Simpson Motorsport has taken pole position for the inaugural 24H Proto Series and 24H GT Series 12 Hours of Silverstone.
The Creventic organised race is supporting and grid sharing with the third 24H Touring Car Endurance Series Hankook 24H Silverstone.
The top spot in qualifying was claimed by the #4 Ginetta G57 Prototype, which will be driven through the split 12-hour race by Steve Tandy and Bob Berridge who are joined by Ginetta factory drivers Mike Simpson and Charlie Robertson.
In a cool session, punctuated by a single code 60, the #4 took a margin of 3.001 seconds over its nearest rival for pole, the GRT Grasser Racing Team #964 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Rick Breukers, Mauro Calamia, Christoph Lenz and Roberto Pampanini.
Third place was claimed by the Ram Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Tom Onslow-Cole and Remon Leonard Vos sharing the driving.
A compact grid of 22 cars formed up mainly in class order through qualifying. The exceptions to the rule came in the form of the #6 Simpson Motorsport Ginetta G57 which was unable to best the two GT3 cars which claimed the front and second rows respectively.
Hitting out of its weight class was the A6-Am entered GRT Lamborghini who snapped up the honour of best of the GT3s ahead of the Ram Racing effort.
Lining up six cars behind the class pole sitter in A6-Am is the Attempto Racing Lamborghini, which will be started by Jurgen Krebs with the Bonamy Grimes started FF Corse/Red River Sport Ferrari 488 GT3 third in class and a distant twelfh on the grid.
A6-Pro starts on the inside of the second row with the Ram Racing Mercedes. Directly behind on the grid will be the next class rival, the Forch Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R of Zeljko Drmic, Patrick Eisemann and Robert Lukas.
Grasser Racing Team took third in A6-Pro and share the third row with the #963 shared by Rolf Ineichen, Mark Ineichen, Franck Perera and Phil Keen.
Krafft Racing form the highly disappointing entry into the CN1 class. One car with Regis Tref, Norbert Sauvain and Karl Pedraza starting fourteenth overall, the Norma CN Prototype struggling to match the pace of all but the two slowest A6-Am GT3 machines.
SPX was topped, predictably, by the Speed Lover Porsche 991-I Cup of Dominique Bastien and Phillip Denis. The Speed Lover crew have eschewed the dedicated 991 class, the four entries into which split the two SPX runners, in favour of the catch-all class, which also contains the sole GT4 entry into the race, the Fox Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT who start at the back of the grid.
Jamie Stanly, Glenn Sherwood and Ben Clucas can still hold their heads high, however. Despite being the only car not officially a purpose-built racer in competition, they managed to strike within 0.323 seconds of the twenty-first place car and were only 16.057 seconds off the pole time of 1:55.997. That’s a GT4 car turning in 113% of the lap time of a V8 powered LMP2 level prototype.
The 991 car was topped by Porsche Laurent Racing who took pole by the slimmest of margins, 0.079 seconds, from Adam Balon’s Track-Club entered machine.
Incidents during the session came from in the form of a stoppage on track for the #33 Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3, which as a result finished at the bottom of the GT3 pile in sixteenth overall. No cause for the stoppage has yet been released but the car is prepped and ready to start the first part of the 12 hours.
Three cars were pinged for track limits violations during the session, notably the Car Collection Audi which stopped, the Attempto Racing Lamborghini who still managed to finish second in A6-Am and the GT3 pole sitter from Grasser Racing Team, the #964.
The 12 Hours of Silverstone gets underway shortly with a five-hour session. At the close of this session, the cars will then enter Parc Ferme conditions prior to restarting on Saturday.
The GT3 and Proto fields will then contest the first 7 hours of the 24H TCES race before being flagged into the pits and celebrating their podium while the Touring Cars continue into the night.