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European Le Mans Series

Beche Storms to Paul Ricard Pole

Mathias Beche takes second ELMS pole of season for TDS…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Thiriet by TDS Racing will start its home round of the European Le Mans Series from pole position on Sunday, as Mathias Beche secured his second pole of the season.

The Frenchman was the pole-sitter at Silverstone in April and becomes the first LMP2 driver to repeat his qualifying success this season.

He set a time of 1:47.033 around the Paul Ricard track, which was 0.481 seconds better than Nicolas Lapierre in the second-placed DragonSpeed car, a similar Oreca 05 Nissan to the TDS crew.

Nathanael Berthon put Greaves Motorsport into third on the grid, ahead of Stefano Coletti’s SMP Racing entry.

Championship leaders G-Drive Racing will start from ninth, while the Panis Barthez Competition car that started from pole last time out at Red Bull Ring is tenth on the grid.

ELMS debutants Tockwith Motorsport scored the LMP3 pole with Nigel Moore at the wheel of its No. 26 Ligier JS P3 Nissan.

He set a best time of 1:54.006, putting himself and co-driver Philip Hanson at the front of the 20-strong LMP3 field.

Enzo Guibbert was second in the No. 9 Graff car, while Panis Barthez Competition’s Simon Gachet set the third-fastest time.

Alex Brundle was fourth in the championship-leading No. 2 United Autosports car, while the No. 3 car sat out the session following engine troubles in Free Practice 2 on Saturday morning.

Darren Turner secured pole position in the GTE class for Aston Martin Racing, with a 1:56.285 from the Englishman in the No. 99 Beechdean-backed Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE.

He will share the Aston Martin with Andrew Howard and Alex MacDowall come race day, in search of the team’s second class win of the year.

This put him 0.198 seconds ahead of Alessandro Pier Guidi in the AT Racing Ferrari F458 Italia, while Matt Griffin was third for AF Corse in the No. 55 entry.

The rest of the Ferraris will take up the next places on the grid, with the two Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSRs on the last row.

The Four Hours of Le Castellet will get underway at 2 p.m. local time on Sunday, and can be streamed live on the series’ YouTube and Dailymotion channels.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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