European Le Mans Series

4H Imola: Chatin leads again in eventful second practice

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Panis Barthez Competition continued its Friday form by setting the fastest lap during second practice for the 4 Hours of Imola.

Paul-Loup Chatin was once again the pace-setter, turning in a 1:33.881s lap to top the incident-filled 90 minute Saturday morning session for the French team.

Ligier JSP2-Nissans occupied the first two places, as Chatin edged out Olivier Pla who is driving the Krohn Racing machine this weekend.

Pla finished 0.240 seconds behind Chatin, while Nicolas Lapierre was a further four tenths of a second back in the DragonSpeed Oreca 05-Nissan.

The session was interrupted by one red flag period and five full course yellows. Chatin’s team-mates Fabien Barthez and Timothe Buret each had brief trips into the gravel, while Formula Racing’s Christina Nielsen brought a halt to the session when her Ferrari hit with the wall at turn five. The SMP Racing BR01-Nissan also had an off at the same location towards the end of the session.

Closed-cockpit prototypes dominated the timesheets, with the top six places filled by coupe entries. Fourth overall was the Greaves Motorsport Ligier of Polish youngster Jakub Giermaziak, who finished 0.773 seconds off the pace, while Tristan Gommendy completed the top five for Eurasia Motorsport.

Sixth was Mathias Beche in the Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca, while Murphy Prototypes driver Garry Findlay set the quickest lap for an open top car at 1:35.317s.

In the all-Ligier LMP3 category, Villorba Corse led at the close of play after Nicollo Schiro bested the time set by Dino Lunardi in the #19 Duqueiene Engineering machine.

Lunardi’s 1:40.769s time appeared to be enough to top the second session, but a quick 1:40.349s response by Schiro confirmed the order, putting the Italian team in good stead at its home race.

LMGTE was once again led by the JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia, driven by Andrea Bertolini. The Italian was run close by Klaus Bachler in the #88 Proton Porsche 911 RSR, but ultimately his 1:41.870s lap was enough to top the order by 0.174 seconds.

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