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European Le Mans Series

Vaxiviere Claims Monza Pole for TDS

Matthieu Vaxiviere clinches pole in red flag-affected session at Monza…

Photo: Olivier Beroud Images

Matthieu Vaxiviere claimed pole position for TDS Racing ahead of the Monza round of the European Le Mans Series.

The Frenchman, driving the No. 33 Oreca 07 Gibson, set a time of 1:35.456 shortly before the 10-minute LMP2 session was red-flagged when Ate de Jong crashed the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P217 Gibson into the barriers at Parabolica.

However, no drivers improved during the final two-minute dash to the flag after the resumption of green flag running, enabling TDS to take its first ELMS pole since August 2016.

Vaxiviere will share the front row of the grid with Ben Hanley, who qualified the No. 21 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson second with a time of 1:35.837.

Orecas occupied the top five positions, with Gustavo Menezes slotting into third for APR Rebellion Racing, and Nelson Panciatici running fourth for Duqueine Engineering.

Jean-Eric Vergne completed the lockout in the No. 26 G-Drive Racing entry.

The fastest non-Oreca was the No. 22 United Autosports Ligier, which Filipe Albuquerque qualified nine tenths off the pace, while Konstantin Tereschenko lapped sixth in the leading Dallara P217.

Norma locked out the front-row in LMP3 as Mathieu Lahaye jumped to the top of the timesheets on the final lap of the session for Ultimate.

The Frenchman’s late flyer eclipsed the previous best set by David Droux in the No. 19 M. Racing-YMR Norma M30 Nissan by two tenths, and pushed the best-placed Ligier JS P3 Nissan of Mikkel Jensen down to the second row.

Sean Rayhall finished fourth in the United Autosports Ligier, while the Paul Ricard-winning RLR MSport Ligier of Job van Uitert came through in fifth.

Pole in GTE was claimed by 18-year-old Italian Riccardo Pera, who resisted the challenges of Gianmaria Bruni, Matt Griffin, Andrea Bertolini and Marc Lieb.

Pera, driving the No. 88 EbiMotors Porsche 911 RSR, turned in a time that was 0.018 seconds quicker than second-placed Bruni, who is guesting in the No. 88 Proton Porsche this weekend.

The race is set to get underway Sunday at 12:30 p.m. local time. 

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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