Saturday 12 May 2018

ELMS: Pole position for Matthieu Vaxiviere and TDS Racing at Monza

After an incident filled qualifying session which saw 2 red flags, Matthieu Vaxiviere scored pole position for TDS Racing this afternoon in a warm and sunny Monza. With a time of 1.35.456, the Frenchman was almost 0.4 seconds faster than the competition, scoring his first pole position in the European Le Mans Series.  

© ELMS - Jakob Ebrey

Vaxiviere did his flying lap right before the session was red flagged with just under 3 minutes to go.  The other car starting from the front row is the #21 Dragonspeed Oreca of Ben Hanley, who set a time of 1.35.837. Gustavo Menezes was really quick in the #31 APR - Rebellion Racing Oreca, taking third spot on the grid in 1.36.034.  Nelson Panciatici in the #29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca will also start from the second row after setting the fourth fastest time. 

Jean-Eric Vergne completed an Oreca top 5 in the #26 G-Drive Racing which has been fast all weekend so far.  The quickest non Oreca chassis was the #32 United Autosports Ligier of Filipe Albuquerque.  Olivier Pla in the #24 Racing Engineering which won the race at Le Castellet had a spin coming out of the first chicane and wasn't able to have a clear lap during qualifying.  They will start from 12th position tomorrow.

The session was red flagged again in the dying seconds, when Ate De Jong parked his #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier in the barriers at Parabolica.  De Jong walked away from the incident, but there will be a lot of work on the car to get it on the grid by tomorrow. 

The 10 minute LMP3 qualifying was very tight, with several cars fighting for pole position right until the end of the session.  Mathieu Lahaye was fastest in the end, scoring the first pole position for Ultimate in the #17 Norma M30.  His laptime of 1.45.386 was 0.224 seconds faster than David Droux in the #19 M.Racing-YMR Norma who will start from second again tomorrow.  

Behind Droux, it was almost too close to call for the remaining cars in the top 5.  Mikkel Jensen in the #9 AT Racing ligier came just 0.005 seconds short for second place and was chased closely by defending LMP3 champion John Falb who was just 0.062 seconds slower.  Rounding out the top 5 was Job Van Uitert in the #15 RLR M Sport Ligier that won the race in Le Castellet.  Nine cars finished within one second in qualifying, LMP3 will be a close and very entertaining race tomorrow.

IN LMGTE, home team Ebimotors scored their first pole position in the European Le Mans Series with their #80 Porsche 911 RSR.  Ricardo Pera was the fastest man on track, beating Porsche works driver Gianmaria Bruni with just 0.018 seconds.  Pera took pole position in an impressive 1.47.493.  Third spot on the grid tomorrow is for the #55 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Matt Griffin, just 0.081 seconds slower than Bruni.  Andrea Bertolini in the #83 Krohn Racing Ferrari and Marc Lieb in the #77 Proton Porsche completed the top 5.  The JMW Ferrari didn't come out for qualifying, still under repair after its crash this morning. 

Qualifying results: 

Morning free practice session

Dragonspeed and G-Drive continue to dominate the LMP2 class, this time it's the #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca of Jean-Eric Vergne who went quickest in this morning's free practice session.  With a laptime of 1.35.943 the Frenchman was 0.148 seconds faster than Ben Hanley in the #21 Dragonspeed Oreca.  Matthieu Vaxiviere in the #33 TDS Racing Oreca went third fastest in 1.36.276.

Behind those three, 5 cars set a laptime within 0.2 seconds, the first eight cars finishing the session within one second. Oreca jeeps on dominating the class, taking up the first 7 spots in the session. The quickest non-Oreca was the #32 United Autosports Ligier of Will Owen, Hugo de Saedeleer and Wayne Boyd in 1.37.347, over a second behind the leading Oreca.  

Norma on top again in the LMP3 class although it wasn't a clean sweep as yesterday during the first practice session. David Droux in the #19 M.Racing YMR set the fastest time in 1.53.618. Mikkel Jensen is back in the #9 AT Racing Ligier in Monza and squeezed himself inbetween the Norma's of M.Racing-YMR and Ultimate, setting the second fastest time 0.188 seconds behind Droux in the #19.  Third quickest was Jean-Baptiste Lahaye in the #17 Ultimate in 1.46.874.  Rounding out the top 5 were the #4 Cool Racing Ligier and the #10 Oregon Team Norma which set the fastest time on Friday. 

The #15 RLR M Sport Ligier of John Farano, Job Van Uitert and Robert Garofall didn't make it out of its pitbox this morning. 

The session was interrupted by a red flag when Liam Griffin in the #66 JMW Ferrari went off and hit the barriers at turn 4.  The car was brought back into the pitlane with damage to the front. Matt Griffin set the pace in the LMGTE class in is #55 Spirit of Race Ferrari, mixing well inbetween the LMP3 cars in a fastest time of 1.48.022. Gimmi Bruni in the #88 Proton Competition set the second quickest time of the session in 1.48.229. Before Griffin's crash, Miguel Molina still ste the third time for the #66 JMW Ferrari, just over half a second slower than Griffin. 

The 4 Hours of Monza will start tomorrow at 12h30 local time (11h30 UK time).  The race will be live streamed on the ELMS website and their youtube channel. 

Pictures: JellyBaby.Media