TDS On Pole For Opening ELMS Round At Paul Ricard: Watch LIVE
The no31 TDS Racing x Vaillant Oreca-Gibson secured the first pole position, and the first championship point, of the 2022 European Le Mans Series in dramatic fashion when the red flag was shown right at the end of the 10-minute qualifying session.
Mathias Beche had gone to the top of the timing screens with less than four minutes left on the clock, the Swiss driver posting a 1m43.038 lap.The provisional pole position had been claimed by no less than three other cars, with Louis Deletraz (no9 Prema Racing), Yifei Ye (no37 Cool Racing) and Tom Gamble (no22 United Autosports) all making a bid for the top spot-on tomorrow’s grid for the 4 Hours of Le Castellet.
Beche’s time looked under threat as purple and blue sector times appeared on the screen from several rivals but then the no40 Graff Oreca, driven by David Droux, stopped on track and Race Control had no option but to halt the session.Mathias Beche had already pulled into the pitlane and celebrated the pole position with the rest of the TDS Racing team members.
The no22 United Autosports Oreca will start on the front row after Tom Gamble’s best lap of 1m43.191.Row two will consist of the no9 Prema Racing Oreca and the no34 Racing Team Turkey.
In LMP3 Malthe Jakobsen continued to demonstrate why he is young driver to watch, the Dane coming out late in the session and posting two rapid laps to secure the class pole for the first time.The no17 Cool Racing Ligier’s best time of 1m49.008 was three tenths ahead of the rest of the field.
It looked like it was going to be a Cool Racing all front row, with Antoine Doquin holding the provisional pole and then the second place with a 1m49.622 lap in the no27 Ligier. However, Alex Kapadia in the no5 RLR MSport Ligier had other ideas and put in a last gasp challenge for pole.The British driver crossed the line in 1m49.347 to claim second place on the LMP3 grid, 0.339s behind Jakobsen’s time.
The no4 DKR Engineering Duqueine-Nissan will join the no27 Cool Racing Ligier on the second row after Sebastien Alvarez posted a 1m49.700 lap to keep the reigning champions in touch for tomorrow’s 4 Hours of Le Castellet.
The LMGTE pole was claimed by the no32 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari of Memo Gidley, the American claiming the top spot in the first all bronze ELMS qualifying session.
Gidley was challenged for the pole position by several cars, with Sarah Bovy (no83 Iron Lynx Ferrari), Christian Ried (no77 Proton Competition Porsche) and Ahmad Al Harthy (no69 Oman Racing by TF Sport Aston Martin) all holding the provisional pole position during the ten-minute session.
At the Chequered Flag it was the no32 Ferrari on pole with a 1m54.755 lap, 0.154s ahead of the no69 Aston Martin.Row 2 will be headed by the no83 Ferrari after Sarah Bovy put in a 1m55.020 on her last lap, pushing the no77 Porsche into 4thby 0.174s.
The Algarve Pro Racing car of Australian’s Jame Allen and Alex Peroni failed to set a time and will start from 17th place, the last of the LMP2 cars.
Source ELMS Media