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European Le Mans Series

United Autosports’ Van Uitert Grabs 4H Portimao Pole

Job van Uitert’s late flyer puts No. 32 United Autosports Oreca on pole for 4H Portimao…

Photo: MPS Agency

Job van Uitert’s late flyer put the United Autosports No. 32 Oreca 07 Gibson on pole for Sunday’s four-hour European Le Mans Series season finale at Portimao.

Van Uitert shot to the top of the LMP2 leaderboard right at the end of the 10-minute single-driver qualifying session with a time of 1:28.627.

This put the Dutch driver, who shares the No. 32 United Oreca with Alex Brundle and Will Owen, just over four-tenths of a second clear of Will Stevens who also made a late improvement in the No. 31 Panis Racing Oreca to go second.

Stevens is sharing driving duties with Julien Canal and Nicolas Jamin.

Nicolas Lapierre was third for Cool Racing, while IDEC Sport’s Paul-Loup Chatin was fourth.

Phil Hanson completed the top five in United Autosports’ sister car, which before Portimao had taken every pole of the season so far in the hands of Filipe Albuquerque.

The Anglo-American squad, which has already wrapped up the LMP2 title with victory last time out at Monza, opted to send Hanson out for the final qualifying run of the year.

Although Hanson’s time of 1:29.452 meant the No. 22 Oreca couldn’t secure every pole of the season, United still achieved that feat between its two Oreca entries.

As qualifying neared its end Nyck de Vries initially looked set to have taken provisional pole, only for the G-Drive Racing pilot’s quick time was deleted for track limits.

De Vries settled for sixth on a time of 1:29.585 which put him on the same row as Hanson.

Thomas Laurent led a quartet of French drivers from seventh through to 10th with the Graff driver finishing above Gabriel Aubry, Loic Duval and Tristan Gommendy. 

Boyd, Piccini Quickest in Other Classes

In LMP3, United Autosports driver Wayne Boyd scored pole for the fourth time in five races this year with a 1:36.277 effort at the wheel of the No. 2 Ligier JS P320 Nissan.

Boyd out-paced Laurents Hoerr in the DKR Engineering Duqueine D08 Nissan by a narrow margin of 0.112 seconds, as Malthe Jakobsen qualified third for RLR MSport.

Pole for the car driven by Boyd, Tom Gamble and Rob Wheldon added an extra point to the United trio’s championship edge over Inter Europol Competition’s Martin Hippe, which now stands at 11 points.

Hippe’s co-driver Dino Lunardi finished 10th in the 12-car LMP3 field.

Iron Lynx qualified first and third in GTE as team co-founder Andrea Piccini took pole in the No. 60 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

The Italian’s time of 1:38.769 ensured his second consecutive pole ahead of AF Corse Ferrari driver Alessio Rovera who finished just under three-tenths behind.

Michelle Gatting made a late improvement to go third in the No. 83 Iron Lynx car, while Alessio Picariello was fourth in the No. 77 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR.

RESULTS: Qualifying

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

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