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Asian Le Mans Series

Jakobsen Quickest on Friday at Yas Marina

Cool Racing driver breaks 1m 42s barrier to set overall pace in Abu Dhabi practice…

Photo: Asian Le Mans Series

Cool Racing driver Malthe Jakobsen set the fastest lap across two Free Practice sessions on Friday ahead of this weekend’s Asian Le Mans Series finale at Yas Marina Circuit.

The Dane posted a time of 1:41.957 in the No. 37 Oreca 07 Gibson and ended up half a second clear of second-placed Phil Hanson from United Autosports.

Jakobsen, who also set the Friday pace at Dubai Autodrome last weekend, is contesting the final two races of the Asian LMS season in a pairing with Alexandre Coigny, after Cool Racing team principal Nico Lapierre elected not to drive at Yas Marina.

Hanson went quickest overall in the first of two 90-minute practice sessions, turning in a time of 1:42.821 aboard the No. 22 United Oreca before shaving four-tenths off that number during the evening run.

99 Racing ended up third-fastest on the day courtesy of Neel Jani’s 1:42.937 effort in FP1, while Oliver Jarvis set the No. 23 United entry fourth in the LMP2 order.

Cool Racing swept the top spot in both prototype categories as Marco Siebert produced a 1:47.986 to lead the LMP3 field.

Siebert beat WTM by Rinaldi Racing’s Nico Varrone by a quarter of a second, with Fabien Lavergne third for points leader MV2S Racing.

The tightest margins were in GT3 where Jonny Adam set the Friday pace for Aston Martin squad TF Sport with a time of 1:52.992.

Adam edged ahead of Haupt Racing Team Mercedes-AMG driver Luca Stolz by 0.068 seconds, as GetSpeed’s Fabian Schiller also came within a tenth of the leading time.

Both Stolz and Schiller set their cars’ respective fastest laps during a two-hour private test session that took place in the morning before the Free Practice run got underway.

Qualifying for both of this weekend’s four-hour races at Yas Marina starts at 10:40 a.m. local time (1:40 a.m. ET) on Saturday.

Entry List News & Notes

***Seasoned GT racer Ahmad Al Harthy will make his LMP2 debut with 99 Racing this weekend, according to the pre-event entry list. The Omani driver, who is competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship GTE-Am class this year with TF Sport, replaces Goncalo Gomes as the designated Bronze-rated driver alongside Jani and Nikita Mazepin.

***The Aston Martin Vantage GT3s from TF Sport’s No. 61 crew and Viper Niza Racing have been withdrawn midway through the season after accidents during last weekend’s Dubai Autodrome event. Their absence brings the GT3 field down to 21 cars for Yas Marina.

***Jacques Wolff has replaced Fabian Michal in the No. 2 CD Sport Ligier JS P320 Nissan. Wolff drove for CD Sport in the 2020 Michelin Le Mans Cup before spending two seasons in the same championship with Racing Spirit of Leman.

***Ben Barker will complete the Asian LMS season with Kessel Racing after the British driver was drafted into the Swiss team’s Ferrari lineup following the accident-related withdrawal of Dinamic GT. According to the Kessel team, Fraga experienced a back contracture that caused him to step back from the Dubai races, while Barker was on hand to take up the drive.

***Marvin Kirchhoefer is back with Garage 59 after skipping Dubai due to illness. The McLaren factory driver was replaced by Tom Gamble, who helped the team’s No. 88 McLaren 720S GT3 to a fourth-place finish in Race 2.

RESULTS: Private Test / Free Practice 1 / Free Practice 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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