Nicolas Lapierre put the ORECA 01 AIM powered car on pole at the final European Le-Mans series round, the 1000km race at Silverstone, recording a lap time of 1m32.798s. The Oreca team claimed the Silverstone pole after taking the top spot in Portugal with Lapierre doing the business there. After an absence from the race in Germany the team are back again with a vengeance, this time with some updates putting them nearly a second ahead of the nearest rival.
"We've had a big update to the rear aero, which was very last minute" said Lapierre. "We spent free practice balancing the car and it was getting better and better through the sessions."
Aston Martin Racing came to their home event following on from a clean sweep at the Nurburgring. The British team, with its headquarters a mere 30 miles from the Northamptonshire circuit, came away with a strong result in qualifying.
The championship-leading No. 007 will start the race second after Stefan Mucke put in a lap time of 1m33.714s lap in the Lola-Aston Martin. The lead car comes to the last race 7 points clear of nearest rivals, Pescarolo which failed to set a lap time and will start at the back of the grid.
The third and fourth spots were also taken by Aston Martins with Darren Turner in the second AMR Lola-Aston LMP1 coupe putting in a time of 1m34.618s. Close behind was Andrea Belicchi, taking fourth spot with a time of 1m34.654s in the Speedy Sebah Lola-Aston Martin.
Greg Mansell put the Team LNT Ginetta-Zytek fifth on the grid with a time of 1m35.296s. He will share the car in the race with his famous father Nigel and Lawrence Tomlinson. Yet another Brit, Andy Meyrick will start alongside in sixth in the first of the diesel-powered Kolles Audi R10 TDIs.
Olivier Pla claimed the LMP2 top spot. His ASM Team Ginetta Zytek took the class pole with a time of 1m36.092s. Jonny Kane will start second in class after recording a time of 1m37.128s in the Speedy Sebah Lola-Judd.
Laurent Groppi was on top in LMGT1 in a very closely fought battle. The Larbre Competition Saleen got the better of the Gigawave Aston Martin. Peter Kox in the Aston Martin was just 0.082s adrift with the Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette only 0.052s behind with Yann Clairay setting the best time.
In LMGT2 the pole was secured by Richard Lietz in the Felbermayr Proton Porsche. The Lietz/Marc Lieb pairing now needs just one point to take the LMGT2 title. Gianmaria Bruni in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari will start second in class.
Qualifying took place under clear skies and glorious sunshine, and this is likely to be the conditions for the final race in the series tomorrow. The title is now tantalisingly close for the Aston Martin Racing team, and with the main rivals at the back of the start grid it will be a big ask for the Pescarolo team to come through and beat them.