Alliot Gets the Last Laugh, Scores Pole at Wet Paul Ricard

Carson Speedworks driver Joey Alliot scored his second pole position at the last possible moment during the wet qualifying session for the GT Super Series Round of France.

Alliot’s pole lap was nearly a whole second clear of the second fastest time set by Artesia Mass, after he was the last one to cross the line before time elapsed on the session. On a track that was quickly drying out after a prolonged rainfall which began during Saturday practice, the factory Corvette driver made the most of his Intermediate compound tires on the one lap he would get and put himself on the pole position for the race on Sunday. He was one of a dozen drivers that was able to get out in time to do a lap on the intermediate tires after the rain subsided near the end of the session.

Before that point, sitting on the provisional pole was Independent’s Class winner from Silverstone John Magnus. He was able to take advantage of his Falken wet weather tires and was half of a second in the clear at the front of the field after everyone had done their initial qualifying runs. And while the Brit would not improve on his second run after the rain subsided, his time from earlier in the session was still good enough for a tenth place starting position, and better than some of the times set by those who improved during the drying conditions.

Magnus, however, was not the quickest Independent qualifier during the twenty minute session; there were an additional four Independent class cars that qualified within the top ten. Highlighting this group of cars was the fact that Independent class cars qualified second through fourth for Sunday’s race; Artesia Mass leading the way ahead of Melanie Bourne and Harrison Wilkinson. Even though all three crossed the finish line in quick succession on their final laps, Mass more than a second and a half clear of the time set by the Boutsen Ginion driver, and a further one and a third seconds ahead of Wilkinson.

Another major surprise coming out of qualifying was the performance of Darren Older Jr. in his MacMillan Ford GT. He was the second fastest Manufacture’s Trophy team qualifying fifth overall, nearly four and a half seconds off the pace. Before the final sector he was projected to be starting as high as third, before he was impeded in the final sector by the RMR Maserati of Kjeld Axelsen. It was a good day for the Ford camp as former F1 and AutoReject World Series World Driver’s Champion Rhys Davies qualified the other Ford GT in eighth overall.

Qualifying Results – Round of France

164MJoey AlliotCarson1:43.354
234IArtesia MassOran+0.996
33IMelanie BourneBoutsen Ginion+2.617
488IHarrison WilkinsonLKM+3.912
543MDarren Older Jr.MacMillan+4.428
601MChris WinterSolvalou+6.570
7555IAntonio Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+6.925
840MRhys DaviesMacMillan+7.829
963MLi QiCarson+7.489
10007IJohn MagnusFalken Tire+7.625
1103MEmma PescatoreSolvalou+7.708
1225MAnton RobishaudPagani+7.868
136MMatteo RossiGulf+8.024
1415MPaul TravesenGerald Pereria+8.029
1555IJames DouglasTom Douglas+8.373
1614MFabian ReiGerald Pereria+8.440
172MNathan McKaneRavenwest+8.594
1817IPhil McCrackenCzechmate+8.889
1932IKjeld AxelsenRMR+9.026
2019IPeter OliverOliver+9.111
2113INatsuki YanameWinton+9.490
2278IMaria RodriguezLynxe+9.495
2316ILaurent SeronWestside+9.705
2427MEvgeny RestovScuderia Italia+9.734
2528MJames James DaviesScuderia Italia+9.991
2624MAmato AgostiniPagani+9.994
2741IKoyomi SetouBest In The World+10.084
2877IAndrea MassiniMinarae+10.485
2930IPaul JenkinsGlobex Scorpio+10.671
3045IPatrick FeldhofferEuromotor+10.932