Harry Tincknell took pole position for the Red Bull Ring round of the European Le Mans Series after resisting a late charge from Nathanael Berthon.
The Jota Sport driver produced a 1:22.983s fastest lap near the end of a red-flag affected session that Berthon, driving the Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03R, couldn’t provide an answer to.
Berthon finished the session three tenths behind Tincknell, who also started from pole last year, and four tenths ahead of the SMP Racing BR01 of Mikhail Aleshin which produced its best ever qualifying performance using a new Multimac rig setup.
Despite a late push from Tristan Gommendy in the latter stages of the 20 minute session, the championship leading Thiriet by TDS Racing squad could only manage fourth on the grid, six tenths shy of Tincknell’s final effort. Starting from fifth will be the second of the BR01s, driven by Nicolas Minassian, while an impressive qualifying stint from Julien Schell helped the Pegasus Racing Morgan to sixth on the grid.
Silverstone winners Greaves Motorsport had a difficult session, with Gary Hirsch prompting the red flag stoppage with five minutes remaining after losing control of his Gibson 015S coming out of the first corner. The Swiss driver was unable to complete the session and will start eighth, behind the Krohn Racing Ligier JS P2 of Nic Jonsson.
Charlie Robertson continued to assert Team LNT’s authority in the second prototype class as he stormed to pole position in LMP3. The Scotsman’s 1:29.851s lap was quicker than all but three of the GT entries, and four tenths of a second faster than Konstantin Calko in the SVK by Speed Factory LMP3 Ginetta. Mark Shulzhitskiy will start third in class, while the Villorba Corse machine that sustained heavy damage in first practice will round out the class grid after Roberto Lacorte produced a 1:31.765s lap in qualifying.
A late flying lap from Matt Griffin handed the #55 AF Corse squad pole position honours in LMGTE, despite a strong challenge from sister machinery.
Griffin’s 1:29.692s effort came with just two minutes left in the session, lowering the previous bar set by Raffaele Giammaria (#51 AF Corse Ferrari 458) by 0.022s.
The early pace was set by Richard Lietz in the #88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 although the sheer power advantage of the Ferrari entries soon bumped the other marques down the order.
Mikkel Mac (#60 Formula Racing Ferrari 458) qualified third in class with a 1:29.874s lap that was at the time sufficient for provisional pole, while Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #56 AT Racing Ferrrari couldn’t improve on his early 1:30.064s effort and settled for fourth. Sam Tordoff will start fifth in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari, while Lietz headed the four non-Ferrari runners.
In GTC, Francesco Castellacci (#64) took pole position for AF Corse, submitting a late 1:31.101s best to overcome the previous benchmark set by Marco Cioci in the sister #63 car.
Franck Perera was able to split at least one of the Ferraris, although the Frenchman’s 1:31.704s lap time aboard the TDS Racing BMW Z4 GT3 was nearly two seconds shy of Castellacci’s figure. Francisco Guedes will start behind him in the #64 AF Corse entry, while Simon Moller completes the grid in the Massive Motorsport Aston Martin GT3, which is running with a performance break in Austria.
The third round of the European Le Mans Series, which shares a programme with the Formula Renault 3.5 and TCR International Series championships this weekend, will take place later today (June 12) at 13:30 local time.