Logan Sargeant scored pole position on his maiden LMP2 qualifying appearance and gave TF Sport its first pole in the category ahead of Sunday’s 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring.
FIA Formula 3 race winner Sargeant, who is standing in for the IMSA-tied Harry Tincknell this weekend, posted a time of 1:20.596 to lead Saturday’s 10-minute European Le Mans Series qualifying session held in overcast conditions.
The 20-year-old American is sharing the Racing Team Turkey-entered Oreca 07 Gibson with reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE-Am winners Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc.
Sargeant put up the early benchmark before the front-runners returned to the pits for tire changes, but needed to improve in the second part of the session after being briefly replaced at the top of the leaderboard by Algarve Pro Racing’s Ferdinand Habsburg.
Habsburg, who is teamed up with Diego Menchaca and Richard Bradley, posted a time of 1:20.753 but Sargeant shaved four-tenths off his initial flyer to reclaim the pole spot.
Nicolas Jamin placed third for United Autosports with a 1:20.877 that was closely followed by Roberto Merhi’s 1:20.953 in the No. 25 G-Drive Racing Aurus-badged Oreca.
Louis Deletraz completed the top five with a time of 1:21.037 aboard the Team WRT Oreca in which the Swiss racer won the season-opening 4 Hours of Barcelona alongside his co-drivers Robert Kubica and Yifei Ye.
WRT will share row three of the grid for Sunday’s race with IDEC Sport after Paul-Loup Chatin qualified sixth.
Barcelona pole-sitter Nyck de Vries made a late bid to end up seventh for G-Drive, while British drivers Phil Hanson, Ben Hanley and Will Stevens rounded out the top ten for United Autosports, DragonSpeed and Panis Racing respectively.
Pole position in the LMP3 category went to Laurents Hoerr despite the DKR Engineering Duqueine D08 Nissan driver spinning on one of his attempts.
Hoerr quickly recovered from his rotation after touching the outside curb at the penultimate right-hander to set the fastest time of 1:32.365. Wayne Boyd went slightly faster in the No. 2 United Autosports Ligier JS P320 Nissan, but had that time deleted.
With the track drying quickly after a brief spell of rain at the start of qualifying, Hoerr lowered the bar further to a 1:29.243 in his slick-shod Duqueine. The German driver went even better on his final lap but this effort was subsequently erased for track limits.
Nonetheless, Hoerr still came away with the extra point for pole by two-tenths from defending champion Boyd, who settled on a 1:29.468.
Duncan Tappy was third in the other United Autosports Ligier, from Damiano Fioravanti of Villorba Corse and Garett Grist of Team Virage.
Rovera Leads Ferrari 1-2-3-4 in GTE
AF Corse’s Alessio Rovera captured GTE pole honors with a late lap in the day’s first ELMS qualifying session as Ferrari drivers occupied the top four positions in class.
Rovera initially jumped to the top of the order but needed to make a late improvement to get ahead of Paolo Ruberti in the No. 60 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.
The 25-year-old Italian’s final time of 1:27.200 stood as the best, while Ruberti was ultimately bumped to second by his Iron Lynx teammate Michelle Gatting who booked a place on the front row with the final flying lap, three-tenths behind Rovera.
Ruberti’s Ferrari will share row two with the other sister Iron Lynx car qualified by factory driver Miguel Molina.
The quartet of Ferraris was followed by the Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR-19 driven by Matt Campbell, from Jonny Adam in the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE.