1 July 2018
Tony Wells scorched to pole position in a baking hot LMP3 Cup Championship qualifying session on Snetterton’s 300 circuit. Wells put in an early effort good enough for the top spot, before sealing the deal with rapid late run to give himself and Colin Noble the early bragging rights ahead of a charging Dominic Paul.
“I think the temperature has made the track a little bit slick,” said Wells. “We tested here a month ago and we came with a set-up that we thought was perfect for the time. We had to make quite a lot of changes for this heat though and the car was absolutely nailed and has a lot more in it.”
Paul’s tactics differed from his main rivals as the Speedworks Motorsport car left the pits later than the cars around it, giving Paul additional breathing space for his sequence of flying laps. The result was a last-gasp effort that proved good enough for the front row, narrowly making it across the line with seconds to go to start the lap in question.
“It was good to get P2, but I’d obviously prefer to be P1 so I’ve got some work to do in the race,” said Paul. “It affects everybody when it’s this hot, so I need to work a bit harder to beat Tony who looks good so far. I’ll get my sun cream on and get back out there!”
The late dash meant Bonamy Grimes was bumped to third place, having spent much of qualifying chasing team-mate Wells. “It was a good session in all”, said Grimes. “Tony got out of the pits in front of me and I was just trying to keep tabs on him and use him as a really good benchmark.
“He managed to step it up, but it’s all very tight at the top. The car is a moving platform in these conditions; we found it was planted in testing, but then you have to add a bit more grip in these hotter conditions. Overall though, I think it will be a fun race.”
Duncan Williams was a close fourth in the Norma M30, while Richard Fearns Radical RXC, competing in the PT4 category, went quickest.
1. Tony Wells - #1 Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Racing (Ligier JS P3)
2. Dominic Paul - #96 Speedworks Motorsport (Ligier JS P3)
3. Bonamy Grimes - #2 Red River Sport (Ligier JS P3)