (#16 Akka ASP Ferrari) : « Pole position is nice, but the race is the important bit. We are here to enjoy the race, so our main aim is to bring the car home. »
The three hour Silverstone race starts at 14.45.
Sunday 24 May
09:00 - 10:00 Qualifying
14:45 - 17:45 Main Race
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