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Buncombe Puts Nissan on Pole at Silverstone

Alex Buncombe takes Nissan to Blancpain pole at Silverstone…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency/SRO

Photo: Vision Sport Agency/SRO

Nissan GT Academy Team RJN will start from the pole in today’s Blancpain Endurance Series round at Silverstone, following a late charge by Alex Buncombe in a frantic mixed condition qualifying session.

The Englishman reeled off a 2:00.829 lap in the closing moments of Q3, bumping Laurens Vanthoor from the top spot with less than three minutes to go on a dry track.

Buncombe edged out the No. 333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Norbert Siedler by 0.101 seconds to claim the top spot for this afternoon’s three-hour race.

It marked the first overall pole for Nissan and Buncombe in series competition.

Buncombe will share the wheel of the No. 23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 with Katsumasa Chiyo and Wolfgang Reip.

Siedler and co-drivers Rinalt Salikhov and Marco Seefried will start alongside the Nissan on the front row, with Vanthoor’s No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra ending up third.

The No. 58 Von Ryan Racing McLaren 650S GT3, which held provisional pole through Q2, qualified fourth, thanks to Kevin Estre’s 2:01.334 in Q3, with the No. 888 Triple Eight Racing BMW Z4 GT3 completing the top-five overall and quickest of the Pro-Am Cup cars.

Joe Osborne took class pole, also in the closing stages of Q3, with the Englishman setting a 2:01.411 lap time that denied Nissan a double class pole.

Osborne will share the wheel of the No. 888 BMW with Ryan Ratcliffe and Lee Mowle.

The No. 22 Nissan of Jann Mardenborough was second in class with the seventh quickest time overall.

The top-12 overall were separated by less than 1 second, with the majority of the times having all been set in the dry Q3 session.

AKKA-ASP, meanwhile, took the Am Cup class pole, thanks to Fabien Barthez’s 2:03.139 lap time in the No. 16 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 he’ll share with Anthony Pons later today.

The race gets underway at 2:45 p.m. local.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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