Spielberg ELMS: Nelson Panciatici snatches pole

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

Spielberg ELMS: Nelson Panciatici snatches pole

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 honours 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/Hirschi 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 Oreca-Nissan 1m25.083s +1.346s 9. PC Loan/Verdonck Endurance FLM 1m27.631s +3.894s 10. PC Chatin/Hirsch Endurance FLM 1m27.942s +4.205s 11. PC Jones/Catsburg Endurance FLM 1m28.234s +4.497s 12. PC Pons/Ayari Endurance FLM 1m28.770s +5.033s 13. GTE Ried/Roda/Tandy Proton Porsche 1m29.391s +5.654s 14. GTE Bertolini/Camathias JMW Ferrari 1m29.513s +5.776s 15. GTE Mowlem/Griffin Ram Ferrari 1m29.629s +5.892s 16. GTE Jeannette/Montecalvo Ram Ferrari 1m29.780s +6.043s 17. GTE Milesi/Vernay IMSA Porsche 1m29.800s +6.063s 18. GTE Perrodo/Collard Prospeed Porsche 1m30.068s +6.331s 19. GTE Perazzini/Cioci/Leo AF Ferrari 1m30.187s +6.450s 20. GTC Markozov/Persiani/Frolov SMP Ferrari 1m30.705s +6.968s 21. GTC Babini/Shaitar/Ladygin SMP Ferrari 1m30.741s +7.004s 22. GTC Rizzoli/Gai/Case AF Ferrari 1m30.836s +7.099s 23. GTE Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank AF Ferrari 1m30.865s +7.128s 24. GTC Kox/Pronk Kox Lamborghini 1m31.127s +7.390s 25. GTE Felbermayr/Felbermayr/Bachler Proton Porsche 1m31.466s +7.729s 26. GTC Millroy/Smith/Twyman Ecosse BMW 1m31.765s +8.028s 
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Series WEC
Drivers Nelson Panciatici
Author Glenn Freeman
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