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European Le Mans Series

Hanley Storms to Pole for Barcelona Season Opener

United Autosports driver Ben Hanley takes pole for season opener at Barcelona…

Photo: MPS Agency

United Autosports will start the 4 Hours of Barcelona from pole position after Ben Hanley outpaced Reshad de Gerus in qualifying for the European Le Mans Series season opener.

Hanley steered the No. 22 Oreca 07 Gibson to a best lap of 1:28.071, 0.153 seconds clear of De Gerus aboard the No. 28 IDEC Sport entry.

De Gerus had led the 15-minute qualifying session on Saturday afternoon after a series of early fast laps and then looked set for pole when he improved a final time, posting a 1:28.370.

However, Hanley then charged to a late improvement to deny the Frenchman a second consecutive pole at Barcelona after he also led qualifying twelve months ago with Cool Racing.

Alex Lynn put in a last-gasp 1:28.381 to qualify third for reigning champions Algarve Pro Racing, ahead of the Cool Racing duo of Frederik Vesta and Ritomo Miyata.

Tom Dillmann led his Inter Europol Competition stablemate Luca Ghiotto in sixth and seventh, while the second United Oreca slotted into eighth with Paul Di Resta at the wheel.

Arthur Leclerc and Louis Deletraz rounded out the top ten for Panis Racing and AO by TF, respectively.

Giorgio Roda convincingly captured LMP2 Pro-Am pole position aboard the No. 77 Proton Competition Oreca that he shares with Bent Viscaal and Rene Binder.

Roda’s best lap of 1:30.816 was 0.533 seconds clear of the No. 19 Team Virage entry of Tony Wells, while John Falb captured third for Nielsen Racing.

The No. 29 Richard Mille by TDS Oreca of Rodrigo Sales took fourth, with reigning champion Francois Perrodo rounding out the top five in class in the No. 83 AF Corse entry.

Espirito Santo, Bovy take LMP3, LMGT3 Poles

Manuel Espirito Santo ensured reigning LMP3 champions Cool Racing will start their title defense from pole position.

The No. 17 Ligier JS P320 Nissan put in a lap of 1:34.761 to beat Team Virage driver Gillian Henrion by 0.253 seconds.

Gael Julien qualified third aboard the No. 15 RLR M Sport Ligier, ahead of a pair of Duqueine D08 Nissans of Wyatt Brichacek and Oscar Tunjo.

Sarah Bovy, meanwhile, took the first LMGT3 pole position in ELMS for Iron Dames, piloting the No. 85 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

The Belgian steered the car to a best lap of 1:41.850 seconds, outpacing the No. 63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 of Hiroshi Hamaguchi by 0.317 seconds.

Johnny Laursen picked up third aboard the No. 50 Formula Racing Ferrari 296 GT3, ahead of Spirit of Race’s Duncan Cameron and the No. 57 Kessel Racing machine of Takeshi Kimura.

The 4 Hours of Barcelona kicks off Sunday at 11:30 a.m. CEST (5:30 a.m. EDT).

RESULTS: Qualifying

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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