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European Le Mans Series

Van Uitert Beats Deletraz to Paul Ricard Pole

Job van Uitert knocks Louis Deletraz off the top of the times to put IDEC Sport on pole for home ELMS race…

Photo: MPS Agency

IDEC Sport’s Job van Uitert snatched pole position for this weekend’s European Le Mans Series race at Paul Ricard, beating Louis Deletraz to the top spot at the end of an entertaining LMP2 qualifying session.

Deletraz had taken provisional pole for in his AO by TF Oreca 07 Gibson with a best time of 1:40.350 in Saturday afternoon’s 15-minute session, knocking the IDEC machine of van Uitert off the head of the times by a scant 0.015 seconds.

But the Swiss driver then elected to come into the pits, and could only watch from the sidelines as van Uitert proceeded to reel off a 1:40.276 lap, going 0.074 seconds faster than Deletraz’s earlier effort.

Van Uitert then improved his time again on his next lap, posting a 1:40.104 in the car he shares with Reshad de Gerus and Paul Lafargue to take pole by 0.246 seconds.

Matteo Cairoli was third-fastest in the Iron Lynx – Proton car in which he had topped Free Practice 2 earlier in the day with a 1:40.365, fractionally ahead of Frederik Vesti in the best of the two Cool Racing LMP2s, the No. 47 car.

The sister No. 37 car that won the season opener in Barcelona was sixth-fastest in the hands of Malthe Jakobsen, behind Ben Hanley’s No. 22 United Autosports entry.

Will Stevens was seventh for Nielsen Racing, ahead of James Allen for Team Duqueine, Charles Milesi for Panis Racing and the Vector Sport car of Felipe Drugovich.

In the LMP2 Pro/Am category, Giorgio Roda took a comfortable second pole of the season in the No. 77 Proton Competition Oreca, his best time of 1:43.067 putting him 0.378 seconds up on Francois Perrodo’s No. 83 AF Corse machine.

Rodrigo Sales jumped to third with his final run in the Richard Mille by TDS car with a time 0.605 seconds off the pace, demoting Nielsen Racing’s John Falb to fourth.

Class Poles for RLR M Sport, Iron Dames

Gael Julien delivered pole position in LMP3 for RLR M Sport, setting a best time of 1:48.867 at the wheel of the No. 15 Ligier JS P320 Nissan.

That was enough to take the top spot by 0.124 seconds from Manuel Espirito Santo in the Cool Racing entry.

A late improvement by Gillian Henrion in the Team Virage car put him third ahead of Oscar Tunjo’s Rinaldi by WTM by Rinaldi Racing Duqueine D08 Nissan and Antoine Doquin’s Racing Spirit of Leman Ligier.

In LMGT3, Sarah Bovy made it two consecutive pole positions for the Iron Dames Porsche 911 GT3 R with a best lap of 1:56.003.

Bovy’s nearest rival was the Spirit of Race Ferrari 296 GT3 of Duncan Cameron, 0.280 seconds off the pace, followed by the Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 of Hiroshi Hamaguchi in third.

Completing the top five were Derek Deboer’s Racing Spirit of Leman Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo and Takeshi Kimura’s CarGuy Racing Ferrari.

The 4 Hours of Le Castellet begins Sunday at 11:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. EDT).

RESULTS: Qualifying

Jamie Klein is Sportscar365's Asian editor. Japan-based Klein, who previously worked for Motorsport Network on the Motorsport.cоm and Autosport titles, covers the FIA World Endurance Championship and SUPER GT, among other series.

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