(Photo: Ian Chicken)
PJ Hyett, at the wheel of the #55 Proton Competition ORECA O7 he shares with Harry Tinknell and Paul-Loup Chatin, took pole position for the 4 Hours of Dubai when the American pilot lapped the 5.90 kms of the Dubai Autodrome in 1:48.873. Sharing the front row of the grid for Sunday February 4th’s contest will be the #99 99 Racing entry driven by Ahmad Al Harthy who lapped just .046 seconds slower.
Completing the top three on the grid will be #90 TF Sport entry driven by Salih Yoluc who put in a 1:49.131.
The 15-minute session got underway with John Falb, behind the wheel of the #30 Duqueine Team, entry going to the top of the timing screens early in the session with a 1:49.688. George Kurt, driving the #4 CrowdStrike Racing by APR entry, could only get to just under half a second behind the #55 car.
Al Harthy in the #99 99 Racing car then went quickest with a 1:49.044 before Hyett set his pole time, the first driver to lap in under 1:49.
Class pole in the LMP3 category went to the #17 Cool Racing Ligier driven by Alexander Bukhantsov who set a 1:55.118 followed by Julien Gerbi in the #26 Bretton Racing entry who lapped in 1:55.457. The top three in class was completed by the #20 High Class Racing entry driven by Audunn Gudmundsson.
In the GT3 class, Alban Varutti, at the wheel of the #42 Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3, set the early pace on the 15-minute session with a 1:58.411, a time that looked to have secured pole position for the French squad. However Anthony Liu in the #7 Al Manar Racing by GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO had other ideas as he lapped the Dubai Autodrome in 1:58.280.
When the chequered flag went out it was Liu who held on to the class pole position with his time of 1:58.280. The grid was then shocked as Varutti’s times were seemingly disallowed and the #42 car was relegated to the bottom of the timing screens.
Alex Malykhin’s time of 1:58.824 in the #91 Pure Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R was sufficient to promote the #91 car into second while James Cottingham in the #69 Optimum Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 secured third on the class grid with a 1:59.129.
The 4 Hours of Dubai gets underway on Sunday February 4 at 1300 local time (0900 GMT)