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European Le Mans Series

Signatech Alpine Tops Saturday Practice at Imola

Nelson Panciatici tops Friday’s ELMS practice sessions at Imola…

Photo: ELMS

Photo: ELMS

Signatech Alpine and SMP Racing were the stars of the day at Imola, with practice in the books for Sunday’s European Le Mans Series round.

A late flyer by Nelson Panciatici in the No. 36 Alpine A450 Nissan saw the Frenchman top the time charts in the second 90-minute practice session and go quickest of the day.

Panciatici’s 1:35.318 lap time was more than one-second quicker than the No. 18 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03 Nissan, which led the way in Saturday’s first session at the Italian circuit.

The Irish squad ended up third quickest on Saturday, thanks to Nathanael Berthon’s 1:35.531 lap set in the second session. The No. 38 Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN Nissan was second, less than one-tenth behind the pace-settting Alpine.

The No. 43 Newblood by Morand Racing Morgan-Judd and No. 46 Thriet by TDS Racing Morgan-Nissan completed the top-five in the afternoon session.

Both GTE and GTC were continued to be led by SMP Racing, with the Russian squad’s No. 72 Ferrari F458 Italia of Andrea Bertolini improving his best time also by nearly one second.

SMP led a Ferrari sweep of the top seven positions in GTE, while also a 1-2 in GTC, topped by the No. 71 entry of Kirrill Ladygin, Aleksey Basov and Luca Persiani.

Qualifying gets underway at 9:45 a.m. local time tomorrow, with the Four Hours of Imola taking the green at 2 p.m. (8 a.m. ET).

RESULTS: Practice 2

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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