European Le Mans Series

DragonSpeed sets searing pace for Le Castellet pole

2 Mins read
Credit: ELMS/Jakob Ebrey Photography

The #21 DragonSpeed team will start Sunday’s 4 Hours of Le Castellet from pole position ahead of its sister #22 G-Drive Racing outfit, continuing its dominance of the weekend at Paul Ricard.

Having headed both practice sessions, the #21 Oreca set the fastest time of the session on the first flying lap with Nicolas Lapierre behind the wheel – clocking in a searing 1:52.761s time to head the field.

G-Drive’s Léo Roussel got closest on his last flying lap, but was unable to overturn the lead DragonSpeed’s advantage and could only manage a time 0.145s slower than Lapierre to elevate the #22 team to the front row – above the #39 Graff of Enzo Guibbert, who completed an all-Oreca top three.

The #27 SMP Racing Dallara set the fourth fastest lap with Matevos Isaakyan taking over qualifying duties for the first time, beating Filipe Albuquerque’s best time in the #32 United Autosports Ligier, the winner of last month’s 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring.

LMP3

The #6 360 Racing squad claimed the LMP3 pole in the hands of Ross Kaiser – his 2:02.186s lap proving to be almost 0.3s faster than Alex Kapadia‘s best time in the #15 RLR Msport Ligier.

Kaiser – also piloting a Ligier – posted a lap on his third run good enough for class pole, but found even more pace on his final lap to edge further ahead of Kapadia at the end.

The #18 M.Racing-YMR team set the early pace, but Alexandre Cougnaud could not find the pace of his rivals in the latter stages of the session. The #18 Ligier starts ahead of M.Racing-YMR’s #19 Norma, as Yann Ehrlacher set the fourth best time of the session.

Giorgio Mondini set the ninth fastest time of the LMP3 category in the #11 Eurointernational Ligier, which took the class victory last time out in Austria.

United Autosports endured a difficult session, as Wayne Boyd managed to spin the team’s #3 Ligier on his second flying lap, shortly after setting a purple first sector. The #3 squad could only set the thirteenth fastest time of the session, while Sean Rayhall set the fifth fastest time in the #2.

GTE

Unchallenged throughout the session, the #55 Spirit of Race starts Sunday’s race from the GTE class pole, with Matt Griffin setting the quickest time in his Ferrari 488 GTE.

Setting the fastest of the first recorded times, Griffin increased his advantage over the rest of the field with a 2:04.202s lap, going 0.2s faster than his opening run to put the class winners of the last round at the front.

The #55 starts ahead of the #77 Proton Competition Porsche, with Matteo Cairoli unable to improve on his first lap of the session. The #77 starts ahead of Spirit of Race’s second car – the #51 – which took pole last time out in Austria.

Jonny Cocker was also unable to improve on his first time behind the wheel of the #66 JMW Motorsports Ferrari, at one point running off-track after setting a purple first sector.

Both Aston Martin runners brought up the rear, as Nicki Thiim put his #90 TF Sport Vantage ahead of that of the #99 Beechdeen AMR, piloted by Darren Turner.

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