Algarve Pro Racing scored pole position for the final round of the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series at the Sepang International Circuit, after a 1:55.287 by Andrea Pizzitola at the very end of the prototype Qualifying session in the #25 Ligier JS P2, denying the championship-leading DC Racing Oreca the point for pole position.
Pizzitola stealing pole after the checkered flag fell capped off thrilling final Qualifying of the season, which saw three of the four LMP2 crews hold provisional pole at various points.
Early it was Struan Moore’s Race Performance Oreca, which ended up third and 0.265 back after a 1:55.544, before Ho-Pin Tung and Pizzitola traded fastest times for the final 10 minutes.
In the end Tung would have to settle for second with a 1:55.287 his best time, just 0.008 off the pole lap.
The LMP3 class was a similar story, with Nigel Moore in the Tockwith Motorsports Ligier JS P3 snatching pole off of the Wineurasia Ligier of Scott Andrews on his final flying lap. Moore’s pole time was a 1:59.345, a tenth quicker than Andrews’ best.
Starting third in LMP3, and just behind the Wineurasia Ligier, will be the Jackie Chan DC JS P3, which ran well in the session with James Winslow behind the wheel.
Further back the G-Print by Triple 1 Ligier will start fourth, rounding out a Ligier 1-2-3-4 in the session. The first of the other two LMP3 brands went to the PRT Ginetta of Charlie Robertson, which after a late improvement of 1:59.676 by the young Englishman put the team fifth.
In GT, DH Racing scored pole position after a late lap in the GT/GTCup session by Alex Riberas. The 2:02.375 from Riberas put the #3 Ferrari 488 GT3 at the top of the timing screens by just 0.004 with just over three minutes remaining.
The pole time came soon after a brief Red Flag period for the Team NZ Porsche Cup of Will Bamber going off at Turn 1 into the gravel, which set up a frantic second half to the 15-minute Qualifying session.
Starting second in tomorrow’s race after Riberas’ flyer will be the Team BBT Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi. Pier Guidi, who held provisional pole midway through the session, but only briefly, set a best time of 2:02.379 set on the first round of flying laps following the Red Flag.
Rounding out the top three was the Team Audi Korea R8 of Alex Yoong. Audi R8 specialist Yoong came out of knowhere with his 2:02.540 lap which initially put him second on his home track.
Fourth and fifth in the session was the Spirit Of Race Ferrari of Rui Aguas which held pole after the first round of laps early in the session and the Team AAI BMW M6 GT3 of Philipp Eng respectively.
Down in GT Cup, both car’s did set times despite the Team NZ Porsche having its off. In the end TKS secured pole after Shinyo Sano’s 2:12.071.
Tomorrow’s four-hour race at the Sepang International Circuit is set to begin at 12:15 local time in Malaysia.