After the first of the two hour long qualifying sessions for the Britcar 1000km at Silverstone Javier Morcillo holds provisional pole in the Neil Garner Motorsport Mosler after a late lap of 2:01.695.
A flurry of times in the final minutes of the session saw the top four places shuffled and the MSA British Endurance Championship (BEC) regulars take the honour of leading into ‘half-time’ in qualifying over one member of the strong invitation entry for the six hour race. The late action pushed long time provisional pole holders Barwell Motorsport were shuffled back to third place by Morcillo and Mike Simpson in the Team LNT Ginetta G55 GT3. Joining the Barwell squad of Richard Abra and Mark Poole – both winners of last year’s Britcar 24 Hours – on an all-Aston Martin Racing provisional second row are Horsepower Racing, the BEC Class One points leaders having held the top spot for the first 20 minutes thanks to Andy Schulz.
Chasing the top four, just 1.8 seconds off the pole time around the 3.66mile Silverstone circuit was the Wolf GB08 CN Prototype run by Motionsport. The team had repaired the car after crash in testing during Friday, missing the two practice sessions earlier on Saturday’s program, but took fifth fastest.
The Strata 21 run Praga R4SLM was sixth, a further 2.5 seconds away from the ultimate pace. BPM Racing’s Renault Megane Trophy the best of the Class Two runners in eighth overall, seven tenths faster than Class Two rivals Team Parker Racing, who lead the overall BEC championship by just three points over Horsepower Racing.
With the BEC grid combined with that of the sister Britcar Production Cup for the race the best of the Production runners was the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan 370z in 14th overall. The entry, which includes former Indycar driver Tomas Scheckter was four tenth faster than the BMW of Barclay Dougal and Anthony Mott, though their M3 is running in Class One of the production series, to the Nissan’s Class Three standing.
Three more Class One runners followed Dougal and Mott’s entry on the timesheet headed by the bright orange BMW of multiple race winners Michael Symons and Keith Webster for Geoff Steel Racing. Behind the Intersport BMW the SG Racing SEAT of Mark and Peter Cunningham was 18th fastest overall despite only arriving at the circuit shortly before the start of the session after an overnight engine change and traffic troubles on the journey to the circuit.
Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson, another pair who are regular drivers in the Britcar series, were the fastest of the Class Two runners in the Production ranks. Lohen’s Mini Copper S was 30th overall lead the Production Class Four times in the last of the classes represented in the race.
Qualifying continues with a second 60-minute session starting at 5pm.