LMP2 debutant Nabil Jeffri took the returning #33 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier to Pole Position for the 4 Hours of Sepang after a hotly contested qualifying session that saw both Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECAs in early contention but fade as the #37 and #33 Ligiers too control of the session.
Pipo Derani was a hot tip for pole position and was always in contention both before and after a red flag after 6 minutes of the session as Konstantis Calko ground to a halt, the Nissan V8 in the #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier hors de combat.
The session restarted and Stephane Richelmi’s early session mark was soon under pressure from Jeffri, the driver, who started his career with Eurasia, had never even seen an LMP2 car before arriving at his home circuit for the race meeting, the Eurasia team dragged together at the very last minute for the final round of the 2017/18 Series.
Pipo Derani pushed hard but whilst he was vastly the more experienced LMP2 driver Jeffri’s local knowledge paid dividends, both men into the 1:55s but Jeffri coming home almost half a second clear with a 1:55.424 as the BBT Ligier hit tyre troubles. Richelmi was within three tenths of Derani in third with his #8 Jackie Chan DC Racing x Jota ORECA, Afiq Ikhwan Yazid completing the second row of the grid in the sister #7 car, his ORECA too though was struggling with front tyres.
LMP3 saw Nigel Moore an early session topper in the #65 Viper Nisa Racing Ligier but after the red flag Josh Burdon took control of the session , his 1:58.552 enough to see off a late session push from Moore that closed the gap, was enough for second, but still left the Aussie 6 tenths clear in the #18 KCMG Ligier, enough to double the team’s meagre points lead going into the season finale tomorrow.
Gabriel Aubry brought the title contending #6 Jackie Chan DC Racing car home third.
In GT Jesse Krohn backed up his Asian Le Mans Series team-mate Chaz Mostert’s pole setting Bathurst effort , the Aussie star cup-tied with the big race back home, by grabbing pole at Sepang under real pressure from locally based Mitchell Gilbert in the #66 Tianshi Racing Audi.
Gilbert led the session from the off, edging out Ollie Millroy in the #90 AAI Ferrari before Krohn finally hit the front in the sister #91 BMW. At that point the three GT cars were separated by 2 tenths of a second. Krohn though punched harder and extended the lead to three quarters of a second, Millroy’s efforts were done for the day and the BMW pitted too – Gilbert though had one final crack at pole crossing the line just 2 tenths off Krohn’s eventual mark, a fine 2:02.601
The 4 Hours of Sepang starts tomorrow at 1 pm local time with live coverage in sound and vision on the Series YouTube channel.