Estoril ELMS: Lapierre snatches late pole for Dragonspeed

The #21 Dragonspeed crew of Nicolas Lapierre, Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman will start the 4 Hours of Estoril from pole position after Lapierre made a late improvement on a damp, but drying track.

#21 Dragonspeed Oreca 05 - Nissan: Henrik Hedman, Nicolas Lapierre, Ben Hanley
#23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier JS P2 Nissan: Fabien Barthez, Timothe Buret, Paul-Loup Chatin
#2 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Alex Brundle, Mike Guasch, Christian England
#38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan: Simon Dolan, Giedo van der Garde, Harry Tincknell
#56 AT Racing Ferrari F458 Italia: Alexander Talkanitsa Sr., Alexander Talkanitsa Jr., Alessandro Pier Guidi
#17 Ultimate Ligier JS P3 - Nissan: Jean-Baptist Lahaye, Mathieu Lahaye, François Heriau
#7 Villorba Corse Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto
#24 Oak Racing Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Jacques Nicolet, Pierre Nicolet

Lapierre, who led the #21 Oreca 05 to victory at Spa, was one of the last few drivers to take the chequered flag, lapping the Estoril circuit in 1m44.146s.

Behind, Paul-Loup Chatin qualified the #23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier in second place, having held provisional pole for majority of the session.

A gamble to use intermediate tyres paid dividends for G-Drive Racing, with star driver Giedo van der Garde qualifying third in the aging #38 Gibson 015S.

Olivier Pla took the #40 Krohn Racing Ligier to fourth position, while ex-F1 driver Vitaly Petrov piloted the #32 SMP Racing entry to fifth on the grid.

Championship leaders Thiriet by TDS Racing’s fortunes failed to improve, with Mathias Beche qualifying a lowly seventh during a fluffy session for the #46 Oreca 05.

However, the Thiriet by TDS squad only needs a fourth place finish in Sunday's race to guarantee the title.

United Autosports dominates LMP3 class

The #2 United Autosports crew, which wrapped up the title in Spa last month, took pole in the LMP3 class, with Alex Brundle setting a best time of 1m52.156s in the Ligier JS P3.

Wayne Boyd made it a one-two for United Autosports, ahead of the two Duqueine Engineering entries, the #19 car leading the charge for the French outfit.

Proton Racing takes GTE pole

In the GTE class, Ben Barker piloted the #88 Proton Racing to pole position, while the championship-leading #66 JMW Motorsport could qualify no higher than fifth.

Meanwhile, the #56 AT Racing secured the second spot on the GTE grid, with Alessandro Pier Guidi lapping 0.337s off the pace of the leading Porsche.

Further back, the two AF Corse entries were third and fourth, the #51 car qualifying ahead of the sister #55 machine.

Qualifying results (top 10):

1 21  Nicolas Lapierre 
 Henrik Hedman 
 Ben Hanley 
Oreca 05 1'44.146  
2 23  Paul-Loup Chatin 
 Fabien Barthez 
 Timothé Buret 
Ligier JS P2 1'44.553 0.407
3 38  Giedo van der Garde 
 Simon Dolan 
 Harry Tincknell 
Gibson 015S 1'44.758 0.612
4 40  Olivier Pla 
 Nic Jonsson 
Ligier JS P2 1'45.237 1.091
5 32  Vitaly Petrov 
 Andreas Wirth 
 Stefano Coletti 
BR 01 1'45.857 1.711
6 28  Patrice Lafargue 
 Paul Lafargue 
 Dimitri Enjalbert 
Ligier JS P2 1'46.352 2.206
7 46  Mathias Beche 
  Pierre Thiriet 
 Ryo Hirakawa 
Oreca 05 1'47.125 2.979
8 29  Leo Roussel 
 Inès Taittinger 
 Julien Schell 
Morgan 1'47.382 3.236
9 41  Julien Canal 
 Nathanael Berthon 
 Memo Rojas 
Ligier JS P2 1'50.056 5.910
10 2  Alex Brundle 
 Mike Guasch 
 Christian England 
Ligier JS P3 1'50.355 6.209

ELMS LMP3 champions United Autosports aim to go out on a high

Estoril ELMS: G-Drive takes title with win in dramatic finale