Silverstone ELMS: Thiriet domination in second practice


The song remained the same in second practice for the European Le Mans Series opener at Silverstone, as Thiriet by TDS Racing led proceedings.

Mathias Beche was once again imperious in the #46 Oreca 05-Nissan, setting a 1:49.320 best around the 3.6 mile grand prix circuit.

The Swiss had to beat an earlier benchmark set by his team-mate Ryo Hirakawa, the young Japanese driver producing a 1:50.831 early on.

But the 90 minute session ended with former Rebellion LMP1 driver Beche in front, 2.046 seconds clear of the Dragonspeed Oreca 05-Nissan driven by Nicolas Lapierre.

Third overall was the Pegasus Racing Morgan-Nissan of Leo Roussel which recorded a 1:51.876, edging out the Panis-Barthez Competition Ligier. Completing the top six was the pair of the SMP Racing BR01-Nissans.

In LMP3, Duqueine Engineering topped the timesheets for a second consecutive session, as Dino Lunardi demonstrated his class-winning credentials with a 1:57.226 in the red and blue Ligier JS P3.

Lunardi was four tenths of a second quicker than than Enzo Guibbert in the #9 Graff Ligier, with Sean Rayhall giving Graff its second car in the top three.

LMGTE, meanwhile, saw Ferrari 458 Italias occupy the top two positions. AT Racing driver Alex Talkanitsa Sr was the man on form, producing a 2:01.535 best put the Belarusian team in front. JMW Motorsport finished second with its yellow prancing horse, while the Gulf-liveried Aston Martin Vantage was third.

With practice completed, the ELMS teams can now look forward to the first qualifications and race of 2016. Thiriet by TDS Racing set a high precedent on Friday, and will be looking to score a big result at Silverstone 12 months after narrowly missing out on victory last time there.

Qualifying for the ELMS 4 Hours of Silverstone gets underway tomorrow (April 16) at 10:50, while the four hour race begins at 14:30 (both local).