At the end of a trio of 15 minute qualifying sessions, the Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke, and Frederic Makowiecki topped the timings screen to secure pole position for the three-hour race from Silverstone. Their time of 2:01.140 was set in second session of the morning, with Makowiecki behind the wheel of the Pro-class GT3 car in the closing minutes of qualifying.
“Very happy with pole – the car is very, very nice.” The Frenchman said at the end of the qualifying sessions. “I admit I was a bit lucky, I didn’t have a lot of traffic. I hope we have a good chance to have a good result at the end. We hope we have a clean race.”
Heading the Pro-am category and starting on the outside of the front-row will be the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nismo. After seeing team-mates Lucas Ordonez and Peter Pyzera set times in the 2:02’s, Alex Buncombe posted a 2:01.186 in the third session of the morning. “Really delighted to be P2 on the grid ? P1 in class ? all credit to the team, they did a fantastic job on the car.” The former British GT regular shared. “My engineer went a bit radical on the qualifying set-up and it seemed to work here. The car is handling totally different to the last round at Monza. the tyres for sure are going to be a big issue here. Fuel maybe for some of the cars too. But it’s only half the race done ? we have a long job this afternoon.”
Collecting third position for the rolling start was the Belgium Audi Club Team Audi. Under the stewardship of Christopher Mies set a 2:01.340 in the Pro-classed R8 LMS Ultra in qualifying-three, to beat the times set by team-mates Frank Stippler and Edward Sandstrom. Fourth and the leading Ferrari in the field was the SMP Racing 458 Italia of Alexey Basov, Alexander Skryabin and Alessandro Pier Guidi. With a time of 2:01.360 for the Pro car, edged out JRM’s Nissan GTR of Lucas Luhr, Steven Kane, and Peter Dumbreck by three-hundredths.
Alongside the Nismo on the third row of the grid, will be the Pro-Am entry of Eric Dermont and Franck Perera. The two-driver team posted a 2:01.525, with Perera at the wheel of the Pro GT by Almeras Porsche 997 GT3 R. Kessel Racing’s Daniele Zampieri posted a time of 2:01.538 in qualifying-two, to place the Ferrari 458 seventh for him and co-drivers, Davide Rigon and Cesar Ramos. Belgium Laurens Vanthoor, Frenchman Stephane Ortelli, and German Rene Rast, in the No.1 Belgium Audi Club R8 Ultra LMS secured eighth. Rounding out the top ten, Pro entries Bas Leinders, Yelmer Buurman and Maxime Martin placed ninth for the Marc VDS BMW Z4, beating the Vita4one Ferrari of Eugenio Amos, Francesco Castellacci, Giacomo Petrobelli.
In the Gentleman Trophy, John Gaw posted a 2:02.824 to set the top class time for the PGF Kinfaun Aston Martin. Taking over the helm from Phil Dryburgh in the third session, the duo out-paced the next best in class of Maurice Ricci, Gabriel Balthazzrd and Jerome Policand by two-tenths. “This is Aston’s home circuit, we raced here last weekend and we have a little bit of an advantage there.” Gaw offered during the post qualifying press conference. “The weather’s great and the Aston suits this circuit. So it’s working well so far. Blancpain, outside WEC, is I think one of the most important international championships and with 60-odd cars on the grid is fantastic.”