Joakim Frid steered KEO Racing to its first ever Le Mans Cup pole position in Qualifying today at Monza.
Frid set a 1:46.691 to hand the team’s #43 Ligier JS P3 the best grid spot for the race later today.
The KEO Ligier will start ahead of Tony Wells and his teammate Colin Noble in the #2 Nielsen Racing Norma M30 Nissan, after Wells set a late 1:46.806 and Michael Benham in the #25 Lanan Racing Norma M30 Nissan after the Briton’s 1:46.926.
Over the first ten minutes of the session, the lead traded between the #25 and the #43 before action was interrupted by a red flag. This was the result of Charlie Martin’s accident in the #11 Racing Experience Norma M30 at Curva Grande. She veered off course onto the grass and damaged the front left bodywork of the Racing Experience Norma M30.
The red flag came out just before Tony Wells crossed the line after a lap that would have been good enough for pole, but it was quickly deleted. In the meantime, KEO Racing chose to put fresh tyres on its Ligier. When the session resumed, the Wells improved wasn’t able to match his pre-red flag pace while Frid clocked a stunning 1:46.691 on new rubber.
“I am very happy with my lap,” said the Swede, “We had issues with our pace this weekend. We did more work yesterday. These were small improvements here and there which allowed me to push today. The red flag did not really matter. It was the same for everybody.”
Meanwhile, it was a thrilling qualifying session in GT3. Sergio Pianezzola in the #8 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 set pole position after a 1:49.109, only 32 thousands of a second ahead of Fabien Lavergne in the #71 Luzich Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.
It was the first pole position of the season for the Michelin Le Mans Cup leader.
“Being Italian and a Ferrari fan when I was young, it is something special to be on pole position at Monza” said Pianezzola.
Lavergne and Pianezzola were at the top of the timesheets throughout the session. On his third lap, Lavergne clocked a fast lap of 1:49.116 but moments later, Pianezzola set the pole time.
Lavergne then fought back and managed to reduce the gap with the pole-sitting car from 70 to 32 thousandths of a second over three consecutive attempts.
Third in class was Stefano Pezzucchi in the #35 Krypton Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3.
The two-hour race starts later today at 16:00.