Nicolas Jamin claimed pole position this afternoon in a sunny but rather windy Portimao. The Frenchman set his best laptime of 1.33.197 in the dying seconds of the session, giving Duqueine Engineering their first pole position in the LMP2 class of the European Le Mans Series. Will Stevens looked to have set the fastest lap in the #23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier when the chequered flag fell, but ultimately came 0.060 seconds short.
Filipe Albuquerque will start from the second row tomorrow with the third fastest time, 1.33.362 in the #22 United Autosports Ligier. He will have Paul Loup Chatin next to him in the #28 IDEC Sport Oreca who was quickest in this morning’s practice session. 2018 champions G-Drive Racing will start from fifth place.
Lucas Légeret scored his first pole position in the European Le Mans Series and the second this season for the #19 Norma of M.Racing – YMR. In another nail-biting session, Légeret’s time of 1.40.715 was just 0.061 seconds quicker than Mathieu Lahaye in the #17 Ultimate Norma. Légeret set his time just before the #11 Eurointernational of Giorgio Mondini spun off at turn 5, causing a red flag. When the session was restarted, the top times weren’t improved anymore.
Mikkel Jensen was the quickest of the Ligiers in third place in 1.40.999, almost 0.3 seconds behind pole position. Jensen will have another Norma next to him on the second row of the grid with the #8 of DKR Engineering of Marvin Klein.
All three contenders for the championship struggled for pace this afternoon. Job Van Uitert in the leading RLR MSport Ligier didn’t get further than 7th place on the grid, almost a second off the pace of Légeret. Their main rivals in the #6 360 Racing Ligier and #3 United Autosport will start even further down the order, on 10th and 15th place. The race to the championship will be very tight and interesting tomorrow.
JMW Motorsport edges one point closer to the leading #88 Proton Porsche in the championship by claiming their second pole position of the season. Miguel Molina put the #66 Ferrari on the top spot with a lap time of 1.42.765 and closed the gap to the leading Porsche down to 10,5 points. Dennis Olsen in the #77 Proton Competition Porsche pipped Matteo Cairoli from a front row start with 0.026 seconds. His time of 1.43.073 was just over three tenths of a second slower than Molina. Matt Griffin in the #55 Ferrari will start from fourth tomorrow. As in the LMP3 class, anything is possible in the race tomorrow …