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Asian Le Mans Series

Di Resta Puts United on Pole for Both Abu Dhabi Races

Paul di Resta puts United Autosports Oreca on pole for both races in Abu Dhabi…

Photo: Asian LMS

Paul di Resta led both Saturday morning qualifying sessions at Yas Marina Circuit to put the United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson on pole position for the final two races of the 2022 Asian Le Mans Series.

After leading Friday’s pair of Free Practice sessions, di Resta topped the charts in the back-to-back 10-minute qualifying runs for the LMP2 class as the only driver to break the 1m 40s barrier.

The 2018-19 Asian LMS champion, who is teamed up with Josh Pierson, landed pole for today’s four-hour race with a time of 1:39.804 and backed that up with a 1:39.962 effort in Q2 that put United at the front of the five-car LMP2 grid for Sunday’s season finale.

Nielsen Racing’s Ben Hanley, who led both qualifying sessions at Dubai Autodrome last weekend, finished second to di Resta on both occasions at Yas Marina which marks United’s first appearance of the Asian LMS season.

Hanley hit the 1:40.4 range during each qualifying run, putting him six-tenths and half a second off di Resta in the two leaderboards.

David Droux took both LMP2 Pro-Am poles as the third-quickest driver outright for Graff, while ARC Bratislava’s Neale Muston and John Corbett took turns to post the fourth-best time in the Slovakian team’s Ligier JS P217 Gibson.

High Class Racing driver Dennis Andersen rounded out the LMP2 order in each session.

Laurents Hoerr swept the LMP3 class poles for the 2022 season with a pair of strong performances behind the wheel of the DKR Engineering Duqueine D08 Nissan.

Hoerr added to his Dubai poles by dominating the sessions at Yas Marina with more than a second between his time and those of his nearest competitors.

The German driver reeled off a 1:46.452 to lead Q1, before improving to a 1:46.301 in Q2.

Xavier Lloveras put G-Drive Racing’s Ligier JS P320 Nissan second on the grid for Saturday’s race, while CD Sport Ligier driver Edouard Cauhuape slotted in between Lloveras and Hoerr to take a front-row starting position on Sunday.

There was a brief red flag during the second LMP3 session after the Konrad Motorsport Ginetta stopped on track.

TF Sport and Herberth Motorsport traded the front row spots in the GT category as Jonny Adam and Klaus Bachler battled at the top of the times.

Adam first put TF Sport’s No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 on pole for Race 1 with a time of 1:50.576 that beat Bachler’s best effort by just under two-tenths.

Bachler, who finished second to Adam in the first session, then climbed to the top of the pile in Q2 with a 1:50.670 while Adam posted the second-fastest time, exactly two-tenths behind the Austrian.

Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos finished third in each session, with Mikael Grenier putting SPS Automotive Performance behind Adam and Bachler in Q1.

Arjun Maini set Haupt Racing Team third on the grid for Race 2, and will share the row with the Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 qualified by Davide Rigon.

Inception Racing’s championship-leading McLaren 720S GT3 qualified sixth and fifth in the hands of Ben Barnicoat.

The third and penultimate round of the 2022 Asian LMS season is due to start at 2:30 p.m. local time (5:30 a.m. ET).

RESULTS: Qualifying 1 / Qualifying 2

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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