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European Le Mans Series

Milesi Scores Back-to-Back Poles with Late Flyer at Portimao

Late flyer from Charles Milesi puts Cool Racing on pole for ELMS finale at Portimao…

Photo: MPS Agency

Charles Milesi claimed his second consecutive European Le Mans Series pole position for Cool Racing with a last-gasp flying lap at the end of Saturday’s LMP2 qualifying run.

Milesi brought the Pro-Am class No. 37 Oreca 07 Gibson that he shares with Nicolas Lapierre and Alexandre Coigny to the top of the times with a 1:30.812 effort.

The Frenchman was third-quickest for most of the 10-minute session at Algarve International Circuit, behind Ferdinand Habsburg and Nyck de Vries in Orecas run by locally-based Algarve Pro Racing.

The early exchanges saw Habsburg lead from de Vries in the No. 26 G-Drive car by nine-thousandths of a second, before the ABB FIA Formula E World champion rose to provisional pole with a 1:31.105 flyer set one minute before the end of the session.

However, a quick response from Habsburg half a minute later saw the Austrian driver’s No. 24 Algarve Pro Oreca return to the top of the leaderboard on a 1:30.989.

Milesi then overruled the back-and-forth battle between the original session leaders by charging through with the fastest lap overall at the checkered flag.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 class winner with Team WRT added to his maiden ELMS pole that he secured last time out at Spa-Francorchamps.

Nicolas Jamin also made a late improvement to snatch fourth place in the No. 32 United Autosports Oreca, bumping Louis Deletraz in the title-winning WRT Oreca off the second row of the grid.

Jonathan Aberdein was sixth in the other United car, ahead of Panis Racing’s Will Stevens and IDEC Sport’s Paul-Loup Chatin.

The Racing Team Turkey Pro-Am Oreca did not take part in qualifying after an incident during Free Practice 2, while Graff’s Vincent Capillaire failed to register a time.

United, TF Sport Secure Class Poles

Wayne Boyd earned United Autosports’ second LMP3 pole of the year in ELMS while Ross Gunn set the fastest lap in GTE qualifying for Aston Martin outfit TF Sport.

Boyd clocked a time of 1:36.273 in the No. 2 Ligier JS P320 Nissan, beating Ugo de Wilde’s Inter Europol Competition Ligier by a narrow 0.059-second margin.

Reigning class champion Boyd, who is teamed up with Rob Wheldon and Edouard Cauhaupe, took a trio of LMP3 poles last year but this marked his first of the campaign.

Laurents Hoerr qualified third in the DKR-prepared Duqueine D08 Nissan that took the four poles prior to Boyd’s run on Saturday. The German drriver will share the second row with the MV2S Racing Ligier qualified by 2019 GTE champion Fabien Lavergne.

A flurry of late flying laps decided the grid order in GTE, with Aston Martin factory driver Gunn coming out on top in the No. 95 TF Sport-run Vantage.

Gunn took the top spot by a relatively large half-second margin, with Gianmaria Bruni settling for second aboard Proton Competition’s WeatherTech-backed Porsche 911 RSR-19.

Rahel Frey initially stood on the provisional pole but the chain of improvements late in the session relegated her Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GTE Evo to fifth.

Alessio Rovera brought AF Corse’ No. 88 Ferrari into third, while Richard Lietz achieved fourth in the other Proton Porsche.

RESULTS: LMP2 / LMP3 / GTE

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

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