United Autosports have claimed Pole positions in LMP2 and LMP3 at the opening round of the 2020 European Le Mans Series at Paul Ricard, whilst Kessel Racing outpaced the field to take GTE pole position.
It all came down to the last lap for the pole position as Felipe Albuquerque stole the crown away Nyck De Vries with a 1:38.268.
De Vries had led most the session in the Aurus for G-Drive racing but would finish 0.2 seconds back from pole position in a United Autosports sandwich. The #32 Oreca from United Autosports sits in third on the grid with a 1:38.736. The Gap between the #26 G-Drive and the #32 United Autosports was near enough identical thanks to Alex Brundle but later his lap would be deleted due to track limits.
2020 see’s a tyre war in LMP2 between Michelin and Goodyear, from the Initial showing it seems Michelin still have the pace over Goodyear, dominating the top of the grid Michelin take the top 6 spots with Goodyear grouped together from seventh to ninth.
In LMP3 it was Wayne Boyd who took the top spot, yet again in the dying moments of the session. DKR Engineering held pole position most of the session but once again United Autosports swooped in and spoilt the party. Boyd would set a time of 1:48.315, just one-tenth of a seconds quicker than the DKR Engineering time set by Laurent Horr.
LMP3 looks to be a battle of the chassis between Duqueine and Ligier, the top seven of the LMP3 field covered by a mere 0.5 seconds should see almighty battle at Paul Ricard.
It wasn’t smooth running for all of the field, the #16 BHK Motorsport Ligier slowed coming down the pitlane and had to pull off the circuit, and he session was cut short with a red flag due Colin Noble onboard the #7 Nielsen Racing Duqueine car stopping on circuit.
In the GTE class it was a surprise pole position for Niki Cadei and the #74 Kessel Racing Ferrari. Ross Gunn for Aston Martin was holding station with pole position and saw a last ditch effort by Matt Griffin attempt to take pole but missed out by 0.035 seconds.
Shortly after Cadei pipped Gunn to the post with a fantastic time of 1:51.729, stealing the pole position by just 0.016 seconds over Ross Gunn.
Proton Competion are fourth on the grid, one-thousandth of a second back from Matt Griffin in his spirit of Race Ferrari. The #60 Iron Lynx Ferrari sits in fifth position whilst the second Proton Competition Porsche the #93 sits in sixth. The GTE fight looks set to be a real fight with the top 6 cars covered by only 0.163 seconds.