Newly-resurfaced Silverstone provides close competition for Pirelli’s GT tyre

A newly-resurfaced track helped to create even closer competition than usual at the Blancpain GT Series endurance round at Silverstone in England. Having started from pole, the R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage V12 of Nicki Thiim, Jake Dennis and Matthieu Vaxiviere took the manufacturer’s first Blancpain GT win since the same Silverstone race five years ago. Like all the GT3 cars entered, the winning Aston used Pirelli’s latest P Zero DHD2 tyre, specifically created for GT racing.

Silverstone also hosted the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, which was won by Vito Postiglione/Karol Basz and Giacomo Altoe/Daniel Zampieri. In total, around 100 competition cars were supplied with Pirelli P Zero tyres at Silverstone over the course of the weekend.

Matteo Braga (Pirelli circuit technical manager):
“The new track surface seems to have had a strong influence, with lap times over two seconds faster than they were last year, meaning that the fastest laps in the race were actually faster than qualifying in 2017. As well as the established frontrunners, we saw that the Aston Martin and the Lexus were extremely competitive all weekend, suggesting that an already closely-matched Blancpain field has now become even more closely-aligned on pace. As a result, Silverstone was an extremely hard-fought race, in warm weather conditions, but the consistency of the P Zero DHD2 tyre meant that all the different cars were able to push very hard from the start to the finish of their stints, while lapping within the same second.”

Matthieu Vaxiviere, winning #76 Aston Martin driver:
“Our car was incredibly strong from the start; the whole package. We got pole and we were able to take back P1 and control the race, while still pushing hard. A big thanks to everyone who made this possible; everything worked so well today.”

Fact of the day:
Jake Dennis, one of the winners for Aston Martin, experienced a different type of Pirelli tyre last week when he tested for Red Bull Racing during the in-season Formula 1 test after the Spanish Grand Prix. Dennis, who combines his Blancpain campaign with duties as a Red Bull F1 simulator driver, was a surprise call-up for the test but posted the 10th-quickest time.

Number of the day:
25. The Garage 59 McLaren crew that was 25th overall and won the Am Cup at Silverstone included BBC TV presenter Chris Harris, who is an experienced racing driver as well as television personality. “The car just got better and better over the weekend and felt awesome today,” he said.