The qualifying for the Michelin Le Mans Cup was run on a slightly overcast, but dry and warm track.
First up was the eight GT3 cars, where IDEC Sport #17 was finally repaired, after their Mercedes-AMG GT3 had a shunt earlier in the week. That meant that they couldn’t participate in the Friday practice sessions.
The rules for the qualifying is that the Bronze drivers will qualify the cars.
Iron Lynx Ferrari #8 put down an impressive time, that the competition had to chase. Kessel Racing Ferrari #74 were the ones getting the closest, while there was a tough battle between the Pzoberer Zürichsee by TFT Porsche #2 and Kessel Racing #67 regarding third position.
The competition closed the gap more and more, but nobody was able to catch Rino Mastronardi, who share the Iron Lynx #8 with Giacomo Piccini . Kessel Racing #74 with Michael Broniszewsi (and Daniel Perel) were second, ahead of Pzoberer Zürichsee by TFT Porsche #2 with Nicolas Leutwiler (and Julien Andlauer).
Then it was time for 15 minutes of LMP3 qualifying, with a total of 17 competitors. Other than the European Le Mans Series, it was almost a 50/50 split between the Duqueine M30 – D08 model and Ligier JS P320.
The defending Michelin Le Mans Cup Champions DKR Engineering #3 was the first to post a fast lap. The LMP3 category is however always super close, so the positions switch a lot throughout the field. Especially Cool Racing #37 gave them a tough time, without really getting close. #37 was Ligier with some advantage in Sector 1, whereas the Duqueine car had the upper hand down the long back straight.
Grainmarket Racing #20 had big troubles with the car, and had to pit after just 2 laps, and never made it back on track again.
There was drama towards the end of qualifying, when the Pole car let out a lot of smoke, with something that looked like a damaged engine or gearbox. That resulted in the qualifying being Red Flagged with just over 1 minute to go, and therefore wasn’t restarted.
So DKR Engineering #3 with Jean Glorieux (and Laurents Hörr) are on Pole Position, ahead of Nicolas Maulini (and Edouard Cauhaupe) in Cool Racing #37, while Rinaldi Racing #55 with Alexander Mattschull (and Daniel Keilwitz) took 3. position.
The DKR Engineering #3 mechanics have a big task ahead of them, with the race being run today at 16.30. The race can be viewed on YouTube via this link.