Charles Milesi claimed his maiden European Le Mans Series pole position on his debut for Cool Racing in a red flag-affected set of qualifying sessions at Spa-Francorchamps.
Milesi reeled off a time of 2:04.384 to put the Pro-Am Oreca 07 Gibson that he shares with Nicolas Lapierre and Alexandre Coigny at the top of the overall leaderboard in advance of Sunday’s four-hour race.
The reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 class winner beat United Autosports driver Phil Hanson by 0.132 seconds, while Louis Deletraz was third for ELMS points leader Team WRT.
Patrick Pilet got to within a tenth of Deletraz on his final attempt for IDEC Sport, but ultimately settled for fourth ahead of Rene Binder and Ferdinand Habsburg.
G-Drive Racing’s No. 26 Aurus-badged Oreca, which has already taken three poles this season, qualified seventh with Nyck de Vries at the helm.
The lap times all came after a red flag early in the 12-minute LMP2 session that was caused by an accident for Nicolas Jamin’s No. 32 United Autosports Oreca at Raidillon.
Jamin walked away from the incident on his out-lap but the car was showing signs of significant damage after its impact with the right-side tire barrier at the top of the hill.
It marked the second red flag of qualifying after David Hauser crashed his Racing Experience Duqueine D08 Nissan at the same spot during the preceding LMP3 session.
Hauser’s car sustained rear-end damage, while the Luxembourgish driver was seen climbing out of the cockpit. The collision resulted in lengthy tire barrier repairs.
Pole position in LMP3 went to DKR Engineering Duqueine driver Laurents Hoerr who produced a 2:11.580 to lead the category by seven-tenths of a second.
Ugo de Wilde placed second aboard the No. 13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P320 Nissan and narrowly beat United Autosports’ Wayne Boyd to a front-row grid ticket.
David Droux and Malthe Jakobsen completed the LMP3 top-five for Graff and RLR MSport respectively.
In GTE, Richard Lietz drove the No. 93 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR-19 to its first pole of the season.
Lietz, who is teamed up with Felipe Fernandez Laser and Michael Fassbender, led the way by a clear margin with his time of 2:16.093 on his opening flying lap ending up eight-tenths better than the second-fastest time from Miguel Molina.
Iron Lynx Ferrari driver Molina was the only other competitor to break the 2m 17s barrier in GTE.
The Spaniard finished a quarter of a second up on AF Corse’s Alessio Rovera, who in turn ranked almost four-tenths faster than Paolo Ruberti in the other Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.