Albuquerque takes home pole position at Estoril ELMS


Portuguese driver Filipe Albuquerque recorded the fastest lap during qualifying for the Estoril round of the European Le Mans Series, placing Jota Sport on pole position for the four hour race.

Albuquerque, who is driving at his home event this weekend, set a 1:43.510s lap in wet conditions to secure Jota Sport’s fifth consecutive front row start with the Gibson 015S Nissan.

He will start ahead of the title-challenging Greaves Motorsport Gibson, which Jon Lancaster qualified 0.808s adrift.

Krohn Racing will start from third after Olivier Pla submitted a 1:44.319s effort – one thousandth of a second behind Lancaster – late in the session aboard the #40 Ligier JS P2. The Frenchman will be joined on the second row by the Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA 05 which registered a 1.45:018s lap in the hands of Nicolas Lapierre.

The #21 AF Racing BR01 completed the top five, edging out the Pegasus Racing Morgan which will start from sixth.

In seventh was the Eurasia Motorsport ORECA 03R of Nick Pieter de Bruijn, while Algarve Pro Racing’s Ligier JS P2 starts from eighth.

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Simpson set the pace in LMP3 (Credit: Nick Dungan/Adrenal Media)

Michael Simpson stormed to the top of the LMP3 order with a late 1:50.469s marker aboard the #2 Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan, ousting Charlie Robertson in the #3 sister car by a margin of 0.074s. The Graff Ligier JS P3 will start its maiden ELMS race just behind in third, although Gary Findlay was over a second slower than the pair of so-far dominant works Ginettas.

The wet weather conditions mixed up the two GT groups, with TDS Racing’s GTC class BMW Z4 GT3 setting the fastest time for both categories combined.

In LMGTE, though, it was Richard Lietz who put in another strong performance to secure pole position for the Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR, setting a time of 1:52.945s. The German driver will have the comfort of two GTC Ferraris between himself and the next LMGTE runner at the start, which is the championship-leading Formula Racing Ferrari 458 Italia as qualified by Mikkel Mac. Third in LMGTE was the JMW Motorsport Ferrari of James Calado.

Franck Perera’s 1:52.723s lap time gave TDS Racing its third pole position of the year in GTC, and adds an extra point to the French team’s lead in the class standings. Marco Cioci qualified the #63 AF Corse Ferrari second in class, 0.227s down on the BMW, while the #62 sister car that is in contention to win the championship this weekend will start third after a 1:53.014s lap from Francesco Castellacci.

The ELMS 4 Hours of Estoril will get underway later today (October 18) at 13:00.