Nicolas Jamin gives Duqueine Engineering Pole for Portimao Finale

by Paul Hensby
Duqueine Engineering - 4 Hours of Portimao

Duqueine Engineering secured the final pole position of the 2018 European Le Mans Series season on Saturday, with Nicolas Jamin giving the #29 Oreca top spot for the Four Hours of Portimao with a best lap of 1:33.197.

Lucas Légeret secured pole position in the LMP3 class for the #19 M Racing YMR Norma squad, while the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Miguel Molina took top spot in the LM GTE class.

LMP2

Nicolas Jamin, who shares the #29 Oreca with fellow Frenchmen Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues, left it late to take the first pole position of the season for the Duqueine Engineering team, with the #23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier of Will Stevens, Timothé Buret and Julien Canal just 0.060 seconds behind.

For a long time, it appeared that Filipe Albuquerque was going to take pole in his home race for United Autosports, but the #22 Ligier he shares with Phil Hanson fell to third in the closing moments, first behind the #23 and then finally by the #29.

The #28 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul-Loup Chatin, Memo Rojas and Gabriel Aubry were fourth fastest, just over half a second off the pole time, while the #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca of Jean-Eric Vergne, Roman Rusinov and Andrea Pizzitola ended fifth.

M Racing YMR - 4 Hours of Portimao

M Racing YMR took LMP3 pole in Portugal – Credit: European Le Mans Series

LMP3

It was a Norma 1-2 in the LMP3 class, with the #19 M Racing YMR trio of Lucas Légeret, David Droux and Michael Benham hitting the front with a lap of 1:40.715, just 0.061 seconds clear of the #17 Ultimate entry of Mathieu Lahaye, Jean-Baptiste Lahaye and François Heriau.

The #9 AT Racing Ligier of Alexander Talkanitsa, Alexander Talkanitsa Jr. and Mikkel Jensen ended third fastest, 0.284 seconds away from Légeret’s pole time, with the #8 DKR Engineering Norma of Christian Vaglio, Marvin Klein and Nicolas Maulini ending fourth ahead of the #5 United Autosports Ligier of John Falb and Scott Andrews.

In the championship battle, the #15 RLR M Sport Ligier of leaders Job Van Uitert, John Farano and Robert Garofell will start seventh, while their rivals for the crown, the #6 360 Racing Ligier and the #3 United Autosports Ligier will start tenth and fifteenth respectively.

There was one red flag during the session when the #11 EuroInternational Ligier of Giorgio Mondini spun into the turn five gravel trap with just under three and a half minutes remaining, but when the session resumed no one was able to improve their times, leaving the #19 to take pole position for the season finale.

LMGTE

Miguel Molina’s final lap just as the chequered flag fell gave the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari the LM GTE pole position at Portimao, with the Spaniard denying the #77 Proton Engineering Porsche top spot by just over three-tenths of a second.

Molina, who shares the car with Liam Griffin and Alex MacDowell, ensured the point for pole position went the way of JMW as they bid to deny the #88 Proton Engineering Porsche the title this weekend, with now just ten and a half points separating the two teams.

The #77 of Denis Olsen, Marvin Dienst and Christian Ried also found themselves ahead of the sister #88 of Matteo Cairoli, Giorgio Roda and Gianluca Roda, although Cairoli had his fastest time deleted for exceeding track limits at turn fifteen.

The #55 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Matthew Griffin, Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott ended fourth fastest ahead of the #80 EbiMotors Porsche of Fabio Babini, Riccardo Pera and Bret Curtis and the #83 Krohn Racing Ferrari of Tracy Krohn, Niclas Jönsson and Andrea Bertolini.

JMW Motorsport celebrated LM GTE pole in Portimao – Credit: European Le Mans Series

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