Asian Le Mans Set For A Thai Thriller: Watch LIVE
With just 0.009 between 1st and 2nd, in the LMP2 class, and just 0.001 between 1st and 2nd in the GT Class, the stage is set for a thrilling 6 Hours of Buriram the latest round of the Asian Le Mans Series.
Right from the start of the 15-minute session, the fight for pole position between the two Jackie Chan DC Racing X JOTA Sport Oreca 05 Nissans and the #37 BBT Ligier JS P2 was intense. Thomas Laurent in the #8 Oreca, and Pipo Derani in the #37, traded fastest times from the start. Later in the session they were joined by the #7 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport entry with Jazeman Jaafar behind the wheel.
At the end of the session the pole position was still anyone’s, but is was Thomas who just beat Pipo, with Jazeman just 0.107 further behind.
In 4th, and just a further 1.083 behind was Series debutant Gustavo Yacaman in the ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 was just 1 second setting the race up perfectly.
In the Bronze Cup it was the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan being driven by Ate Dirk De Jong that led the way.
In the LMP3 Class, it was Australia’s Josh Burdon in the #18 KCMG Motorsport Ligier JS P3 leading the way yet again. He was quick straight away, sitting 3rd outright in the early stages of the session. Ultimately, he finished 5th outright and the fastest LMP3. 0.862 of a second behind him was the #6 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport Ligier JS P3 with another of the Series debutants, Gabriel Aubry behind the wheel.
After an accident earlier in the day, #65 Viper Niza Racing team put in a huge effort to get their Ligier JS P3 back on track and into qualifying. The team did a great job, handing 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 Champion Nigel Moore a car good enough to set a time just 0.2 behind and this saw him finish 3rd in Class.
4th in Class, was the #1 WIN Motorsport Ligier JS P3 piloted by Richard Bradley was just one tenth behind, and 5th in Class was Ye Hong Li in the #11 Taiwan Beer GH Motorsport Ligier JS P3, again just a tenth behind.
In the GT qualifying session things only got more dramatic.
Claiming pole position after the chequered flag had fallen was Ollie Millroy in the #90 FIST Team AAI GT3 Ferrari 488 GT3 by the smallest of margins – just 0.001 – from the #66 Audi Sport Customer Racing Asia by TSRT being driven by Massimiliano Wiser.
Behind them it was a dramatic session for Jesse Krohn in the #91 FIST Team AAI GT3 BMW M6 GT3. While the Audi and the Ferrari continued to trade fastest laps, the team chose to leave him in the pit lane.
Half way through the session Jesse came out but immediately came in again to put on a fresh set of Michelin tyres. He was joined in the pit lane by his team mate in the Ferrari who was also in for fresh tyres.
While they did that, Massimiliano stayed out in the Audi and went to the top of the table.
On track, Jesse instantly went quickest on his first flying lap, but quickly after it was deleted due to a track limits violation. Meanwhile, Ollie in the Ferrari was again setting purple sector times, a last gasp effort saw him grab 2nd place.
At that point, things began to unravel for Jesse. After having his first flying lap deleted, he suffered the same fate for his only other flying lap also excluded. The BMW by then having pitted, was unable to repair the damage to the qualifying session.
This left him with no lap times, and will consequently start at the rear of the field.
In the GT Cup Class, it was reigning Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Class Champions, Team NZ with their #77 Porsche 997 GT3 being driven by John Curran that was quickest.
Source: Asian Le Mans Series Media