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Asian Le Mans Series

Al Harthy Secures Pole for Both Abu Dhabi Races

Ahmad Al Harthy storms to double pole position at Yas Marina in first LMP2 outing…

Photo: Asian Le Mans Series

Ahmad Al Harthy put 99 Racing on pole position for both of this weekend’s Asian Le Mans Series races at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The Omani driver set the pace in his first qualifying outing behind the wheel of the No. 98 Oreca 07 Gibson and posted a 1:42.644, which gave him the upper hand by over a second compared to DKR Engineering’s Salih Yoluc.

Yoluc’s No. 3 Oreca sat just 0.003 seconds ahead of Nielsen Racing’s Rodrigo Sales, who secured third.

Charles Crews, who took pole position for both races at Dubai aboard the No. 43 Inter Europol Competition Oreca, qualified fourth ahead of Algarve Pro Racing’s John Falb.

Crews’ session was complicated by a spin coming out of the final corner. He remained without damage and was able to continue, but it took some time for the American driver to get his car pointed in the right direction again.

His troubles means he missed out on a top five spot for the second race on Sunday, with Cool Racing’s Alexandre Coigny moving up into fifth place behind Al Harthy, Sales, Yoluc and Falb.

Pole position for both races in LMP3 went to WTM by Rinaldi Racing’s Torsten Kratz.

The German driver steered the No. 11 Duqueine D08 Nissan to a 1:48.576 to claim the top spot, ahead of Alexander Bukhantsov’s No. 73 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P320 Nissan.

Nielsen Racing’s Tony Wells captured third, leading the second Rinaldi car piloted by Matthias Luethen.

Kratz and Bukhantsov also occupy the front row for the second race on Sunday, with MV2S Racing’s Jerome de Sadeleer completing the top three for the season finale.

The qualifying session for prototype runners finished prematurely due to a red flag for a spinning Yasser Shahin.

The Australian driver swapped ends at Turn 6 and momentarily remained stationary on the inside of the corner.

Race control had already neutralized the session when he managed to get back underway aboard the No. 23 United Autosports Oreca.

With just over two minutes remaining on the clock, the decision was made for qualifying not to be resumed.

A late charging effort from Liam Talbot secured HubAuto Racing pole position for both of this weekend’s races in the GT category.

In a session that initially saw Walkenhorst Motorsport’s Thomas Merrill and Haupt Racing Team’s Martin Konrad engaged in a battle for the top spot, Talbot swooped in late aboard the No. 72 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to beat both cars to the punch.

Merrill’s No. 34 BMW M4 GT3 lines up second for the first race later today, with Konrad third aboard the No. 7 Mercedes.

Stefano Constantini secured fourth in the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, with Herberth Motorsport’s Ralf Bohn rounding out the top five.

The order of the top three was reversed for Sunday’s race, with Konrad second and Merrill third.

Qualifying for the GT runners was delayed by roughly half an hour due to an early red flag, caused by the No. 67 Orange Racing powered by JMH McLaren 720S GT3 driven by Simon Orange.

Suspected brake issues caused Orange to go off at Turn 9, with the resulting impact requiring barrier repairs.

This afternoon’s race at Yas Marina Circuit kicks off at 3 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET).


Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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