Paul-Loup Chatin notched up IDEC Sport’s maiden European Le Mans Series pole on Saturday afternoon ahead of the Four Hours of Le Castellet.
The Frenchman’s time of 1:41.194 behind the wheel of the No. 28 Oreca 07 Gibson was four-tenths quicker than the next-best LMP2 effort, set by Matthieu Vaxiviere in the TDS Racing Oreca.
IDEC Sport is running an Oreca for the first time in 2018, alongside the Ligier JS P217 Gibson that it entered last season.
Chatin will share the former in Sunday’s season-opener with Paul Lafargue and Memo Rojas.
The six fastest laps in Saturday’s interrupted ten-minute session were set by Orecas, with the fastest Ligier dialing in just over a second off the pace.
The red flags were brought out midway through the shootout when United Autosports driver Bruno Senna stopped on track in the No. 22 Ligier.
Ben Hanley and Norman Nato qualified DragonSpeed and Racing Engineering on the second row of the grid respectively, while Nelson Panciatici completed the top five for Duqueine Engineering.
Sixth was Harrison Newey in the APR-Rebellion Oreca.
In LMP3, David Droux gave the M.Racing YMR squad its first ELMS pole with a time of 1:51.930.
The Swiss driver’s effort behind the wheel of the Yvan Muller-led team’s Norma M30 Nissan was 0.045 seconds quicker than the RLR MSport Ligier JS P3 Nissan driven by Job van Uitert.
Row two of the class grid will be occupied by the Normas from Ultimate Norma and DKR Engineering.
Porsche locked out the front row in the GTE category as Matteo Cairoli turned in the fastest lap in the Proton Competition 911 RSR, ahead of Ben Barker in the Gulf Racing machine.
The opening round of the season gets underway on Sunday at 12 p.m. local time.