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European Le Mans Series

Hanson Paces Final Day of Prologue Test for United

Defending LMP2 champion Hanson leads day two of ELMS Prologue; WRT best outright…

Photo: MPS Agency

United Autosports driver Phil Hanson set the fastest lap on the second and final day of European Le Mans Series pre-season testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as Team WRT’s Louis Deletraz came away with the best overall effort.

Defending LMP2 champion Hanson led Tuesday’s four-hour morning session with a time of 1:33.322 behind the wheel of the No. 22 Oreca 07 Gibson that the British driver is sharing with his new teammates Jonathan Aberdein and Tom Gamble.

Hanson’s number held out as the best of the day in LMP2 as Ben Hanley topped the three-hour afternoon session for Pro-Am entrant DragonSpeed on a 1:33.682.

Hanley ended up third on Tuesday as quadruple 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 winner Nicolas Lapierre’s morning bid for Cool Racing also stood up against the afternoon best.

Those leading lap times from day two reduced the margin to Louis Deletraz’s 1:33.173 benchmark set during Monday’s evening session but did not herald an improvement.

One of Deletraz’s WRT co-drivers, ex-Formula 1 ace Robert Kubica, also placed as one of the top-five drivers of the test. 

Hanson, Lapierre and Hanley ultimately positioned their cars second, third and fourth in the overall leaderboard after two days and five sessions of dry weather running.

Franco Colapinto set G-Drive Racing’s No. 26 Aurus 01 Gibson entry fifth in the combined order with a time of 1:34.445 that put the Argentine driver third on Tuesday morning.

Colapinto ended up around a second adrift of both Hanson and Lapierre, who collectively established a clear gap on the rest of the LMP2 field in that segment of the final day.

The Panis Racing and Duqueine Team Orecas were classified in sixth and seventh courtesy of Tuesday morning runs from Julien Canal and Rene Binder respectively.

After setting the LMP3 pace on Monday, Laurents Hoerr made an improvement on day two to cement DKR Engineering’s Duqueine D08 Nissan on top of the class pile.

Hoerr took almost half a second off his previous best, shaving his 1:39.541 effort from Monday evening down to a 1:39.042.

A 1:39.555 Tuesday morning lap time from Ugo de Wilde put Inter Europol Competition’s No. 13 Ligier JS P320 Nissan in second, ahead of Wayne Boyd’s United Autosports Ligier.

The GTE pace on Tuesday and outright was set by Porsche factory driver Gianmaria Bruni after Ferrari’s Miguel Molina dominated proceedings on day one.

Bruni submitted a 1:43.496 in the favorable morning conditions to put Proton Competition’s WeatherTech-liveried Porsche 911 RSR-19 at the head of the combined timing charts.

AF Corse driver Alessio Rovera planted the No. 88 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo on top in the Prologue’s final session and was classified second overall as a result.

Rovera, who achieved a 1:43.682, and Iron Lynx driver Rahel Frey joined Bruni in besting Molina’s target time of 1:43.789 set on Monday morning.

As was the case on Monday, the track action on day two included a series of brief red flag periods for car stoppages and off-track moments.

The ELMS Prologue will lead into this weekend’s season-opening 4 Hours of Barcelona. Whilst ELMS testing has concluded, the Michelin Le Mans Cup will be on-track tomorrow.

RESULTS: Session 4 / Session 5 / Combined Drivers

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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