Creation Autosportif qualified in pole position early this morning for the Silverstone round of the Le Mans Endurance Series. Nicolas Minassian improved on each of his first three laps to set a time of 1m 34.562s during the brief qualifying session to line up the #7 DBA 03D-Judd, shared with Jamie Campbell Walter, at the front of the grid for the race this afternoon.
"It was a good lap", said Minassian. "The team did a good job and it all came together. Jamie and I did steady work yesterday and we knew what we needed to do for qualifying. It's one thing to be on pole but the race is going to be a different story. The car should be quick in any conditions so we aim to keep a steady pace."
Hayanari Shimoda, driving the #15 Zytek Motorsport 04S, was initially fastest but his time of 1m 36.314s, set on his first flying lap, was ultimately strong enough for second place. Jean-Christophe Boullion qualified the #17 Pescarolo Sport C60 Hybride in third position just five hundredths of a second behind him and Allan McNish put in a late run in the #4 Audi Playstation Team Oreca to go fourth with what team-mate Stephane Ortelli described as a ?magic lap?.
There was drama early on in the session when the #13 Courage Competition C60H Judd of Jonathan Cochet spun at the exit of Luffield corner and stopped in the middle of the circuit. The #39 Chamberlain-Synergy Motorsport Lola AER, which was on a very fast lap at the time, was forced to spin in avoidance and came to a rest also in the middle of the circuit with the rear of the car briefly on fire. Both cars soon rejoined.
RML heads the LM P2 class after Tommy Erdos set a 1m 38.722s lap in the #25 MG Lola EX 264. Sam Hancock qualified one second further back in the #41 Binnie Motorsport Lola Nicholson McLaren and Phil Bennett put the #30 Kruse Motorsport Courage Judd in third position.
In the GT1 class Christophe Bouchut was fastest in the #61 Convers Team Ferrari 550 Maranello but only narrowly ahead of the #62 Convers Team Aston Martin DBR9 of Darren Turner. In the GT2 class Andrew Kirkaldy put the #93 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 360 Modena GTC on pole position ahead of the #76 Autorlando Sport Porsche 996 GT3 RSR of Mike Rockenfeller.
The #35 G-Force Courage C65-Judd spun at Luffield corner but was able to rejoin and the #10 Racking For Holland Dome S101-Judd coasted to a halt on its final lap but was push-started and crawled back to the pitlane. The #56 Paul Belmondo Racing Chrysler Viper did not participate as the car had a left-front suspension problem which the team are not confident that they can fix before the race.
The conditions for the session were bright and sunny with light cloud although the sky soon darkened with thick cloud after the end of the session. The race is scheduled to start at 4pm local time (1500GMT) on Saturday.