The Asian Le Mans Series 2021 season finally got going, with the Qualifying ahead of the two races this weekend at the Dubai Autodrome.
The Qualifying was different than normal, since this Friday’s session should decide the grid for both the Saturday and the Sunday race. The fastest lap was for Saturday, and the second fastest lap for Sunday.
There was a bit of fog in the air, but definately not as much as yesterday, where most of the driving was cancelled, so the drivers only were able to have an evening session, in addition to all the open practice with unlimited running on Tuesday and Wednesday.
First out were the 19 GT3 cars.
With a 15 minute session, and laptimes just under 2 minutes, the drivers wouldn’t be able to get many laps. GPX Racing Porsche #40 with Julien Andlauer was the first to post two good laptimes, while brand colleagues from Precote Herberth Motorsport were second and third. All of which, came with experience from last month’s Dubai 24 Hours race. Robert Renauer in the Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche #99 grabbed fastest time with four minutes to go.
The session ended with Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche #99 with Robert Renauer (plus Alfred Renauer and Ralf Bohn) on Saturday Pole, ahead of GPX Racing Porsche #40 with Julien Andlauer (plus Axcil Jefferies and Alain Ferte), while Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche #93 with Klaus Bachler (plus Steffen Görig and Antares Au) was third fastest.
Bachler took Sunday Pole, ahead of Andlauer, while Renauer was third fastest.
Then it was time for the 10 LMP3 cars, and their 15 minutes qualifying.
While the GT part of the session had been somewhat one-sided, the times were constantly changing amongst the LMP3 cars. United Autosports #23 with Wayne Boyd posted the first quick time, but was pushed by CD Sport #33 with Adam Eteki and RLR MSport #15 with Malthe Jakobsen. Duncan Tappy in United Autosports #3 wanted a go at the top too, but Boyd was able to stay ahead with just 0,007 of a second.
United Autosports #23 with Wayne Boyd (plus Manuel Maldonado and Rory Penttinen) took Pole for both races, ahead of Duncan Tappy (plus Andrew Bentley and Jim McGuire) in UA #3 for both races, and CD Sport #33 with Adam Eteki (plus Michael Jensen and Nick Adcock) in P3 for both races.
Last up was the 7 LMP2 cars.
JOTA #28 with Sean Gelael was the first driver to post a fast lap, but was beaten by G-Drive Racing #25 with Franco Colapinto shortly after, while Nicki Thiim in Phoenix Racing #5 posted third fastest time.
G-Drive Racing #26 with Yefei Ye waited in the pits for a while, but joined the track with about 9 minutes left of the session.
Thiim improved his time, and jumped to P2, but was beaten by #26 with Chinese driver Ye, jumping into second.
The LMP2 teams didn’t even want to use all 15 minutes of driving, so the Qualifying was decided with three minutes left on the clock.
G-Drive Racing #25 with Franco Colapinto (plus Rui Pinto de Andrade and John Falb) took Pole Position for both races, ahead of their teammates in #26 with Yifei Ye (plus Ferdinand Habsburg and Rene Binder) for both races, and Phoenix Racing #5 with Nicki Thiim (plus Simon Trummer and Matthias Kaiser) in third for the Saturday race and fourth for the Sunday race.
JOTA #28 with Sean Gelael (and Stoffel Vandoorne) will start the Saturday race from P4, while they will start P3 on Sunday.