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DKR Norma Sweeps Qualifying for Road to Le Mans

DKR Engineering Norma will start both Road to Le Mans races from pole…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

The No. 3 DKR Engineering Norma M30 will start both Road to Le Mans races from pole position as Alexander Toril and Jean Glorieux dominated their respective qualifying sessions.

Qualifying was split into two 20 minute sessions, with the first open to all competitors and the second reserved for Bronze-graded drivers.

Toril’s pole lap in the first session, a 3:50.258, was 1.7 seconds quicker than the car had managed in Free Practice 2 on Thursday morning and put him clearly ahead of Peter Kox’s his eponymous No. 48 Kox Racing Ligier JS P3.

Defending event winner Alexandre Cougnaud was the only other driver able to get within two seconds of Toril in the M.Racing – YMR Ligier, ahead of championship leader and FP1 pacesetter Colin Noble in fourth for Nielsen Racing/Ecurie Ecosse.

The second fastest Norma of Yann Ehrlacher, also entered from the M.Racing – YMR stable, was three seconds adrift in fifth, while United Autosports’ Sean Rayhall took sixth, despite only managing two laps in practice after an engine failure in his No. 2 Ligier during FP1.

After a red flag caused by Alexander Talkanitsa Sr. in the No. 90 Spirit of Race Ligier, Glorieux beat John Falb’s early benchmark to take pole for race two by 2.9 seconds over United Autosports driver Falb.

Martin Rich was third in the No. 14 RLR Sport Ligier ahead of team-mate Jon Farano in the No. 86 car, with SPV Motorsport’s Alvaro Fontes beating Ecurie Ecosse’s Tony Wells to fifth.

Ben Barker dominated the first portion of qualifying in the GT3 class to claim pole in the Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Barker’s time would have put him eighth in GTE-Am Qualifying 1 yesterday evening and was 1.3s quicker than Maurizio Mediaini’s No. 95 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3.  

The Optimum Motorsport Audi of Joe Osborne was third, despite a puncture which limited him to a single flying lap, 2.8 seconds behind Barker.

In the second session, Ahmad al-Harthy put his TF Sport Aston Martin on pole with his first flying lap of the session.

The Omani managed a 4:00.832 before the red flags came out, leaving most of the GT runners only one flying lap to improve.

Al-Harthy was 2.996 seconds ahead of Emanuele Busnelli’s EBI Motors Lamborghini Huracan GT3, with Flick Haigh third in the Optimum Audi.   

RESULTS: Qualifying 1 & Qualifying 2

James Newbold (@James_Newbold) is a UK-based freelance motorsport journalist. A graduate of Politics and International Relations, James is also the editor of Autosport Performance.

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