In qualifying for the fourth round of the Le Mans Series season in Silverstone, Porsche’s works drivers secured good starting positions for the 1,000 kilometre race. The best Porsche pilot in the GTE Pro sports car category was factory pilot Marc Lieb (Germany) with fourth. His works driver colleagues and compatriots Wolf Henzler and Marco Holzer start with the 2011 version of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from grid spots six and seven. In the GTE Am category, in which only one professional driver is permitted per vehicle, Frenchman Nicolas Armindo and factory driver Patrick Long (USA) claimed grid positions one and two in the 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR.
“My lap wasn’t perfect, but very good,” stated Marc Lieb. “We can be satisfied with the fourth grid position. In particular, you can see from our lap times that we’re now much closer to the Ferrari, and that’s a very positive thing. But tomorrow is what’s most important – a six-hour race.” The title defenders Lieb and Richard Lietz (Austria) compete for the German Felbermayr-Proton squad.
Wolf Henzler, who recently celebrated two victories in the American Le Mans Series, was also happy with his qualifying lap. “It was the best lap time this weekend that went well all-in-all. I couldn’t do any better because the car began to oversteer as soon as the tyres started to deteriorate. We’ll work on the set-up tomorrow during the warm-up so that we’re better prepared for the race.” Henzler shares the cockpit of the IMSA Performance Matmut team run 911 GT3 RSR with works driver Patrick Pilet (France.)
The youngest Porsche factory pilot, Marco Holzer, missed out on a better qualifying result when he encountered a rival in his quickest lap and was obstructed. “Our 911 was really well set-up for the qualifying session,” said the 23-year-old. “I was very fast, everything was going perfectly. Well, and then I got held up. But we’re feeling confident for the race, because the car is now really great to drive.” Holzer, who claimed second in the GT class at Silverstone last year, shares driving duties for ProSpeed Competition with Marc Goossens (Belgium).
In the GTE Am class, Porsche is again at the top, this time with a duel lead. The reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Nicolas Armindo, secured the third pole position this season for IMSA Performance Matmut in the 911 GT3 RSR (in accordance with the regulations in the 2010 specification) – and with this earned another valuable point in the fight for the title with his fellow competitor Raymond Narac. Patrick Long planted his 911 fielded by Proton Competition on the second grid spot, which he shares with the Italian Porsche Cup winner Gianluca Roda. Heading into the race from sixth on the grid in the GTE Am class is Felbermayr-Proton team owner Christian Ried (Germany) with Horst Felbermayr Junior (Austria).
The six-hour race starts on Sunday, 11 September, at 11.35 hours local time (CEST 12.35 hours). Eurosport broadcasts the start and early phase live from 12.30 to 14.00 hours CEST and returns towards the end of the race (17.45 to 18.35 hours CEST). In the meantime, Eurosport 2 televises 60 minutes of live coverage from Silverstone from 15.00 hours CEST.
GTE Pro class
1. Augusto Farfus (BR), BMW M3 GT, 2:01.768 minutes
2. Andy Priaulx (GB), BMW M3 GT, + 0.328 seconds
3. Toni Vilander (FIN), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.976
4. Marc Lieb (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.019
5. Frédéric Makowiecki (F), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.166
6. Wolf Henzler (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.169
7. Marco Holzer (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.182
8. Gianmaria Bruni (I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.203
GTE Am class
1. Nicolas Armindo (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:04.028 minutes
2. Patrick Long (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.144 seconds
3. Tim Mullen (GB), Ferrari F430, + 0.399
4. Niclas Jönsson (S), Ferrari F430, + 0.959
6. Horst Felbermayr Jr. (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2,364