Matthieu Vaiviere, at the wheel of the #33 TDS Racing ORECA 07 he shares with Francois Perodo and Loic Duval, took pole for Sunday May 13’s 4 Hours of Monza, Round Two of the 2018 European Le Mans Series, with a 1:35.456, .381 seconds clear of the #21 DragonSpeed ORECA 07 driven by Ben Hanley.
Completing the top three in the LMP2 class was the #31 APR-Rebellion Racing ORECA 07 of Ryan Cullen, Harrison Newey and Gustavo Menezes in which Menezes put in a 1:36.034.
The session was neutralised with as red flag with 2:48 to go to allow track workers to clear debris from the track. There was also drama just as the chequered flag went out to conclude the session when Ate De Jong, driving the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JSP217 he shares with Mark Patterson and Tacksung Kim, went off the circuit at the exit of the Parabolica. De Jong emerged from the car seemingly unscathed but there will be significant work required to get the #25 car on the grid for Sunday’s race.
Vaxiviere was delighted at taking his first pole position in the European Le Mans Series.
“It’s been long, hard to get the pole but we are really happy to get this,” said the young Frenchman. “I am also really happy for Francois, for Loic and for the team because we have worked hard all the last season in the WEC. I did a good, decent lap for myself but maybe lost two tenths at T2 but I’m pretty happy with my lap.”
“It will be a long race and we need to see the weather first and then work out where we can finish but we finished P2 in the ELMS at Paul Ricard so the goal is to get a podium again but we’ll see.”
In a packed LMP3 qualifying session, Mathieu Lahaye took class pole with a 1:45.386, .339 seconds quicker than the pole setting time in 2017, in the #17 Ultimate Norma M30. ahead of David Droux in the #19 M Racing-YMR Norma.
LMGTE pole went to the #80 Ebimotors Porsche 911 RSR with Riccardo Pera at the wheel, securing the Italian team’s second class pole position of the weekend.
The lights go out for the 4 Hours of Monza at 12:20 local time on Sunday May 13.