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Pla, Muecke Claim Silverstone GTE-Pro Pole

Pla, Muecke score first GTE-Pro pole in almost two years at Silverstone…

Photo: Ford

Olivier Pla and Stefan Muecke set the fastest two-driver average to clinch GTE-Pro class pole for the Six Hours of Silverstone.

The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing pair combined for a 1:55.727 to edge out the Aston Martin GTE of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin by 0.078 seconds.

Muecke was quickest of the opening set of drivers with a 1:55.658 on his opening flyer before Pla shaved down the session best after the driver swaps.

However, Pla’s effort was scratched after the Frenchman was found to have exceeded track limits, but his second-best lap of 1:55.796 was enough the No. 66 Ford GT ahead on average.

The result marked Pla and Muecke’s first class pole since the Fuji 2016 and Ford’s second of the season.

Although Martin’s time was a five-hundredths of a second quicker than Pla, Lynn’s effort was two tenths slower than Muecke, giving the Ford pair the ultimate edge.

Aston Martin’s sister car driven by Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim qualified third as the British manufacturer scored its best result to date with the new Vantage package on home soil.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell was fourth, while the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen rounded out the top-five.

The Porsche pair’s average was seven tenths off the pole time and marginally quicker than Sam Bird and Davide Rigon in the No. 71 Ferrari 488 GTE.

BMW Team MTEK, meanwhile, qualified seventh and eighth with the German brand’s best-placed BMW M8 GTE running 1.004 seconds shy of the top spot.

Project 1 Claims Maiden GTE-Am Pole

Team Project 1 took its first WEC pole as Joerg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti set the fastest two-driver average.

The pair set an average time of 1:59.001 that beat the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche of Christian Ried and Matt Campbell by two tenths.

While Porsche customer teams locked out the front row, Aston Martins completed row two as TF Sport’s Jonny Adam and Salih Yoluc set the third-best average, ahead of Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy.

Completing the class top five was the sister Dempsey-Proton Porsche of Gianluca Roda and Matteo Cairoli.

The Six Hours of Silverstone gets underway Sunday at 12 p.m. BST.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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