Aston Martin took a sensational pole position for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race at Long Beach in only the second race in the US for the Lola-Aston Martin coupe.

The car, driven by ALMS veteran Adrian Fernandez and Swiss Harold Primat, saw off the concerted effort of the HDP-01c of Patron Highcroft Racing as the series combined the LMP1 and LMP2 classes into a single prototype class for the first time.

It was Mexican Fernandez whose duty it was to qualify the no.007, Lowe's backed car for Saturday night's 100 minute race at the famous Californian road course. He briefly lost the provisional top stop to Simon Pagenaud around the halfway session only to reclaim it with a lap of 1:13.213 around the 1.97mile track, putting a seven-tenths of a second buffer between him a the open cockpitted Acura.

“It’s awesome to qualify on pole and especially at Long Beach as I have a lot of friends here and this place means so much to me,” said Fernandez. “It’s my first time here with the Aston Martin team and we knew that it would be tough against the LMP2s. I was right on the limit with my quickest lap. We have a tough challenge tomorrow but I hope we can make it our first win of the year.”

“The car felt good straight away but the track is quite bumpy as it is a street circuit, so we are pleased with this result,” added Primat who had driven the car in the practice sessions. “We made some minor modifications in the second practice and I think we have a good and reliable car for tomorrow’s race.”

Photo Credit: AMR