Panciatici grabs ELMS pole at Spielberg

Panciatici grabs ELMS pole at Spielberg


Panciatici grabs ELMS pole at Spielberg


Nelson Panciatici snatched pole position for the European Le Mans Series race at Spielberg in the last seconds of qualifying on Saturday morning.

The Signatech Alpine driver had been on the fringes of the pole position fight before his final lap, with Jota Sport’s Oliver Turvey and Murphy Prototypes racer Brendon Hartley in the thick of the action in the closing minutes. But as those two were fighting it out, Panciatici was gradually building up his speed. He twice split the pair as all three kept improving, and then on his final lap he did enough to edge ahead of Turvey to take pole.

Panciatici’s pole lap came when there appeared to be yellow flags out for a car that was in the gravel at Turn 6, which could explain why his rivals didn’t improve on their final laps.

Championship leader Pierre Thiriet will start from row two, as Mathias Beche put the Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca-Nissan fourth fastest in a session that was very close at the front.

Further back, GTE honors went to the Proton Competition Porsche of Nick Tandy.

The Briton waited until the closing stages to come to prominence in the GT session, where he got the better of the Ferraris of Andrea Bertolini (JMW) and Ram Racing entries led by Johnny Mowlem and Gunnar Jeannette.

Pos Cl   Drivers                        Team/Car                     Time       Gap     1. P2   Ragues/Panciatici              Signatech Alpine-Nissan      1m23.737s 2. P2   Dolan/Turvey                   Jota Zytek-Nissan            1m23.871s  +0.134s 3. P2   Hartley/Patterson              Murphy ORECA-Nissan          1m24.010s  +0.273s 4. P2   Thiriet/Beche                  TDS ORECA-Nissan             1m24.054s  +0.317s 5. P2   Gachnang/Mailleux              Morand Morgan-Judd           1m24.318s  +0.581s 6. P2   Frey/Niederhauser              Race Peformance ORECA-Judd   1m24.407s  +0.670s 7. P2   Kraihamer/Holzer               Boutsen ORECA-Nissan         1m24.794s  +1.057s 8. P2   Mediani/Zlobin                 SMP Ferrrari                 1m25.083s  +1.346s 9. PC   Loan/Verdonck                  Endurance FLM                1m27.631s  +3.894s10. PC   Chatin/Hirsch                  Endurance FLM                1m27.942s  +4.205s11. PC   Jones/Catsburg                 Endurance FLM                1m28.234s  +4.497s12. PC   Pons/Ayari                     Endurance FLM                1m28.770s  +5.033s13. GTE  Ried/Roda/Tandy                Proton Porsche               1m29.391s  +5.654s14. GTE  Bertolini/Camathias            JMW Ferrari                  1m29.513s  +5.776s15. GTE  Mowlem/Griffin                 Ram Ferrari                  1m29.629s  +5.892s16. GTE  Jeannette/Montecalvo           Ram Ferrari                  1m29.780s  +6.043s17. GTE  Milesi/Vernay                  IMSA Porsche                 1m29.800s  +6.063s18. GTE  Perrodo/Collard                Prospeed Porsche             1m30.068s  +6.331s19. GTE  Perazzini/Cioci/Leo            AF Ferrari                   1m30.187s  +6.450s20. GTC  Markozov/Persiani/Frolov       SMP Ferrari                  1m30.705s  +6.968s21. GTC  Babini/Shaitar/Ladygin         SMP Ferrari                  1m30.741s  +7.004s22. GTC  Rizzoli/Gai/Case               AF Ferrari                   1m30.836s  +7.099s23. GTE  Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank       AF Ferrari                   1m30.865s  +7.128s24. GTC  Kox/Pronk                      Kox Lamborghini              1m31.127s  +7.390s25. GTE  Felbermayr/Felbermayr/Bachler  Proton Porsche               1m31.466s  +7.729s26. GTC  Millroy/Smith/Twyman           Ecosse BMW                   1m31.765s  +8.028s