Alvaro Fontes snatched Pole Position of Jean Glorieux by 0.010 in the dying moments of a thrilling Le Mans Cup Qualifying at the Red Bull Ring in the #44 SPV Motorsport Ligier. The Spaniard set a 1:27.153 to take the top spot on his final flying lap, to leapfrog the DKR Norma of Glorieux which had held provisional Pole for the entire session to that point.
The best time from Glorieux, who pitted the #3 M30 early, leaving him unable to respond, was a 1:27.163 which was still good enough to put the team on the front row.
“It was difficult because of the traffic, but I’m very happy, I have a good feeling for this race,” Fontes said.
Third was the N’RACE Ligier, Alain Costa setting a 1:27.566 late in the session to go four tenths off Fontes, after a spinning the car at Turn 1 in the opening minutes; he was one of a number of drivers who made a mistake at the tricky up-hill right-hander.
The Nielsen Racing Ligier will start from fourth after a good performance from Anthony Wells, just 0.533 off the best time, ahead of the #65 GRAFF Ligier of Adrien Chila.
A late time from Shaun Lynn put the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P3 Nissan just outside the top five, with a 1:28.036.
In GT3, Emanuelli Busnelli took Pole Position for Italian team EBIMOTORS and his teammate Fabio Babini, setting a 1:29.991 on his final flying lap, after himself and Optimum Motorsport driver Flick Haigh set multiple improvements towards the end of the session. It was the second Pole Position of the season for the team.
Haigh ended up putting the Optimum Audi second despite improving her time on her last tour of the circuit. Her great performance meant the British team finished up just 0.348 off Pole Position with a 1:30.339.
“I’m very happy, I was a bit unlucky at Le Mans, but it was great to get Pole here,” Busnelli said, “it wasn’t a perfect lap, I made a little mistake, but it was good enough. The Huracan is good on the brakes, so for Lamborghini this circuit is great. We just need better grip through Turns 6 and 7.”
Third was the Ram Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 of Remon Vos, which held provisional Pole in the early stages of the GT3 session. After multiple fast laps from the other runners, Vos slipped as low as fourth, before a late 1:30.512 vaulted himself and the team into the top three.
The Sprit of Race Ferrari 458 will line up fourth on the grid – six tenths back – ahead of the Lee Mowle Mercedes AMG GT3 which finished up in fifth, 1.5 seconds off the ultimate pace.
Today’s Le Mans Cup race at the Red Bull Ring is set to begin at 16:00 local time.
Photos courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography/Le Mans Cup