EU3: GT3: Silverstone: Saturday qualifying notes

Ludwig and Moullin Traffort claim first GT3 poles Corvette and Porsche On Pole With good weather conditions, the first qualifying session of the FIA GT3 European Championship was very close indeed. Klaus Ludwig (Team Carsport Callaway Corvette...

Ludwig and Moullin Traffort claim first GT3 poles
Corvette and Porsche On Pole

With good weather conditions, the first qualifying session of the FIA GT3 European Championship was very close indeed. Klaus Ludwig (Team Carsport Callaway Corvette Z06 GT3), 56 years old, and Morgan Moullin-Traffort (AutoSport Promotion Porsche 997 GT3 Cup), 24 years old, were the first pole men in he history of this new Championship.

QUALIFYING 1

A number of cars could not take part in the qualifying session because of mechanical problems, such as the nr 19 Riverside Corvette Z06. After an oil leak during the free practice sessions, they had to change the engine of this Corvette.

Anthony Reid was the first driver to be on the provisional pole position in the history of the FIA GT3 European Championship. But positions changed and Allan Simonsen, with the JMB Racing Ferrari 430 Challenge, went faster. After ten minutes, former FIA GT Champion Klaus Ludwig went faster again, with a time of 1:54.404. Nobody was able to beat him, even though Simonsen improved at the end of the session to 1:54.537. First of the Aston Martin, Marcello Zani set the third-fastest time, in front of the first Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, the nr29 Pouchelon Racing of Anthony Reid. The first Porsche, the nr9 Tech9 Motorsport driven by Sean Edwards was 5th, followed by the nr45 Ascari of Aaron Scott finished in 6th position. Six different cars on the top 6, six different cars on the same second... the first start of the season is going to be exciting.

QUALIFYING 2

The early part of the second 20-minute qualifying session was led by the nr 26 and 27 Racing Box Dodge Vipers driven by Marco Cioci and Andrea Ceccato. But quickly the times improved and Morgan Moullin-Traffort, with the nr 6 Autosport Promotion Porsche 997 Cup set the pole position with a lap of 1:54.359, before returning to the pits. At the end of the session, Fred Makowiecki, in spite of gear box problem, improved and set the second-fastest time with the nr 12 Racing Logistic Dodge Viper Competition Coupe. The first row of the second race is going to be 100% French. Englishman Ben Collins, set a brilliant fourth time, first of the Ascari cars, whereas the first Aston Martin, the nr23 BMS Scuderia, was on 7th position. Once again, the top five were in the same second, all the cars are very close.

QUOTES

Klaus Ludwig - nr 16 Team Carsport Callaway Corvette Z06 GT3 : "We ran this car for the first time yesterday. So the free practice was a kind of shakedown for us. The team is working very hard; they did a fantastic job. The pole position is important for my heart! I'm 56, nearly 57, I love racing and it is always a pleasure to be on pole position. So I'm the first poleman of this new FIA GT3 European Championship, it is great. Also I have to say that I love Silverstone, it is a fantastic track and it is always a pleasure for me to be here. My last victory here was in 1996 in the ITC.

Allan Simonsen - nr34 JMB Racing Ferrari 430 Challenge : "I was lucky because I had a clear lap, and with all these cars on track it is not easy ! Our car is good, we find an optimal set-up. The race will be close, so we had to push hard at the beginning."

Morgan Moullin-Traffort - nr6 Auto Sport Promotion Porsche 997 GT3 Cup : "I did my fastest lap on my first attempt, then I chose to come into the pits to preserve my tyres for the race. I'm very happy with this pole position for my first international race. We do not really know the others drivers, so it was important to be on front in order to have a clean start. Our main goal is to be first of the Porsche, but we are also looking very carefully our overall position."

Frederic Makowiecki - nr12 Racing Logistic Dodge Viper Competition Coupe : "My team mate had a gear box problem during the first session. We were able to solve this problem, so my thanks to the team as they did a great job in a short time. I'm used to racing against Morgan Moullin-Traffort, so it is an advantage for the start, it is always better when we know each other. I have to say that in spite of the handicap weight the car is still very good."

Ben Collins - nr45 Ascari KZ1R : "We did a pretty good qualification session. The car is fun and fast. I made a few mistakes with the traffic, I'm sure that I could be faster. We are quite confident, but if the rain is coming for the race it is going to be special because we have never driven this car under wet conditions! And I think it is the same for most of the GT3 teams !"

-fia-

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Anthony Reid , Klaus Ludwig , Aaron Scott , Ben Collins , Marco Cioci , Allan Simonsen , Sean Edwards , Marcello Zani , Andrea Ceccato , Frédéric Makowiecki