A remarkable 1:36.526 late lap by Enzo Guibbert put GRAFF on Pole Position for tomorrow’s 4 Hours of Monza in its #39 Oreca 07 Gibson. His time beat the best from Nicolas Lapierre in the DragonSpeed Oreca, who ended up taking the second spot on the front row.
“Very happy with Qualifying, it’s incredible for me,” Guibbert said. “It’s crazy, I don’t have words. The speed here is incredible, lots of history.”
Lapierre’s lap was a 1:36.641, set on his first flying lap, which looked to be enough to take Pole, but in the end it was 0.115 off Guibbert’s time.
The sister G-Drive Racing by DragonSpeed Oreca 07 of Ryo Hirakawa ended up third in the session, after the Japanese driver’s last flying lap was aborted after he caught the slower High Class Racing Dallara on track.
Filipe Albuquerque in the Silverstone-winning United Autosports Ligier JS P217 finished fourth, unable to match the Oreca’s ultimate pace, coming home with a lap 0.346 off that of Guibbert. Andrea Pizzitola earned Algarve Pro Racing fifth, ahead of Andrea Belicchi who represented the fastest Dallara in the session in sixth for Cetilar Villorba Corse.
Richard Bradley put the second GRAFF Oreca seventh with a 1:37.336, meaning the top seven in the session were within a second of each other.
In what was an extremely tight LMP3 Qualifying too, Wayne Boyd put the #3 United Autosports Ligier on Pole, with a 1:45.725 lap in the closing minutes of the session.
“When you get Pole it’s a good feeling, and they kept me waiting to find out until the in-lap. On the times everyone is very close, so we’ll see what happens,” said Boyd.
Behind, and just 0.048 off Boyd, was Ricky Capo in the YMR Norma M30, an impressive performance from the Australian. The top three was completed by the #17 Ultimate Ligier of Mattheiu Lahaye, who set a 1:46.822.
Remarkably the top six in the class finished within the same half second, the #2 United Autosports Ligier finishing fourth ahead of the #18 YMR Ligier of Aexandre Cougnaud’s in fifth. Sixth was the #7 Duqueine Engineering Ligier of David Droux.
A flat out performance from Spirit of Race’s Matt Griffin meanwhile, put Ferrari on top in GTE for Monza. The Irishman’s best time was a 1:48.027, just over two tenths clear of the other six runners.
“It was really good, worked rally hard with my engineer to get a good car for Qualifying. We didn’t use a new set in practice, I used new ones here and I was maximum attack. When you’re on the limit in a Ferrari at Monza it doesn’t get much better than that,” a jubliant Griffin explained.
Second in the class was Fernando Rees in the Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R, the Brazilian – who has adapted to the car quickly – managing a 1:48.293. Third spot was filled by the Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR of Matteo Cairoli, with a 1:48.514.
The best of the Aston Martins was TF Sport’s, which will line up fourth on the grid in GTE.
Tomorrow’s 4 Hours of Monza is set to get underway at 13:30 local time in Italy.