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European Le Mans Series

Hanley Puts DragonSpeed on ELMS Pole

DragonSpeed scores ELMS 4H Silverstone pole in eventful qualifying session…

Photo: MPS Agency

Ben Hanley came out on top in an eventful LMP2 qualifying session for the European Le Mans Series 4 Hours of Silverstone, putting DragonSpeed’s Oreca 07 Gibson on pole for Saturday afternoon’s race.

Hanley logged a time of 1:41.798 late in the ten-minute session to score his and teammates Henrik Hedman and James Allen’s first pole of the season, beating United Autosports to the top spot.

Filipe Albuquerque had looked set for pole in United’s debuting Oreca 07 Gibson until Hanley dislodged him at the top of the timesheets. His efforts to challenge again on his final lap were then hampered by stopping on track at Club.

This left the Portuguese driver forced to settle for second, 0.329 seconds down on Hanley, while Paul Loup Chatin put IDEC Sport third, also unable to improve on his final lap.

Points leader G-Drive Racing will start from sixth, meanwhile. Oreca chassis, including G-Drive’s Aurus-badged entry, swept the top nine positions, while United Autosports’ sole remaining Ligier JS P217 Gibson qualified tenth.

Harrison Newey and Ben Barnicoat both completed mandatory laps in Carlin’s Dallara P217 Gibson, as neither drove on Friday.

Newey replaced the injured Jack Manchester in time for qualifying, while Barnicoat hadn’t been in the car by the time Manchester went off in Free Practice 1.

M Racing led a Norma sweep of the top three positions in LMP3, with Yann Ehrlacher going quickest in the No. 19 Norma M30 Nissan, posting a best time of 1:53.488.

This put him 0.262 seconds clear of Mathieu Lahaye’s Ultimate Norma, while Damiano Fioravanti qualified third for Oregon Team.

The best-placed Ligier JS P3 Nissan was Eurointernational’s No. 11 car, qualified fourth by Mikkel Jensen.

Championship leaders Martin Hippe and Nigel Moore qualified at the very back of the class, 2.3 seconds off the pace, meanwhile.

Thomas Preining secured GTE class pole by a margin of 0.856 seconds in the No. 88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR.

He qualified ahead of Kessel Racing and Spirit of Race’s Ferrari 488 GTE Evos, while Dempsey-Proton Racing’s Porsche placed fourth.

The ELMS 4 Hours of Silverstone will get underway at 2:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. EDT).

RESULTS: Qualifying

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

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