Nicolas Lapierre gave Cool Racing its first-ever LMP2 pole position for this weekend’s European Le Mans Series round at Monza.
The Frenchman posted a time of 1:34.967 to go two-tenths clear of the rest of the field in the Swiss team’s Oreca 07 Gibson during the 15-minute qualifying session.
Lapierre will share driving duties in Sunday’s four-hour race with Alexandre Coigny and Antonin Borga, who were both a part of Cool Racing’s LMP3 lineup before it stepped up to the ELMS top category this season.
Norman Nato made a late improvement in the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-based Aurus 01 Gibson but couldn’t replace Lapierre at the top of the charts.
Nato’s time of 1:32.213 was 0.246 seconds shy of pole, and in turn only a thousandth of a second quicker than Paul Loup Chatin’s effort aboard the No. 28 IDEC Sport Oreca.
Jonathan Hirschi qualified in fourth for Graff, while ELMS debutant Renger van der Zande put DragonSpeed in the top five as Oreca machinery filled out the first nine grid positions.
Behind the RLR MSport, Algarve Pro Racing and Duqueine Engineering Orecas was a quartet of Ligier JS P217 Gibsons led by the United Autosports machine of Filipe Albuquerque.
Duqueine’s Oreca brought out a session-ending red flag when Nico Jamin went straight off-track at the Ascari chicane with less than a minute to go.
In LMP3, M Racing’s Ligier JS P3 Nissan will start from pole after Lucas Legeret led the way in qualifying.
The Swiss driver will share the front row of the class grid with the Nielsen Racing Ligier driven by Colin Noble, while the Oregon Team Norma M30 Nissan ran third.
GTE pole went to Matteo Cairoli in the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR, ahead of the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister.