R-Motorsport give Aston Martin pole on home turf at Silverstone
The #76 R-Motorsport Aston Martin will start this afternoon’s three-hour race at Silverstone from pole position.
The Swiss squad’s car delivered a superbly consistent qualifying performance. After Mattieu Vaxiviere topped Q1, teammate Jake Dennis was third quickest in the second session, while Nicki Thiim was fifth in the final segment. With their times added together, this cemented a comfortable pole for the #76 crew.
“I think we all did a great job,” Dennis commented afterwards. ”Matt had a really strong qualifying and managed to put six tenths on the field, which was pretty impressive.
“Then the challenge was to have a clear lap, which was difficult with the traffic, and the last thing we wanted to do is get penalised for something stupid.
“It’s home ground for me and home ground for the team, which makes this an incredible start of the day.”
Dennis and co. will be joined on the front row of the grid by the #88 AKKA ASP Team Mercedes. Their star performer was Raffaele Marciello, who was quickest in Q3, while teammates Tristan Vautier and Adam Christodoulou were also among the front-runners.
The #14 Lexus of Emil Frey Racing completed the top-three on the grid. It was a breakthrough performance for the Japanese brand, with Christian Klien showing particular pace by topping the second session.
In the Pro-Am category, the #333 Rinaldi-Ferrari is perfectly placed to repeat the victory it scored last time out at Monza. Alexander Mattschull and Rinat Salikhov both delivered strong performances to put the car P1 in class after the second session, before a superb run by Daniel Keilwitz – which was good enough for P2 overall in the final segment of qualifying – cemented a comfortable Pro-Am pole.
“I did not expect to be that fast in the first session, as I’ve might have done 10 laps in the Ferrari this year!” said Keilwitz, who steps into the place occupied by Dominik Schwager at Monza.
“Alexander, Rinat and the whole team did an amazing job today as well,” added the German driver.
The Silver Cup pole also went to the Monza winners, with the #54 Emil Frey Jaguar of Mikael Grenier, Alex Fontana and Adrian Zaugg taking 10th overall, seven places clear of their closest class rivals.
“It is really nice to be on pole in class, obviously, but our goal is to be competitive on the overall chart,” said Grenier. “Having the Jaguar in the top-10 is what we are always aiming for.”
In the Am Cup, it was a popular pole position for the #188 Garage 59 McLaren of Chris Goodwin, Chris Harris and Alexander West. The crew were 0.4s clear of their nearest class challengers.
“It went very well for us,” said Goodwin. “Our target was to get Alex West and Chris Harris up to speed with a car that’s drivable and confidence-inspiring. It’s not about being the absolute fastest, it’s about getting the average up. We’ve done that today, so it’s a much more prepared and calm Garage 59 team than we had in Mona.”
This afternoon’s race begins at 15.00 and will be available to watch live on the Blancpain GT Series website.