Aston beats Highcroft to pole

Adrian Fernandez put Aston Martin on pole position for round two of the American Le Mans Series in Long Beach - but only after a very tight battle with Highcroft HPD's Simon Pagenaud

Aston beats Highcroft to pole

In the first event for the new combined and performance-balanced single LMP class, the LMP1 Aston and LMP2 HPD proved evenly-matched.

Fernandez set the early pace, but was then pipped by Pagenaud just before a mid-session stoppage to clear debris.

When qualifying resumed for a final shoot-out, Fernandez reclaimed the top spot with a 1m13.213s lap, and Pagenaud had to settle for second after lapping just 0.072 seconds slower on his last effort.

The pole combatants ended up a second clear of the rest of the field, with the Dyson Lola-Mazda and CytoSport Porsche lining up third and fourth on the grid.

Jon Field was back after his ferocious Sebring practice accident and took Intersport's older Lola to fifth.

Drayson will start back in sixth after Jonny Cocker went down an escape road early in the session and had difficult extricating the car.

Jaime Melo gave Risi Ferrari another pole in the rebranded GT class. The Brazilian needed only a single run early in the session to immediately go half a second clear of his rivals, before returning to the pits to watch them fail to beat him.

Wolf Henzler underlined Falken Porsche's gains this year with second. The two Corvettes will start third and fifth in class, split by the top Flying Lizard Porsche, with the Rahal Letterman BMWs and Extreme Speed Ferraris next up.

Level 5 driver Christophe Bouchut was fastest among the LMPC field, just ahead of Gunnar Jeanette's Green Earth Gunnar entry. Black Swan Racing's Jeroen Bleekemolen took GTC pole, beating TRG's Andy Lally in the all-Porsche GT3 class.

Pos Cl Drivers Car Time Gap 1. P Primat/Fernandez Lola-Aston Martin 1m13.213s 2. P Brabham/Pagenaud HPD 1m13.285s + 0.072s 3. P Dyson/Smith Lola-Mazda 1m14.191s + 0.978s 4. P Pickett/Graf Porsche 1m14.259s + 1.046s 5. P Field/Field/Konstant Lola 1m15.136s + 1.923s 6. P Drayson/Cocker Lola 1m17.084s + 3.871s 7. PC Tucker/Bouchut ORECA 1m17.273s + 4.060s 8. PC Julian/Jeannette ORECA 1m17.520s + 4.307s 9. P Drissi/Davis Lola 1m17.611s + 4.398s 10. PC Hildebrand/Sutherland ORECA 1m18.186s + 4.973s 11. PC Bonilla/Marcelli ORECA 1m18.422s + 5.209s 12. GT Melo/Bruni Ferrari 1m19.581s + 6.368s 13. GT Sellers/Henzler Porsche 1m20.179s + 6.966s 14. GT Magnussen/O'Connell Corvette 1m20.308s + 7.095s 15. GT Bergmeister/Long Porsche 1m20.424s + 7.211s 16. GT Beretta/Gavin Corvette 1m20.438s + 7.225s 17. GT Auberlen/Milner BMW 1m20.486s + 7.273s 18. GT Mueller/Hand BMW 1m20.564s + 7.351s 19. GT Brown/Cosmo Ferrari 1m20.587s + 7.374s 20. PC Tucker/Hunter-Reay ORECA 1m21.151s + 7.938s 21. GT Sharp/van Overbeek Ferrari 1m21.346s + 8.133s 22. GT Law/Neiman Porsche 1m21.457s + 8.244s 23. GT Robertson/Murry Doran Ford 1m21.960s + 8.747s 24. PC Pagerey/Wong ORECA 1m22.014s + 8.801s 25. GT Gentilozzi/Dalziel Jaguar 1m22.985s + 9.772s 26. PC Mowlem/Papadopoulos ORECA 1m23.599s + 10.386s 27. GTC Pappas/Bleekemolen Porsche 1m23.857s + 10.644s 28. GTC Richard/Lally Porsche 1m24.098s + 10.885s 29. GTC Curtis/Sofronas Porsche 1m24.256s + 11.043s 30. GTC Gonzalez/Leitzinger Porsche 1m24.288s + 11.075s 31. GTC Sweedler/Kapudija Porsche 1m24.462s + 11.249s 32. GTC Lewis/Vento Porsche 1m24.672s + 11.459s 33. GTC Miller/McMullen Porsche 1m24.730s + 11.517s 34. GTC Rodriguez/Bieker Porsche 1m24.968s + 11.755s 35. GTC Beggs/Baron Porsche 1m25.952s + 12.739s 36. GTC Gonzalez/Diaz Porsche 1m26.771s + 13.558s 
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