Franck Perera has qualified the No. 93 Pro GT by Almeras Porsche 997 GT3 R on pole position for today’s Blancpain Endurance Series round at the Silverstone circuit.
The French driver was the only driver in qualifying this morning to get into the 2:00s, beating ART Grand Prix driver Alvaro Parente and Nissan GT Academy Team RJN driver Alex Buncombe.
Qualifying started on a wet track, but the circuit dried quickly and lap times dropped equally fast. Kevin Estre and Alessandro Bonacini were already in the high 2:01’s at the end of the second qualifying session and it became apparent that last year’s pole time (2:01.140, Makowiecki, Aston Martin) was going to be beaten.
Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan’s Alex Buncombe was the first beat Estre’s fastest Q2 time, but not much later it was Alvaro Parente who put the No. 98 ART Grand Prix McLaren MP4-12C GT3 on provisional pole, with a fastest time of 2:01.063.
The Portuguese driver only managed to hold on to pole position for a minute, as Franck Perera was the next to cross the line. The Porsche driver, racing in the Pro-Am category, lapped the circuit in 2:00.912, pushing Parente down to second place.
Nissan’s Alex Buncombe only just missed out on a front row position, finishing his final flying lap just a thousandth of a second slower than the McLaren. Moments later the red flags were shown, after one of the Sport Garage cars hit the barrier and stopped on the track. The session was not resumed.
“We were here one month ago with the ELMS and were also pretty good. Yesterday in those conditions we fought in the top all the day, so I was pretty confident,” said pole man Perera after qualifying. “Of course it was difficult, there are a lot of good cars and good drivers, so it was a big fight.
“A little bit surprised? Yeah, you’re always surprised, because it’s a tough challenge. It’s good for the team and it’s good for Porsche.”
“The qualifying was good. For this track, when you put new tires on, you’ve got one lap to get the most out of those tires,” Pro Cup pole sitter and second overall Alvaro Parente said. “That lap was pretty good, except for overtaking one car. But it was still a good lap and we managed to put it on P2, first of class.”
The race will start at 2:55 PM local time (9:55 AM ET)