After a 50-minute delay to repair some damage to the bars incurred in an earlier session in the Michelin Cup Series, the opening free practice of Round Three of the 2023 ELMS European Endurance Championship, began on Thursday 24 August on the Spanish track. Motorland Aragon, in Alcañiz.

The 90-minute free practice session saw several cars receive stop-and-go penalties for violating track limits, as drivers scouted the new circuit in the opposite direction. time.

When the checkered flag was waved to close out this opening session, it was Oreca-Gibson, the No. 37 COOL Racing Team, who took pole in the classification, and the car was entered in the LMP2 Pro/Am class, having completed the fastest lap speed in the race. 1’48,738 In the hands of the young Dane, Malthe Jacobsen, who shares the #37 car with Nico Lapierre and Alex Konyi.

The winning car of the previous event, the 4 Hours of Le Castellet at Circuit Paul Ricard, France, the Oreca N°25 of Portugal’s Algarve Pro Racing team, was classified second on Thursday and fastest of the seven cars lined up. them in LMP2, with James Allen in 1’49.272, also 0.534 Slower than the COOL Racing Oreca however 0.220 Ahead of third place, the No. 30 Duqueine Team Oreca tri-colour, driven by Switzerland’s Neil Jani.

The No. 28 IDEC Sport Oreca car is fourth overall and third in LMP2, just ahead of the No. 21 United Autosports Oreca car of former ELMS champion Felipe Albuquerque of Portugal – After returning to ELMS, he now rides in the USA in the IMSA Endurance Race – five overall and second in LMP2 Pro/Am.

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In LMP3… Great marks for the reference time!

COOL Racing’s Nico Lapierre also finished on top of the opening LMP3 session of the weekend, with the championship-leading No. 17 Ligier Nissan being the fastest of the 12 cars entering the class. 1’53,601, Three tenths Faster than Virage’s No. 8 Ligier team car, after Manuel Espiritu Santo set the car’s fastest lap in 1’53,942.

Léman’s N°31 Racing Spirit Ligier car, winner of the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, scored for the third time in a year 1’54” 513.

In LMGTE… Porsche dominates this Thursday

Italy’s Scuderia Iron Lynx set the pace in the LMGTE class, with Porsche taking the top three at the end of the 90-minute session, with the three cars separated by just five hundredths of a second.

Matteo Cairoli set the fastest time for Team Transalpine, completing a 5.34 km lap of the Circuit de Aragon with the No. 60 1’58” 347but only with 0 »029 Ahead of another Porsche 911 RSR-19, Richard Leitz’s No. 93 Proton Competition.

A third Porsche, the No. 16 911 RSR-19 from Proton Competition, took third place behind the wheel – Winner of the 4 Hours of Barcelona, ​​the inaugural race of the 2023 calendar – Alessio Picariello 1’58,397, two tithes In front of GMB Motorsport’s #44 Aston Martin Vantage, driven by Nicky Thiem, was fourth.

The second free practice session of this Aragon Four Hours will be held on Friday evening, August 25th from 8:30pm.

Francois Leroux

Images: Antoine Kempleur

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