Matthieu Lahaye takes Donington Park European Le Mans Series pole for OAK
|By Gary Watkins||Saturday, July 14th 2012, 14:11 GMT|
OAK Racing driver Matthieu Lahaye claimed the first pole position of his sportscar career at the Donington Park round of the European Le Mans Series.
The 27-year-old Frenchman topped the times in his OAK Morgan-Judd 2012 LMP2 at the end of a closely-fought qualifying session on a 1m20.921s. That was just over one tenth clear of second-placed Mathias Beche in the TDS Racing ORECA-Nissan 03.
Lahaye, who shares his OAK Morgan with team boss Jacques Nicolet, said: "I'm very happy to get my first pole in sportscar racing but I'm also very happy for the team after the disappointment of Le Mans 24 Hours."
Eight of the nine LMP2s on the entry at Donington were separated by a shade over a second. The Jota Zytek Z11SN driven by Sam Hancock was just over a tenth behind Beche, while Olivier Pla was another tenth in arrears in fourth place aboard the Nissan-powered OAK Morgan.
Jonny Cocker ended up fastest in the three-car GTE field aboard the JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia. His team-mate for Sunday's six-hour race has yet to be officially confirmed after regular co-driver James Walker had to leave the track in the small hours of Saturday morning when his wife went into labour.
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time 1. LMP2 Nicolet/Lahaye OAK Morgan-Judd 1m20.921s 2. LMP2 Beche/Thiriet TDS ORECA-Nissan 1m21.063s 3. LMP2 Dolan/Hancock Jota Zytek-Nissan 1m21.192s 4. LMP2 Pla/Baguette/Enjalbert OAK Morgan-Nissan 1m21.226s 5. LMP2 Ordonez/Kimber-Smith/Brundle Greaves Zytek-Nissan 1m21.238s 6. LMP2 Sims/Jousse/Jousse Status Lola-Judd 1m21.293s 7. LMP2 Marroc/Minassian/Sarrazin Loeb ORECA-Nissan 1m21.539s 8. LMP2 Firth/Hughes/Hartley Murphy ORECA-Nissan 1m21.971s 9. LMP2 Perez Companc/Ayari/Kaffer Pecom ORECA-Nissan 1m22.879s 10. LMPC Dagoneau/Battut/Hartshorne Boutsen Ginion FLM 1m28.737s 11. GTE Pro Walker/Cocker JMW Ferrari 1m29.328s 12. GTE Am Perazzini/Cioci/Griffin AF Corse Ferrari 1m29.733s 13. GTE Am Armindo/Narac/Pons Imsa Porsche 1m30.183s