Jann Mardenborough and Nick Tandy took one pole position apiece for RJN Motorsport and Motorbase Performance at the Nurburgring ahead of the two hour long races this weekend.
Nissan GT Academy winner Mardenborough moved the no.35 Nissan GT3 GT-R to the top of the times after the first flying laps with a time of 1:44.161. That time along – hindsight reveals – would have too much for the competition but Mardenborough still found the speed to improve his time to 1:43.793 before coming into the pits with their nearest challengers still circulating.
The spot on the outside of the front row of the grid changed hands several times. Daniele Perfetti initially has second spot for Motorbase before Jody Firth took the Team WFR Ginetta G55 to second place only for Andrew Howard to jump ahead by two tenths (1:44.340).
Perfetti ended the session fourth, narrowly missing out on third fastest, only two-thousandths slower than Firth and the Ginetta.
Alasdair McCaig was fifth fastest for Oulton Park winners Ecurie Ecosse. Luke Hines – in his first taste of the Ginetta G55 GT3 was an impressive sixth fastest for Optimum Motorsport after swapping places with David Jones in the Preci-Spark Mercedes SLS.
In contrast to the two practice sessions in the morning the fleet of Porsches struggled for pace, only Perfetti piloting a 997 to within the top ten. The remaining four cars – the three Trackspeed entries and Steve Parish's Motorbase car – lay clustered just outside the top ten. However, that all changed in the second fifteen minute session with the 'pro' drivers behind the wheels.
That 15 minute session ended with all five cars inside the top ten – three in top five. Jonny Adam initially led, holding the top time until the closing minutes of the session when Nick Tandy – pace setter in both practice – once more put the no.10 car he and Steve Parish share fastest as he fund eight-tenths of second worth of improvement to move into provisional pole position as Adam as the Beechdean team sat in the pits having already declared their session over.
They were lucky to keep second in the face of challenges from Richard Westbrook, Michael Caine and Allan Simonsen who fell into third, fourth and fifth, crossing the line within seconds of each other.
Matt Griffin and Joe Osborne would later improve to fifth and sixth, pushing Simonsen and the Rosso Verde Ferrari 458 down to seventh. Tim Harvey was eighth – the slowest of the five Porsches. In a fine pair of qualifying sessions for the Ginetta G55 teams Riki Christodoulou put the Team WFR car in top ten again in ninth, Alex Buncombe salvaged tenth in the Nissan that had already taken pole position for the first race with a late improvement.
With the results from the G55s GT4 brought more good news for Ginetta. Team WFR's G50 – driven by Warren Hughes and Jody Fannin clinched class pole for both.
Fannin took pole for the opening race with a 1:51.868 lap, very nearly two seconds ahead of Nurburgring debutant Zoe Wenham, who still took second in class for Century Motorsport. The Italian Nova Race team made is G50 1-2-3 in third, a further half second off Fannin's time.
Fannin's co-driver Warren Hughes was unable to match his pace in the second session, his best lap 1:51.913, but was still able to take pole position ahead of Phil Glew in the lone Lotus Evora and Alex Osborne in the APO Sport Ginetta he shares with James May.