Silverstone: Pole for Corvette and Ferrari + Grid

Mike Hezemans scores his tenth FIA GT pole
Courtesy of the FIA GT/DPPI

For the ninth time, the FIA GT Championship is visiting the British circuit of Silverstone, for an action-packed weekend, including the FIA GT3 European Championship, the GT4 European Cup and the GT90’s Revival Series. Mike Hezemans claimed his tenth FIA GT overall position – a new record – today, placing the nr 5 Carsport Holland Corvette at the front of the grid for tomorrow's Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy, the second round of the 2007 FIA GT Championship. The impressive 102-year old Trophy was brought to Silverstone on Friday, escorted by the London to Silverstone Supercar Tour, and will be given to the winners of tomorrow’s race. Who will follow the crews of the Aston Martin Racing DBR9 in 2005, and the nr 1 Vitaphone Maserati in 2006, and see their names inscribed alongside those of some of the great drivers of the past century ?


Hezemans, who shares the car with Swiss driver Jean-Denis Deletraz, set a time of 1:43.504, two tenths faster than the nr 33 Jetalliance Aston Martin DBR9, driven in qualifying by Karl Wendlinger. Zhuhai pole position holder Thomas Biagi was third, in the nr 1 Vitaphone Maserati MC 12. With three different makes in the top three, separated by five tenths of a second, tomorrow's race promises to be exciting !

“It took me a long time to get this tenth pole,” explained Mike, who set his ninth pole position at Silverstone last year. “Last year I got pole in Silverstone in the rain, and this year in the dry. I think we will be very good tomorrow; we have a very good strategy. I might be completely wrong and I’ll be crying tomorrow, but we’ll have to see.”

As for Wendlinger, the front-row grid position for the Aston Martin DBR9 could have been pole if not for traffic on his fast lap. “It’s going very well this weekend, the car is working very well, we have a very good setup, we have good tyres, everything was fine, just a little traffic in the one lap, but it might not have changed the positions. I think we can look forward to the race.”

The nr 23 Aston Martin Racing BMS DBR9 of Jamie Davies was fourth, ahead of the two Scuderia Playteam Sarafree Maserati MC12s. The PK Carsport Corvette C5, which had been fastest in the second free practice session, was seventh.


In GT2, Scuderia Ecosse rediscovered their pole-setting ways, with Andrew Kirkaldy adding another pole to his 2006 tally. This makes nine poles in just two seasons with the Ferrari 430 GT2. “The weekend wasn’t going well until qualifying,” Kirkaldy admitted. “ We flew the cars back from Zhuhai and did a lot of testing, moved forward with the car a lot, but coming here we were struggling a bit. Basically I jumped in the car not knowing what it was going to do in qualifying, but it worked out and I’m very, very happy.”

Second-fastest was the nr 51 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 GT2 of Gianmaria Bruni. The Italian, who spend two seasons in British Formula Three, considers Silverstone almost as a home circuit. “I just started the Championship this year; I was second in qualifying in China , and second again here. Everything is working quite well; I am very happy to work with Jaime Melo this weekend, I need to learn a lot. I think we’ve found a good way for tomorrow.”

Third-fastest was Sean Edwards, in just his second GT2 race in the nr 99 Tech9 Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 RSR. Emmanuel Collard was fourth in the BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche.

An all-Ferrari front row in GT2 will be followed by an all-Porsche second... it could be an interesting start …especially if the rain, which some forecasts predict for tomorrow afternoon, should arrive during the race.

There were some handling problems for Nigel Mansell, racing in the nr 63 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari, alongside Chris Niarchos. “It was not easy as we were struggling with the car and he had to jump in with a completely different set-up,” Kirkaldy explained.

It's a big weekend for Scuderia Ecosse as Mansell is there and they score pole
Courtesy of the FIA GT/DPPI


Tom Cloet placed the nr 18 SRT Corvette C5 in the pole position for the Citation Cup, the sub-class of the GT1 category for non-professional drivers. He was followed by the nr 16 JMB Maserati MC 12 of Ben Aucott and Joe Macari, with the Kessel Racing Ferrari 575 M Maranello third. “This is a real learning process for me,” explained Tom Cloet. “It is the first time I have competed at this level. I have to learn a lot on the car, but it seems to be going well. I did the 24 Hours of Silverstone here two years ago, so I know the circuit.”


In G2, the nr 101 Gillet Vertigo of Leinders and Kuppens set the best time, with a lap of 1:53.038, ahead of the nr 102 Chrysler Viper GTS-R of Carcon and Stepec, ahead of the Red Racing Chrysler Viper of Carcon and Stepec. “The weekend has been a lot better than Zhuhai where we had quite a few problems which we have started to solve now,” Leinders explained. “The main thing is that we have not had any mechanical problems any more. We just aim to finish the race tomorrow. We are looking to build a new car during the season, and we’re putting a lot of effort into that. We’ll test different things during the next few races. My strategy for tomorrow is to get to the end.”


1. Deletraz/Hezemans Carsport Holland Corvette C6R 1min 43.504secs GT1
2. Wendlinger/Sharp Jetalliance Racing Aston Martin DBR9 1min 43.745secs GT1
3. Salo/Biagi Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC12 1min 44.035secs GT1
4. Babini/Davies Aston Martin BMS Aston Martin DBR9 1min 44.313secs GT1
5. Bertolini/Piccini Scuderia Playteam Sarafree Maserati MC12 1min 44.446secs GT1

6. Giannoccaro/Guidi Scuderia Playteam Sarafree Maserati MC12 1min 44.667secs GT1
7. Kumpen/Longin PK Carsport Corvette C5R 1min 44.960secs GT1
8. Ramos/Montanari Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC12 1min 45.511secs GT1
9. Johnson/Cocker Barwell Motorsport Aston Martin DBR9 1min 45.568secs GT1 CC
10. Toccacelo/Monfardini Aston Martin BMS Aston Martin DBR9 1min 45.616secs GT1

11. Menten/Kox Racing Lamborghini Murcielago 1min 45.625secs GT1
12. Lichtner-Hoyer/Lechner Jetalliance Racing Aston Martin DBR9 1min 45.927secs GT1
13. Hines/Peter PSI Experience Corvette C6R 1min 46.064secs GT1
14. Mucke/Basseng Racing Lamborghini Murcielago 1min 46.373secs GT1
15. Mullen/Kirkaldy Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 1min 49.052secs GT2

16. Bruni/Melo AF Corse Ferrari 430 1min 49.419secs GT2
17. Cloet/Kuismanen SRT Corvette C5R 1min 49.625secs GT1 CC
18. Machitski/Edwards Tech 9 Porsche 997 RSR 1min 49.857secs GT2
19. Collard/Malucelli BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche 997 RSR 1min 49.964secs GT2
20. Ruberti/Pasini Racing Team Edil Cris Ferrari 430 1min 50.004secs GT2

21. Vilander/Muller AF Corse Ferrari 430 1min 50.100secs GT2
22. Busnelli/Zani Ebimotors Porsche 997 RSR 1min 50.319secs GT2
23. Macari/Aucott JMB Racing Maserati MC12 1min 50.694secs GT1 CC
24. Cressoni/Rugolo Racing Team Edil Cris Ferrari 430 1min 50.775secs GT2
25. Niarchos/Mansell Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 1min 51.480secs GT2

26. Kessel/Cattori Kessel Ferrari 575 Maranello 1min 51.610secs GT1 CC
27. Jakubowski/Labhardt Solution F Ferrari 550 Maranello 1min 52.071secs GT1 CC
28. Leinders/Kuppens Belgian Racing Gillet Vertigo 1min 53.038secs G2
29. Waaijenberg/Kutemann JMB Racing Maserati MC12 1min 54.254secs GT1 CC
30. Carcon/Stepec Red Racing Dodge Viper GTSR 2mins 00.450secs G2 CC

Qualification Maxima: 2mins 14.55secs

CC = Citation Cup