Loud cheers from the GP Elite team: Larry ten Voorde (NL) and Max van Splunteren (NL) from the Dutch squad share the first grid row at round four of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Silverstone. “This is the first pole position for our fledging team, and the second-best time in qualifying, as well. It couldn’t have gone better,” said a delighted Ten Voorde, who lapped the tradition-steeped 5.901-kilometre racetrack around three tenths of a second faster than Van Splunteren. “Flawless teamwork. I followed Larry during my flying lap,” describes the 24-year-old, who was the fastest of the nine rookies in the field of 25 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racing cars.
Porsche Junior Jaxon Evans (BWT Lechner Racing) and Jaap van Lagen (NL/FACH AUTO TECH) locked out the second grid row. “I’m satisfied with the third grid spot, but the gap to Larry ten Voorde is more than I’d expected,” admits Evans. “Unfortunately I had to halt my final attempt to improve my lap time because another driver spun in front of me.” Qualifying on 19th, Roar Lindland (N/Pierre Martinet by Alméras) was the fastest in the ProAm classification.
The Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, where the first Formula 1 race in history was contested in 1950, is one of the faster racetracks on the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup calendar. On his flying lap, polesitter Ten Voorde averaged over 173 kph. At the end of the longest straight, the Hangar Straight, he was clocked at 255 kph. Albeit, the Formula 1 reference point for the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is already within the braking zone. “We’re even faster just before that,” states Ten Voorde.
In the quest to find the highest possible speed on the Hangar Straight, drivers choose different approaches in their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers. Polesitter Larry ten Voorde opted for the steepest of the nine possible settings. He is willing to accept the relatively high drag. “I think the speed through the Maggots-Beckets-Chapel corner combination is more important and, for that, I need a lot of downforce at the rear axle,” says the Dutchman explaining his counterproductive-sounding setup choice. In fact, Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (F/Lechner Racing Middle East) was the fastest with a time of just under 259 kph at the reference point – with the rear wing at a more streamlined mid-setting.
The disadvantage of higher drag due to the steeper wing setting, which is good for the straights, is partially offset by lower rolling resistance. The rear axle of the Supercup vehicles is set for less camber at Silverstone compared to other racetracks. “But this significantly changes the handling,” explained series leader Dylan Pereira (BWT Lechner Racing). “The rear axle offers less mechanical grip, so the rear gets twitchy.” This proved not ideal for the Luxembourger, who concluded the qualifying session only on seventh.
The fourth of eight Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup races kicks off on Sunday (2 August) at 11:30 am local. Fans can follow the action via live stream on F1TV.formula1.com, live timing is available on http://www.porsche.com/supercup-livetiming.