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European Le Mans Series

DragonSpeed Grabs Pole for 4H Imola

Nicolas Lapierre put DragonSpeed onto pole at Imola…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

DragonSpeed will start on pole position for tomorrow’s European Le Mans Series Four Hours of Imola, after Nicolas Lapierre stormed to the lead of the qualifying session.

Lapierre set a 1:33.780 on his last lap, securing first position for himself and team-mates Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley in the No. 21 Oreca 05 Nissan.

Silverstone pole-winner Mathias Beche was second for Thiriet by TDS Racing, despite a light incident with James Winslow late in the session.

Beche was 0.035 seconds behind Lapierre, and although Paul-Loup Chatin’s lap was exactly the same time, the Panis Barthez Competition driver finished third as his time was set later in the session. He had finished on top in both Free Practice sessions.

Olivier Pla and Giedo van der Garde finished next, for Krohn Racing and G-Drive Racing respectively.

United Autosports won LMP3 pole, with a time of 1:39.256 courtesy of Wayne Boyd in the No. 3 Ligier JS P3 Nissan.

The Anglo-American outfit had looked set to take a one-two qualifying position but a quick lap from Giorgio Mondini propelled Eurointernational’s No. 11 car into second.

Therefore, Silverstone winner Alex Brundle was pushed down to third, ahead of Sean Rayhall and Dino Lunardi in the No. 10 Graff and No. 19 Duqeine Engineering cars.

A brief yellow flag period came out mid-way through, as Alex Kapadia lost the front-left wheel of his Murphy Prototypes Ligier coming into the final chicane.

Soon after, Lunardi put a wheel into the grass coming into the same corner, resulting in a spin for the early leader.

Wolf Henzler took pole position in GTE for Proton Competition, in the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR he shares with Mike Hedlund and Robert Renauer.

The German driver survived charges from Andrea Bertolini and Klaus Bachler at the end of the session but no-one could surpass his time of 1:43.440.

This left Bertolini in second for JMW Motorsport, while Bachler was third in the other Proton Porsche.

Davide Rigon took fourth for AT Racing, while the AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italias of Matt Griffin and Marco Cioci were next, ahead of Andrew Howard’s Beechdean AMR car.

The Formula Racing Ferrari was a no-show during the qualifying session, following a crash in this morning’s practice session.

The race gets underway at 2:00 p.m. local time on Sunday.

RESULTS: Qualifying

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


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