The qualifying for the third round of the European Le Mans Series was run on a very hot Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, and except for the LMP2 quali everything else went smoothly.
All the three classes got ten minutes each, where the GTE cars were the first on the track.
It soon became obvious that the Ferraris were quick today, and it turned to an intense duel between Spirit of Race #55 and Luzich Racing #51. They topped the laptimes in turn, until Kessel Racing #60 with Andrea Piccini, Claudio Schiavoni and Sergio Pianezzola suddenly jumped to the top of the timing screen. #55 came in second place with Duncan Cameron, Matthew Griffin and Aaron Scott, while #51 was third with Alessandro Pier Guidi, Nicklas Nielsen and Fabien Lavergne – Pier Guidi qualified the car.
JMW Motorsport #66 made it to Ferrari 1-4, while Team Project 1 Porsche #56 was the best German car. #56 is interesting for Danish viewers this weekend, since David Heinemeier Hansson is one of the drivers, in a collaboration with the team.
Michelle Gatting had the honour to qualify Kessel Racing Ferrari #83, and drove it to P6, right in front of championship leader Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77.
In the LMP3 class the Norma dominance was finally broken, when Mikkel Jensen drove Eurointernational #11, which he shares with Jens Petersen, to first place. Oregon Team #10 (which is a Norma) with Damiano Fioravanti, Gustas Grinbergas and Lorenzo Bontempelli came in second place, ahead of Ultimate #17 (also a Norma) with Mathieu Lahaye, Jean-Baptiste Lahaye and Francois Heriau.
RLR MSport #15 with Martin Vedel Mortensen, Christian Stubbe Olsen and Martin Rich was fourteenth fastest car in the class.
While GTE and LMP3 ran smoothly, there were problems in LMP2.
On the first flying lap, Nicolas Jamin lost control of the blue and black Duqueine Engineering #30 on the way to Turn 1 and buried it in the gravel. Luckily, there were no damages on the car, but there was a red flag right away, in order to remove the car. It also meant that all the drivers had to drive back to the pits with 80 kph, without setting a time.
The qualifying got restarted again and people raced for Pole Position.
IDEC Sport #28 with Paul-Loup Chatin, Memo Rojas and Paul Lafargue was fastest of everyone, while Cool Racing #37 with Nicolas Lapierre, Antonin Borga and Alexandre Coigny was right behind them. Lapierre tried to beat Chatin’s time, but he ended up losing control fo the car out of the chicane and stopped sideways on the track. He could get the car started again and drive it back to the pits, and thus failed to improve his time.
G-Drive Racing #26 with Jean-Eric Vergne, Job van Uitert and Roman Rusinov was third fastest car.
Anders Fjordbach and Dennis Andersen set fifteenth fastest time amongst the LMP2 cars, having been third in yesterday’s practice.
The temperature, however, will change signficantly in the race, which will start at 18.30 today. The sun will set halfway into the race, but how much it will influence the cars and tires, we’ll have to wait and see. The race can be streamed on YouTube from this link.