Friday 26 October 2018

ELMS: Duqueine Engineering sets the pace in opening practice session

Not exactly the weather we expected in the Algarve this morning with (heavy) overcast skies and rain treathening to fall down.  It did stay dry though during the first 90 minute practice session which ran without any notable incidents. 

Pierre Ragues in the #29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca set the fastest time this morning during the first free practice session for the 4 Hours of Portimao.  The Frenchman managed a best time of 1.32.846, just 74 thousands of a second faster than Filipe Albuquerque in the #32 United Autosports Ligier JSP2. Will Owen in the second United Autosports (#32) clocked the third fastest time. 

Felipe Nasr in the #47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara was fourth fastest, 0.6 seconds behind the leading Oreca.  Another Dallara rounded out the top 5 with Henrique Chaves in the #30 AVF by Andrian Valles.  LMP2 champions G-Drive Racing had a quiet morning session, only managing tenth fastest after 90 minutes. 

In LMP3 it was Matthieu Lahaye who put the #17 Ultimate Norma on top of the timesheet with a laptime of 1.40.097. Nicolas Maulini in the #8 DKR Norma was second fastest, 0.290 seconds slower than the Frenchman.  Championship leaders RLR Sport took third place with Job Van Uitert’s best time of 1.40.427.  Another Norma was fourth quickest with Swiss youngster Lucas Légeret at the wheel of the #19 M.Racing-YMR, ahead of Matt Bell in the #3 United Autosports Ligier.  The #11 Eurointernational of Giorgio Mondini and Kay Van Berlo didn’t set a time during this morning’s session. 

Proton Competition dominated the LMGTE class, with Marvin Dienst in the #77 Porsche 911 RSR (1.43.301) ahead of Giorgio Roda in the #88 sister car with a margin of just over 0.4 seconds.  Championship challengers JMW Motorsport were third quickest, Miguel Molina giving in just 0.1 seconds to Roda. 

Bronze driver test

With (heavy) rain and thunderstorms coming in by the end of the Michelin Le Mans Cup practice early in the afternoon, the bronze driver test was driven in wet conditions and a tricky track.  

Only 11 cars turned a few laps round the soaked track, just 9 LMP3 and 2 LMGTE cars, as non of the LMP2 cars made their way out of the pitlane.  Quickest overall was Alexey Chulkin in the #5 NEFIS by Speed Factory Ligier in 1.53.434, just under 0.7 seconds faster than Kay Van Berlo in the #11 Eurointernational Ligier.  Jacopo Baratto in the #16 BHK Motorsport completed the top 3 in its class.  Just 2 Porsches went for a swim in LMGTE, Gianluca Roda the fastest in his #77 Proton Competition 911 RSR (1.57.985), almost a second faster than Gianluca Giraudi in the #80 Ebimotors.  Ironically, when all track action was over this afternoon, the sun broke back through the clouds … 

The second free practice session is scheduled for tomorrow at 09h25. Qualifying for the 4 hours of Portimao starts tomorrow afternoon 14h25 with the LMGTE cars on track first.