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Pizzitola Outpaces Tung to Sepang Pole
- Updated: January 21, 2017
Andrea Pizzitola took pole position for the Asian Le Mans Series finale as the checkered flag flew, ensuring that championship leader Ho-Pin Tung will start the Four Hours of Sepang from second position.
The Algarve Pro Racing driver set a lap time of 1:55.279 in the No. 25 Ligier JS P2 Nissan, just 0.008 seconds faster than Tung in the Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 03R Nissan that looked set to start from pole position.
Struan Moore was third-fastest in the Race Performance Oreca 03R Judd, ahead of the Algarve Pro Ligier Judd.
Throughout the 15-minute session, the lead changed no fewer than eight times, with the top three cars all setting fastest laps at different times throughout.
“I was pretty nervous in the car,” said Pizzitola. “When your engineer tells you that you are P2 by tenths off, that’s ok, but when you’re P2 by one tenth, you can’t go back into the box in P2.
“You just have to push every lap, and I was so close to the other guys. I had really good traffic management from my team. I’m really happy about this pole.”
It was a similar story in LMP3, with Nigel Moore topping the second class with seconds to go, putting the Tockwith Motorsports Ligier JS P3 Nissan ahead of the Wineurasia car.
This gives Moore and Philip Hanson a clean sweep so far this weekend, following session-topping performances in both Free Practice 1 and 2 from the Tockwith crew.
The LMP3 grid will be headed by four Ligiers as the race gets underway on Sunday, although a Ginetta team, ARC Bratislava, still leads the points standings despite qualifying seventh in class.
Following a delayed start to the GT session, Alex Riberas went fastest for DH Racing in the No. 3 Ferrari 488 GT3, putting the car he shares with Rino Mastronardi and Olivier Beretta onto class pole.
Team BBT’s similar Ferrari qualified just 0.004 seconds slower driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, while Alex Yoong took the Team Audi Korea Audi R8 LMS to third in class ahead of Rui Aguas’ Spirit of Race Ferrari.
Meanwhile, Shinyo Sano put the TKS Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on pole in GT Cup, beating the Team NZ car that had gone fastest in both Free Practice sessions.
The Four Hours of Sepang will start at 12:15 p.m. local time on Sunday, and will be streamed live on the series’ YouTube channel.