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European Le Mans Series

Albuquerque on Pole as United Locks Out 4H Spa Front Row

Albuquerque takes 4H Spa pole to lead 1-2 for United Autosports, which also tops LMP3…

Photo: ELMS

Filipe Albuquerque claimed his fourth consecutive European Le Mans Series pole position to lead a 4 Hours of Spa front-row lockout for United Autosports.

Albuquerque, who scored pole for the Paul Ricard season-opener and also the final two rounds of 2019 at Spa and Portimao, posted a time of 2:03.298 aboard the No. 22 Oreca 07 Gibson to lead Saturday’s 12-minute session.

The Portuguese driver was half a second clear of Job van Uitert who put the sister No. 32 United car second on the grid, while G-Drive Racing’s Mikkel Jensen qualified third.

Albuquerque set the benchmark with seven minutes left in the session, turning in a time of 2:03.471 to lead from Jensen in the No. 26 Oreca-based Aurus 01 Gibson.

United then called both of its cars in to take extra tires, which resulted in van Uitert rising to second and Albuquerque shaving almost two-tenths off his previous best.

Van Uitert’s time of 2:03.817 put the Dutchman just four-thousandths of a second ahead of Jensen in the classification.

Konstantin Tereshenko placed fourth for Duqueine Engineering, while Anthony Davidson improved from seventh to fifth at the end of the session in the guesting JOTA Oreca.

Davidson was the best of the Goodyear runners as Michelin-shod cars occupied the first two rows of the grid.

Fellow British drivers Ben Hanley, Jon Lancaster and Richard Bradley came through in sixth to eighth for DragonSpeed, Algarve Pro Racing and IDEC Sport respectively.

Boyd, Lietz Take Class Poles

As was the case at Paul Ricard, United Autosports claimed pole in both prototype classes with Wayne Boyd going quickest in LMP3 to back up Albuquerque’s LMP2 effort.

Boyd posted a time of 2:12.634 in the Ligier JS P320 Nissan that he shares with Tom Gamble and Rob Wheldon, putting the United car 0.885 seconds clear of the field.

Second-fastest was Laurents Hoerr in the No. 4 DKR Engineering Duqueine D08/M30 Nissan, while David Droux was third for Ligier outfit Realteam Racing.

Pole position in the GTE class went to Porsche FIA World Endurance Championship driver Richard Lietz, who guided the No. 93 Porsche 911 RSR to a time of 2:17.778.

Lietz, who is sharing the Proton Competition car with Felipe Fernandez Laser and actor Michael Fassbender, finished two-tenths ahead of Kessel Racing’s David Perel.

Ferrari 488 GTE Evos qualified second and third as Perel narrowly out-paced Iron Lynx driver Andrea Piccini, while Augusto Farfus was fourth in the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

The 4 Hours of Spa is set to get underway tomorrow at 11 a.m. CEST (5 a.m. EST).

RESULTS: Qualifying

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

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