Vita4OneTeam BMW and ART GP McLaren take Qualifying honours at Silverstone Blancpain Endurance

Qualifying Results

Top Three PRO CUP

1  G Franchi (BEL)/A Carroll (GBR)/F Kechele (DEU)     2:00.331  

   66, Vita4One Racing Team (DEU) BMW Z4            

2  M Palttala (FIN)/B Leinders (BEL)/M Martin (BEL)    2:00.617   +0.286

   3, Marc VDS Racing Team (BEL) BMW Z4

3  M Bell (GBR)/D Brabham (GBR)/ A Parente (POR)       2:00.855   +0.524

   22, United Autosports (USA) McLaren MP4-12C

Top Three PRO-AM CUP

1  G Demoustier(FRA)/D Tappy (GBR)                     2:00.564  

   12, ART Grand Prix (FRA) McLaren MP4-12C            

2  M Wainwright (GBR)/R Bell (GBR)                     2:00.693   +0.129

   9, Gulf Racing UK (GBR) McLaren MP4-12C

3  J Demay (FRA)/M Sourd (FRA)/G Guilvert (FRA)        2:00.833   +0.269

   40, Sainteloc Racing (FRA) Audi R8 LMS Ultra

Top Three Gentleman Trophy

1  L Paillard (FRA)/G Lesoudier (FRA)/G Vannelet (FRA) 2:04.435    

   82, GCR Racing/Guy Clairay (FRA), Dodge Viper            

2  M Bender (SWE)/J Brunstedt (SWE)/J Mangs (SWE)      2:04.614   +0.179

   98, JB Motorpsort (SWE) Audi R8 LMS

3  R Hissom (GBR)/P Hirschi (CHE)                      2:06.182   +1.747

   41, Sainteloc Racing (FRA) Audi R8 LMS

Frank Kechele (DEU) in the Vita4One Racing PRO CUP class BMW Z4 No.66 took pole position for tomorrow’s race at Silverstone, the second round of the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series.

Kechele set a time of 2:00.331 in a much-improved performance for the Vita4One Racing Team BMW from the opening round at Monza.

Second, and the fastest of the PRO-AM entries, was the No.12 ART Grand Prix McLaren MP4-12C of Englishman Duncan Tappy with a time of 2:00.564.

The Gentleman Trophy pole position went to Gael Lesoudier (FRA) in the GCR Racing/Guy Clairay Dodge Viper No.82 who set the fastest in class of 2:04.435 in Q2.

It was a good day for the Sainteloc Audi R8s with the No.40 of Jerome Demay (FRA), Marc Sourd (FRA) and Gregory Guilvert (FRA) as they set the third fastest time in PRO-AM CUP.

The sister Audi R8, No.41, then claimed third in the Gentleman Trophy classification as the pairing of Robert Hissom (GBR) and Pierre Hirschi (CHE) set a lap of 2:06.182.

Peter Kox (NLD) and Marc A. Hayek (CHE) in the PRO-AM Blancpain Reiter Lamborghini No.24 produced a superb effort to be fourth overall.

The best of the Ferraris was the No.50 AF Corse PRO-AM entry of Jack Gerber (ZAF) and Raffaele Giammaria (ITA) who ended eighth in their Ferrari 458 Italia.

The McLarens found some form on home soil with four cars in the top 10.

Frank Kechele (DEU) Vita4One Racing BMW Z4 No.66 (1st in PRO)

“Monza just didn’t suit the car, but we knew that. We had to put that race behind us and take the positives, we had the strength in the corners there and it was something to take with us.

“The BMW is quick here, and the effort from Adam (Carroll) in Q2 really took the pressure off me. In Q3 the lap wasn’t perfect, but it was near to it. I am really happy that it is enough, had I been beaten by half a tenth, then I would have cried.

“We have other tracks where we will be disadvantaged again, but with the fast corners here it is a good track for us, so we have to take advantage of it.

“We have a good driver line up, three strong drivers, and we just need to do a safe and consistent race.”

Duncan Tappy (GBR) ART Grand Prix McLaren MP4-12C No.12 (1st in PRO-AM)

“There has been plenty of testing going on with the McLaren since Monza and I think based on today’s performance it is showing. To put a lap like that together in Qualifying is very satisfying for me personally.

“My co-driver Greg (Demoustier, FRA) does a good job and usually stays out of trouble, so that’s all we can ask for in the race and we should be good.”

Gael Lesoudier (FRA) GCR Racing/Guy Clairay Dodge Viper No.82 (1st in Gentleman Trophy)

“We had some damage to the car after Pre-Qualifying. A Ferrari hit me but only on the wheel so it was not a big problem for Qualifying.

“We improved a lot after each session but we are still very surprised with the time that we set in Q2. It will be good for us in the race because our three drivers are very close. We can expect to finish in the middle of the field (overall) in the race tomorrow.”


Qualifying, Saturday 2 June 2012

The Touring Auto 2000 team repeated their Monza qualifying performance by taking pole position for the first race tomorrow. The car driven by Bernard Delhez and Dimitri Enjalbert (#69) was quick out of the box and already on provisional pole after its first flying lap. Just a couple of minutes before the end of the qualifying session it went out again and managed to lap the Silverstone circuit even quicker, setting a time of 2:06.187. Cédric Leimer (#63) finished the qualifying session in second place, a second and a half behind Delhez, whilst Nicolò Piancastelli qualified in third.

Making his debut in Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo was former GP2 Series and A1 Grand Prix driver Adrian Zaugg. The South African briefly made it into the top three in qualifying, but then had his fastest lap deleted for disrespecting the track limits. Zaugg would eventually qualify in fifth place. The #1 Automobili Lamborghini will start from ninth on the grid, piloted by guest drivers Alberto Sabbatini of Italy’s Autosprint magazine and F1 engineer Adrian Newey.

The first race of rounds three and four in the 2012 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series will start at 09.00 tomorrow, with the second race set to start at 4.15 in the afternoon.

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