8 September 2018
Duncan Williams came out triumphant in a fast and furious ten-minute qualifying session for Round 9 of the LMP3 Cup Championship on Donington Park’s Grand Prix loop. The Mectech Motorsport driver was on provisional pole on three different occasions as he traded the top spot with Nielsen Racing / Ecurie Ecosse’s Tony Wells, pipping his rival on his last lap.
The gap at the end of the session would be just 0.094s as the chequered flag waved, Williams securing pole position at the circuit which he and the Norma M30 made an LMP3 Cup debut earlier in the season along with Bradley Smith.
“Tony is quick, so to be near him is great,” said Williams. “We’ve got the car a little bit more to my liking with a bit more testing under our belts over the summer. We found a few tricks and it’s a lot more to my driving style now. Bradley can drive anything, but I need a car to be in a certain set-up. The race is a different thing and if it rains then it makes it a bit of a lottery, but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Wells had to settle for second place in the Ligier JS P3 he shares with Scot Colin Noble, ready to take the fight to their Norma rivals in the opening race.
“It was a tight session,” said Wells. “I think I lost a bit because of tyre temperature and I didn’t get the fronts back up the speed. I lost it while I was behind another car and then couldn’t get that temperature back. It’s pretty dry – there was a small amount of rain at the Old Hairpin at the start and then I didn’t feel anything after that. It’s all tight and nothing in it, so it’s going to be a good race.”
Dominic Paul will start from third on the grid in the Speedworks Motorsport Ligier, sharing with Jack Butel who was unlucky not to pick up the team’s first win of the season at Snetterton last time out. Paul’s best was only 0.452s away from pole position, but he remained confident that the deficit can be bridged in the race.
“My first and second sectors are both good, but it’s in the final sector where I’m losing a lot of my time,” said Paul. “We need to try and work out why, but we’ll be ready to race. I think we’ll be faster when it comes, so we’ll see.”
Neil Primrose was fastest of the invitational entries in his Norma M20 FC and qualified just 1.118s adrift of pole position with a stellar effort. Also joining their LMP3 Cup counterparts this weekend is the returning Richard Fearns in his PT4 category Radical RXC and Dan Gibson and Stefano Laney in the race debut for the Gibson-Honda GH20.
1) Duncan Williams – #21 Mectech Motorsport (Norma M30)
2) Tony Wells – #1 Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Racing (Ligier JS P3)
3) Dominic Paul – #96 Speedworks Motorsport (Ligier JS P3)