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European Le Mans Series

Albuquerque Puts United Oreca on 4H Spa Pole

Albuquerque on pole at Spa after dominant qualifying performance for United Autosports…

Photo: MPS Agency

Filipe Albuquerque set the No. 22 United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson on pole for tomorrow’s European Le Mans Series round at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Portuguese driver was already fastest heading into the closing stages of the 12-minute session when he improved with a time of 2:00.848, putting himself eight-tenths clear of Will Stevens in second.

Albuquerque is sharing one of two United’s two Orecas with Phil Hanson, at the site of the pairing’s first ELMS victory this time last year.

Stevens, who co-drives the No. 23 Panis-Barthez Competition Oreca with Rene Binder and Julien Canal, posted a time of 2:01.705 to edge 0.065 seconds clear of Nico Jamin in the Duqueine Engineering-prepared Oreca.

Nico Lapierre qualified fourth for Cool Racing on a 2:02.025, while Jean-Eric Vergne completed the top five in the Oreca-based Aurus 01 Gibson of G-Drive Racing.

The LMP2 qualifying field was down two entries after two heavy practice crashes eliminated the IDEC Sport Oreca and the No. 31 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca from the session.

Paul-Loup Chatin was in the Silverstone-winning IDEC Sport car when speared off into the right-side barriers at Raidillon, while the Algarve Pro car crashed at the same section with Henning Enqvist behind the wheel.

Both drivers were able to walk away from these incidents.

Pole position in LMP3 went to Realteam for the first time this season, with David Droux setting the fastest lap in the secondary prototype class.

The Swiss driver put the No. 9 Norma M30 Nissan on top of the pile with a time of 2:12.239, beating the fellow Norma entries from M Racing and Ultimate.

In GTE, Matteo Cairoli scored pole for Dempsey-Proton Racing in a close session fought between the Porsche factory Young Professional and Ferrari works driver Alessandro Pier Guidi.

Cairoli made a late improvement to leapfrog Pier Guidi in the points-leading Luzich Racing Ferrari 488 GTE Evo right at the end, with the pair separated by 0.383 seconds.

The second row of the GTE grid will be taken up by the No. 60 Kessel Racing Ferrari and the No. 55 Spirit of Race Ferrari.

RESULTS: Qualifying

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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