Panis Racing On Pole In Tight Fight At Barcelona 4 Hours: WATCH LIVE
Nico Jamin claimed his first ELMS pole for nearly four years when he took the chequered in the no65 Panis Racing Oreca-Gibson in 1m34.802, just 0.097s ahead of the reigning LMP2 champion Yifei Ye in the no37 Cool Racing Oreca.
The 10-minute session began with Ye posting the best flying lap with a 1m35.192, but was pushed down into second place by the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul Loup Chatin, the French driver becoming the first to go under 1m35 with a 1m34.976 lap.
While most of the field headed to the pits for fresh rubber, Chatin stayed out on track but was unable to improve his time. The IDEC Sport Oreca came into the pits with 1 minute left on the clock.
In the meantime, the other cars on fresh Goodyears started to post faster times with Jack Aitken in the no34 Racing Team Turkey Oreca going into 3rd place just before the chequered flag was shown.
The no37 Cool Racing Oreca was going quicker, and Yifei Ye crossed the line with a 1m34.899 to claim the provisional pole position.However, his joy was short lived when the no65 Panis Racing Oreca crossed the line a few seconds later, with Nico Jamin clocking up a 1m34.802 to snatch pole for tomorrow’s 4 Hours of Barcelona by 0.097s.
Jack Aitken improved again on his last lap to finish the session third fastest in the no34 Racing Team Turkey Oreca and the top LMP2 Pro/Am car, just 0.029s ahead of the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca.
Australian’s James Allen and Alex Peroni will start back in 12th place but with less than a second covering the first 13 cars they still have to be considered a real chance of a win.
In LMP 3 Malthe Jakobsen secured his fourth pole position of the season in the no17 Cool Racing Ligier with a 1m40.112 lap of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The young Dane had set a 1m39 lap but lost it to track limits when he ran slightly wide on the exit of the chicane.
The no13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier of Nicolas Pino claimed the second spot on the LMP3 grid with a 1m40.778, 0.666s behind Jakobsen. Bailey Voisin posted the third fastest time with a 1m41.005 in the no2 United Autosports Ligier in the last minute of the session, 0.222s ahead of the no27 Cool Racing Ligier of Antoine Doquin.
The no69 Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage will start at the head of the 11 car LMGTE field after Ahmad Al Harthy took his second pole position of the 2022 season. The Omani driver headed the timing screen for the entire 10-minute session, posting his best lap of 1m45.692 towards the end of qualifying.
Sarah Bovy put the no83 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GTE on the front row with a 1m46.038 lap. The Belgian driver pitted for fresh rubber and rejoined to try and take pole with one flying lap, but it wasn’t to be and she headed into the pits before finishing the lap.
The championship leading no77 Proton Competition Porsche will start in third place, alongside the no32 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari.