The qualifying for the 4 hours at the Red Bull Ring was held on a bone-dry track, after it was raining in the early Saturday practice.
The GTE cars were first on track for their 10 minutes of qualifying, and Track limits quickly became the theme, with Spirit of Race Ferrari #55, and Proton Competition Porsche #77, and #88 being amongst those losing a lap or more.
The teams really put the hammer down, and everything was decided in tenth, like we are used to see in the GTE category.
JMW Motorsport Ferrari #66 with Miguel Molina took Pole Position, ahead of Matteo Cairoli in Proton Competition Porsche #88, while Andrea Bertolini in the Krohn Racing Ferrari #83 grabbed P3, ahead of Spirit of Race Ferrari #55, Proton Competition Porsche #77, and Ebimotors Porsche #80. All six cars were separated by 0,539 of a second – with top-three only separated by 0,140 – Ferrari, Porsche, Ferrari!
LMP3 was the next on track. Track limits were again in the focus, with some teams getting times disallowed. It was a Danish Pole Position for Mikkel Jensen aboard the AT Racing #9 ahead of Ultimate #17 and Matthieu Lahaye, with M.Racing – YMR #19 and Lucas Legeret being third. Ultimate #17 had a small spin on their flying lap, which made an improvement impossible in the 18 car LMP3 field.
Last but not least, 18 LMP2 cars.
High Class Racing #49 with Anders Fjordbach was the first in line exiting the pits, but were already in troubles right at the exit. They lost the front right wheel, with Anders having to drive the car back with only three wheels on his wagon.
IDEC Sport #28, who had grabbed Pole Position at the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier in the year, initially put down the fastest lap, before getting beaten by the opposition. Paul Loup Chatin chose to pit for four new tires, with four minutes to go.
AVF by Adrian Valles #30 had a trip through the gravel with Konstantin Tereschenko behind the wheel, but came back on the tarmac again.
And new tires was exactly what #28 needed, since they grabbed Pole Position in the very final moment, followed by Duqueine Engineering #29 driven by Nicolas Jamin, ahead of Racing Engineering #24 with Norman Nato, and DragonSpeed #21 with Nicolas Lapierre. These four cars was all within 0,177 of a second. Top 10 was separated by less than a second.
ORECA had the LMP2 category under full control, with the first six cars being from the French manufacturer, before United Autosports #22 got an Ligier sneaked ahead of further two ORECA’s. Cetilar Villorba Corse #47 with Felipe Nasr was the best Dallara in P10.
The race is run tomorrow at 12.00 CET, and can be followed live at www.Europeanlemansseries.com.
Update – AT Racing #9 subsequently lost Pole Position due to Track Limits. That promotes Ultimate #17 to pole ahead of M.Racing – YMR #19 and RLR MSport #15. AT Racing #9 will start the race from 6th.