Mercedes take Blancpain pole at Silverstone

Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren)Dani Juncadella (#88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG) took pole position for the Silverstone round of the 2017 Blancpain GT Series, with his team-mate Jules Gounon (#87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG) setting the fastest time in the Pro-Am Cup.

David Perel (#888 Kessel Racing Ferrari) took pole position in the Am Cup.

It was sunny but windy for the qualifying session at the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit. The rain that fell during the night had left the track slightly damp at the beginning of the session, but at the start of the third and final part of qualifying, the tarmac had completely dried.

In Q2 reigning Blancpain GT Series champion Maxi Buhk had been the first driver to break the two-minute barrier this weekend, but his lap time stood no chance once Q3 got underway.

Jules Gounon (#87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG) was the first to improve upon Buhk’s time, but he was quickly demoted by Mirko Bortolotti (#63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini).

For a long time it looked like the Italian would get another pole to his tally, but a superb effort by Dani Juncadella (1’59.072) put the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG on pole position. It’s the first endurance pole for the French squad, the second of the whole Blancpain GT Series, after claiming pole position in last year’s Sprint Cup round in Budapest.

Jules Gounon’s 1’59.541 was still enough to claim pole position in Pro-Am Cup, but with four cars (of four different manufacturers) inside the top-11 overall, the Pro-Am Cup once again proves to be fiercely competitive.

The #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini will start from seventh overall, with the #333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari and the #97 Oman Racing Team with TF Sport Aston Martin (Pro-Am Cup winner in Monza) starting from tenth and eleventh respectively.

In the Am Cup David Perel proved to be unbeatable in the #888 Kessel Racing Ferrari, the South African repeating his Silverstone Am Cup pole position from last year. More importantly, Perel also managed to put eight cars between his Ferrari and the next car in the Am Cup, the #488 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari.

The three-hour race at the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit will start at 14.55 UK time on Sunday 14 May. By Melissa Warrern

Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren)

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