Imola ELMS: Lapierre beats Beche by 0.035s to take pole

The #21 Dragon Speed entry of Nicolas Lapierre took pole position for the 4 Hours of Imola, pipping Mathias Beche (#46 Thiret by TDS) by just 0.035 seconds in an ultra tight qualifying session.

Imola ELMS: Lapierre beats Beche by 0.035s to take pole
Polesitter LMP2 #21 Dragonspeed Oreca 05 - Nissan: Nicolas Lapierre
#38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan: Simon Dolan, Giedo van der Garde, Harry Tincknell
Polesitter LMP3 #3 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Wayne Boyd
#16 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Eric Debard, Valentin Moineault, Simon Gachet
#22 SO24! By Lombard Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd: Vincent Capillaire, Olivier Lombard, Jonathan Coleman
#46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 - Nissan: Pierre Thiriet, Mathias Beche, Ryo Hirakama
#25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JSP2 Nissan: Michael Munemann, Parth Ghorpade, Chris Hoy
#14 Murphy Prototypes Ginetta - Nissan: Barrie Baxter, Alex Kapadia, Rob Gorafall
Polesitter GTE #77 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR 991: Wolf Henzler

Lapierre held pole provisional pole for much of the session with his early benchmark, before improving to 1m33.780s to seal the top spot on the grid.

Beche, who took pole position in Silverstone, was involved in a clumsy incident with the #34 Race Performance but managed to qualify on the front row, thanks to his early effort of 1m33.815.

Paul Loup Chatin set an identical time to Beche’s but would start from third place, ahead of Olivier Pla in the #40 Krohn Racing. The top four drivers were separated by just 0.044s in qualifying.

Behind the front runners, the Silverstone-winning G-Drive squad took fifth position, with EurAsia Motorsport’s Tristan Gommendy qualifying only half a hundredth adrift in sixth place.

The #41 Greaves Motorsport was seventh ahead of the leading Judd-powered Oreca of SO24 ! By Lombard Racing. Pegasus Racing and Algarve Motorsport completed the top 10.

United Sports, Proton take class pole

In the LMP3 class, Wayne Boyd delivered pole position for the #3 United Autosports, with Giorgio Mondini (#11 EuroInternational) jumping to second position with a last gasp attempt in qualifying.

Mondini’s efforts demoted Alex Brundle to third place, preventing a United Autosports front row lockout.

Murphy’s Alex Kapadia caused a scare when his Ginetta lost one of its four wheels, nearly hitting one of the Oak Racing cars. Kapadia managed to return to track but could qualify no higher than 40th.

Meanwhile, #77 Proton Competition took the GTE honours, with Wolf Henzler displacing Andrea Bertolini’s #66 JMW Motorsport entry by just 0.041s to take class pole.

The sister Proton Competition car of Gianluca Roda, Klaus Bachler and Christian Ried qualified in third place, ahead of a trio of Ferraris and the #99 Aston Martin.

Qualifying results - Top 10:

Pos #Driver Car/Engine Time/Delay 
21  Henrik Hedman
 Nicolas Lapierre
 Benjamin Hanley
ORECA/Nissan 1'33.780 
46  Pierre Thiriet
 Mathias Beche
 Ryo Hirakawa
ORECA/Nissan 0.035
23  Fabien Barthez
 Timothé Buret
 Paul-Loup Chatin
Ligier/Nissan 0.035
40  Björn Wirdheim
 Nic Jönsson
 Olivier Pla
Ligier/Nissan 0.044
38  Simon Dolan
 Harry Tincknell
 Giedo van der Garde
Gibson/Nissan 0.244
33  Pu Jun Jin
 Nick de Bruijn
 Tristan Gommendy
ORECA/Nissan 0.290
41  Memo Rojas
 Julien Canal
 Kuba Giermaziak
Ligier/Nissan 0.356
22  Vincent Capillaire
 Olivier Lombard
 Jonathan Coleman
Ligier/Judd 0.902
29  Inès Taittinger
 Remy Striebig
 Leo Roussel
Morgan/Nissan 1.234
10  25  Michael Munemann
 Chris Hoy
 Parth Ghorpade
Ligier/Nissan 1.288
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