Juncadella takes pole for Blancpain Silverstone Race


Daniel Juncadella stormed to grab pole position for this afternoon’s Blancpain Endurance Race at Silverstone.

The Spaniard aboard the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes AMG GT set a pole time of 1.59.072 putting him 0.225 seconds ahead of Monza winner Mirko Bortolotti in the #63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Hurracan.

Franck Perera rounded out the top three in the #84  HTP Mercedes, all three cars separated by less than half a second.

Behind them it was even closer, the next 10 cars covered within half a second.

Championship leader Mirko Bortolotti set the second fastest time, just 0.225 seconds down on Juncadella. Credit: Craig Robertson/Race Photography

Yet it could have been even closer had a red flag not been called with 10 seconds remaining, which prevented the chance for many competitors to improve their times.

On a damp but drying track, events started off slowly, with most teams keeping their powder dry til Q3.

Maximilian Buhk was the first man all weekend to go under the 2 minute lap mark, setting the fastest time in Q2, after the session had been stopped when Dries Vanthoor put his Audi into the gravel.

One noticeable feature of the first two qualifying sessions was the lack of track time for the championship leading Grasser Racing Team Lamborghinis.

They were at the bottom of the timesheets with only one exploratory laps which were 24 seconds off the quickest time.

But in Q3 and on the #63 car’s first flying lap, Mirko Bortolotti went fastest with a 1.59.297 despite being held up by a Pro-Am Ferrari in the final sector.

Yet this was not enough as Juncadella went quicker and with Bortolotti unable to find clear track, the front row was settled.

Lamborghini’s pace was shown in the Pro-Am category as the Barwell Motorsports #78 Hurracan of Patrick Kujala set the fourth fastest time of 1.59.613.

Yet like Bortolotti, he ultimately lost Pro-Am honours to another AKKA ASP Mercedes, the #87 of Jules Gounon.

Jules Gounon was the quickest Pro-Am runner in the #87 AKKA ASP Mercedes and was fifth overall. Credit: Craig Robertson/Race Photography

James Calado and the #55 Kaspersky Ferrari had set the fastest time in pre-qualifying but they could only manage 13th nearly 0.8 seconds down on pole.

A red flag was shown when the #16 Mercedes spun at Luffield causing all runners on track to abort their laps.

One noticeable victim was a Alex Buncombe in the #23 Nissan GTR, who was in the middle of a hot lap which have moved the car up from 22nd on a track where the GTR has shone in the past.

Unfortunately, the red flag meant that the quickest car in Q1 would start 22nd, and Buncombe made his frustration clear on the in-car camera.

The quickest Am runner was the #488 Rinaldi Ferrari of Rino Mastronardi, which is hoping to make up for a disappointing Monza round when the engine expired while leading comfortably.

The Ferrari was over a second quicker of the #188 McLaren piloted by McLaren test driver Chris Goodwin and Top Gear Presenter Chris Harris.