European Le Mans Series

ELMS Qualifying: Beche takes pole for Thiriet by TDS Racing

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Mathias Beche took pole position for the opening round of the European Le Mans Series at Silverstone in a wet session.

The Thiriet by TDS Racing driver – driving an Oreca 05 – set a 2:06.471 time to finish the 10 minute shootout 1.105 seconds ahead of Stefano Coletti in the #32 SMP Racing BR01-Nissan.

The session was red flagged after four minutes when Murphy Prototypes driver Damien Faulkner became stranded in the gravel at Luffield.

A final corner yellow flag for the beached Algarve Pro Racing Ligier in the closing seconds effectively sealed Beche’s pole position.

Third on the grid for Saturday afternoon’s four hour race is the Pegasus Racing Morgan-Nissan, which in the hands of Leo Roussel set a 1:08.671 lap. Closely following the Frenchman was Harry Tincknell in the G-Drive Gibson 015S, while fifth went to Nicolas Lapierre driving the Dragonspeed Oreca 05.

LMP3 was closely fought and not decided until the very end of the 10 minute session. Ross Kaiser, driver of the all-British 360 Racing Ligier JS P3, shot to the top of the timesheets late on to depose Dino Lunardi of his long-held fastest lap.

Lunardi, on board the Duqueine Engineering Ligier, thought he had done enough with a 2:13.402 but was usurped by Kaiser’s 2:13.264.

Third on the class grid was the #9 Graff car, while the two United Autosports entries rounded out the top five.

In LMGTE, FIA World Endurance Championship star Richie Stanaway gave Aston Martin a home pole position. The New Zealander registered a 2:19.348 to take the top spot by a margin of almost a second. Proton Competition will start second thanks to a strong qualifying display by Porsche factory driver Richard Lietz, with Andrea Bertolini finishing third in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari.

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