The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was the fastest GT sports car in the gripping qualifying for round four of World Endurance Championship in Silverstone. On the storied British circuit, which was slowly drying up after heavy rain, Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) clinched his first pole of the year for Porsche in the GTE Pro class in the very last lap against strong opposition from Ferrari and Aston Martin. Contesting Sunday’s race for the Felbermayr-Proton team, he shares driving duties with his works driver teammate Marc Lieb (Germany), with whom he has already won the race in Spa-Francorchamps this season.
“Everything came together perfectly,” said Richard Lietz. “We were already running at the front with wet tyres but I noticed that we could go faster with slicks on the drying track. On my last lap I was held up slightly, but the conditions were then so good that it was still enough to set pole. I’m thrilled that we’ve found our former speed. We had to wait a long time for this. We’re learning more and more about the car with each session.” Marc Lieb said, “Richard’s qualifying was brilliant. The whole thing was a gamble really. But he came into the pits at exactly the right time to have slicks fitted. And then he crossed the finish line just a second before the end of the qualifying session so that he was able to turn another lap on the drying track. And he used it well. I’m very pleased that we managed to find a set-up for our car for a fast lap. Now we just have to work on consistency.”
In the GTE Am class, Paolo Ruberti (Italy) drove the second quickest qualifying time. He shares driving duties for the race in last year’s 911 fielded by Felbermayr-Proton with his compatriot Gianluca Roda as well as team owner Christian Ried (Germany). “In my last quick lap, the car in front of me spun on a wet patch. I had to brake and began to slide,” said Paulo Ruberti. “I lost a good two seconds because of this. I could have been pole-sitter.”
The six hour race in Silverstone starts on Sunday, 26 August, at midday local time (13.00 hours CEST). Eurosport 2 broadcasts live from 15.00 hrs CEST to 17.15 hrs CEST, with Eurosport also televising the final phase of the race live from 17.45 hrs CEST to 19.00 hrs CEST.
GTE Pro class
1. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:09.564 minutes
2. Walker/Cocker (GB/GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.454 seconds
3. Fisichella/Bruni (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia + 0.917
4. Fernandez/Mücke/Turner (MEX/D/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 4.586
5. Bertolini/Beretta (I/MC), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 5.589
GTE Am class
1. Hall/Goethe (GB/D), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:12.625 minutes
2. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.340 seconds
3. Perazzini/Cioci/Griffin (I/I/IRL), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 3.866
4. Krohn/Jönsson/Rugolo (USA/S/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 4.183
5. Camathias/Palttala/Daniels (CH/SF/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 4.841