Paul Ricard ELMS: Beche takes pole for Thiriet by TDS
Thiriet by TDS Racing claimed pole position for the Paul Ricard round of European Le Mans Series, as championship leaders G-Drive trailed down in ninth place.
The #46 TDS Oreca 05-Nissan, in the hands of Mathias Beche, held provisional pole before the Swiss bettered his benchmark to 1m47.033 to distance himself further from the rest of the field.
With Nicolas Lapierre in the Dragonspeed Oreca missing the chequered flag and unable to set another flying lap, Beche, Pierre Thiriet and Toyota WEC regular Mike Conway became the first repeat polesitters of 2016.
The #41 Greaves Motorsports trio of Memo Rojas, Julien Canal and Nathanael Berthon were third fastest in the best of the Ligiers, albeit over a second off the pace of Beche.
The #32 SMP Racing squad of Stefano Coletti, Julian Lean and Andreas Wirth qualified fourth, ahead of #25 Algarve Racing (Andrea Roda, Jonathan Hirschi and Andrea Pizzitola) entry.
G-Drive’s Giedo van der Garde (co-drivers Simon Dolan and Harry Tincknell) could qualify no higher than ninth, with the #23 Panis-Barthez Competition (Fabian Barthez, Timothe Buret and Paul-Loup Chatin) Ligier also down in 10th place.
Tockwith Motorsports dominate LMP3
The #26 Tockwith Motorsports duo of Nigel Moore and Phil Hanson were dominant in the LMP3 class, with the former’s time of 1m54.006s nearly eight tenths clear of the rest of the field.
It marked the first ever LMP3 pole position for Tockwith Motorsports, putting them clear of the #9 Graff car (Eric Trouillet, Paul Pettit and Enzo Guibbert) and the #16 Panis-Barthez Competition machine (Eric Debard, Valentin Moineault and Simon Gachet).
The #2 United Autosports entry of Alex Brundle, Michael Guasch and Christian England, winners of all three races so far, had to settle for fourth place, with Brundle’s fastest time a second slower than Moore’s.
#99 Aston beats AT Racing to GTE pole
In the GTE class, the #99 Aston Martin squad of Andrew Howard, Darren Turner and Alex MacDowall took pole position, beating championship leaders AT Racing.
Turner lapped the Paul Ricard circuit in 1m46.483s, two tenths clear of #56 AT Racing’s Alessandro Pier Guidi (co-drivers Alexander Talkanitsa Jr and Alexander Talkanitsa Sr).
The #55 AF Corse entry of Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Aaron Scott was third fastest in qualifying, while the two Proton-run Porsches trailed at the back of the table, with the #88 car not venturing out at all in qualifying.
United Autosports aims to consolidate ELMS LMP3 championship advantage
Paul Ricard ELMS: Thiriet by TDS takes points lead with crushing win