Thiriet by TDS Racing on pole for ELMS 4 Hours of Le Castellet

Thiriet by TDS Racing will start from pole position at the Le Castellet round of the European Le Mans Series.

Swiss driver Mathias Beche posted the quickest time of the 10 minute qualifying session to give the French outfit an early boost at its home event.

Beche turned in a 1:47.033s on his third lap to go fastest, placing the #46 ORECA-Nissan 05 half a second ahead of the similar DragonSpeed ORECA driven by Nicolas Lapierre.

DragonSpeed topped the timesheets on Friday during free practice, but Lapierre couldn’t improve on Beche’s impressive marker.

Row two of Sunday’s grid will feature the Greaves Motorsport Ligier-Nissan JSP2 which qualified third – albeit 1.3 seconds off the pace – with a 1:48.420s lap set by French driver Nathanael Berthon.

Berthon will start alongside the SMP Racing BR01-Nissan of Stefano Coletti, who edged out Andrea Pizzitola in the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier-Nissan by eight hundredths of a second.

Completing row three is the first of the open cockpit LMP2 cars, entered by Irish squad Murphy Prototypes.

The championship-leading G-Drive Racing Gibson-Nissan 015S which took pole at last year’s 4 Hours of Le Castellet qualified 9th.

In the all-Ligier LMP3 class, Tockwith Motorsports continued an impressive debut weekend by taking pole position.

Nigel Moore’s 1:54.009s time came on his final tour, beating the Graff car driven by Enzo Guibbert by seven tenths of a second. Moore had already displayed his intentions during Friday practice, when he set the fastest LMP3 lap of the day.

Row two of the class grid sees Panis Barthez Competition’s Simon Gachet (1:54.817s) line up next to points leader Alex Brundle in the United Autosports entry (1:55.238s), with 360 Racing and M.Racing YMR behind.

LMGTE qualifying saw Aston Martin Racing take the lead in the championship, with Darren Turner’s pole position giving the British marque the extra point it required.

In a close standoff with Alessandro Pier Guidi’s AT Racing Ferrari, Turner submitted a 1:56.285s lap to seal the top spot on the class grid.

Pier Guidi followed in second with a 1:56.483s effort, but in falling short he and team-mates Alex Talkanitsa Sr and Jr drop behind AMR in the standings on countback. Both teams will start Sunday’s race on 48 points.

Turner, an Aston Martin works driver, will share the #99 Beechdean liveried car with fellow Brits Alex MacDowall and Andrew Howard.

Row two of the LMGTE grid features the #55 AF Corse Ferrari qualified by Matt Griffin, and the JMW Motorsport Ferrari which sits third in the championship on 43 points.

In another all-Ferrari row, AF Corse’s #51 car will start fifth ahead of defending race winner Formula Racing.


The ELMS 4 Hours of Le Castellet will get underway on Sunday, August 28 at 14:00 local time.