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European Le Mans Series

Jota Sport Grabs Pole at Imola

Jota Sport takes pole position for the second ELMS round at Imola…

Photo: ELMS

Photo: ELMS

Jota Sport will start from pole position in the second round of the European Le Mans Series at Imola after claiming the top time in qualifying. Filipe Albuquerque was the fastest driver on the 4.9km long Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari near Bologna in Italy.

Like at Silverstone, Tom Kimber-Smith in the No. 41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek Nissan was the first one out on track, but he was unable to stay on top until the end of the session.

In the final minutes of the session, Panciatici, Gommendy and Albuquerque swapped places, with the Portuguese driver setting the fastest lap two minutes before the end, a 1:33.974.

“It is always good to be on pole position. I am really happy for the guys, the car was really good,” Albuquerque said afterwards. “I got yellow flags on one lap, so I was a bit worried so I had to do another one.

“But in the end everything is nice, so we start from P1 again. The competition is tough, for sure, the race is long. But we’re starting in a good way. Harry will start the race. Let’s see how it goes.”

Tristan Gommendy ended the session in second with a fastest lap of 1:34.658. The Thiriet by TDS Racing driver had taken provisional pole with just under five minutes remaining, but was unable to respond to Albuquerque’s time and had to settle for second.

Nelson Panciatici secured third place on the grid for Signatech-Alpine. The French driver in the No. 36 Alpine Nissan was just 0.021s faster than Nathanael Berthon in the No. 48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca-Nissan.

Pole position in GTE went to the No. 81 Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia of Matteo Cressoni. The Italian went around the Imola circuit in 1:39.920, three tenths faster than the SMP Racing Ferrari of Andrea Bertolini.

Marco Cioci made it three Italians in the top three of an incident-packed GT qualifying session, which was red flagged just over halfway through when Cioci went off into the grave at Tamburello.

Mikkel Mac secured pole position in the GTC class. The Dane put the No. 60 Formula Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 in between a number of GTE cars, beating his nearest GTC rival by just under three tenths of a second. Cedric Sbirrazzuoli and Luca Persiani completed the GTC top three.

The Four Hours of Imola will start at 2 p.m. local time this afternoon (8 a.m. ET).

RESULTS: Qualifying

Marcel ten Caat (@marceltencaat) is a contributor to Sportscar365 and other publications including

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