Mikko Jalonen, Le Mans Correspondent
Peugeot‘s Pagenaud takes 6 Hours of Silverstone pole; McNish puts Audi on front row
The Le Mans Series penultimate round is being held on the Silverstone circuit along with the fourth race for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) contest. The two diesel powered rivals are both aiming to take the ILMC championship and today the duo went head-to-head for the coveted pole. In his first event at the historic circuit in England, Simon Pagenaud was on track at the right time to lay down time of 1:43.924 in the No. 7 Peugeot Sport Total 908 to score his inaugural Silverstone pole.
A light bit of rain had just started when the Frenchman set the fastest lap and Pagenaud commented, “It's amazing to set such a time on such a circuit on my first outing here. I love the string of quick corners like Becketts and Copse thanks to the aerodynamic downforce of our car. Pole was vital as in the race it'll be difficult to follow the cars in front because of the aero turbulence. The team sent me out at just the right moment on the right tyres because of the threat of rain.”
Audi Sport Team Joest’s No. R18 in the hands of Allan McNish ended second fastest with a 1:44.856 to slot on the front row. Stepahane Sarrazin will start the 6 hour contest from third with his best lap of 1:45.102 in the No. 8 Peugeot 908.
In the LMP2 class, it was Danny Watts for Strakka Racing with the fastest lap. The Briton’s flying lap was a 1:49.619 in the HPD ARX-01d.
Phil Keen took the pole for the Formula Le Mans (FLM) class with a time of 1:58.143 for the Neil Garner Motorsport team.
LMGT has two poles with Augusto Farfus taking the top spot in the GTE Pro while the GTE Am pole was landed by Nicolas Armindo in the No. 67 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 997 with his best lap at 2:04.028.
Farfus’ best lap in the No. 55 BMW Motorsport M3 in what was a close contest between the BMWs, Porsches and Ferraris. Farfus’ best lap was a 2: 01.768 and he said, “We were off the pace at the start of the weekend and we gradually improved the car. It's a great reward for the whole team, but that was qualifying, not the race. It'll be long and full of surprises. If it starts to rain we know how to adapt.”
More to follow.