Colapinto, Habsburg Claim Abu Dhabi Poles for G-Drive

Photo: Sergey Savrasov

Franco Colapinto and Ferdinand Habsburg delivered a pole position for each of G-Drive Racing’s LMP2 entries ahead of the Asian Le Mans Series double-header at Yas Marina.

Colapinto, who took pole for the first two races of the season at Dubai Autodrome last weekend, carried his form into the first of Friday’s two 15-minute sessions in Abu Dhabi.

The 17-year-old Argentine driver claimed the provisional LMP2 pole for race one with a time of 1:55.339 which he subsequently shaved down to a 1:55.287.

This set Colapinto and his No. 25 Aurus 01 Gibson two-tenths ahead of Audi factory GT driver Kelvin van der Linde, who split the G-Drive Racing machines for Phoenix Racing.

Van der Linde’s improvement with half a minute left in the session dropped Habsburg to third in the No. 26 G-Drive Aurus, while Arjun Maini was fourth for Racing Team India.

Sean Gelael placed fifth in the JOTA Oreca 07 Gibson, ahead of Era Motorsport’s Kyle Tilley. The Eurointernational Ligier JS P217 Gibson did not take part in qualifying.

After qualifying third for race one, Habsburg bounced back with the fastest lap time in the second session which required teams to use the same set of tires as in Q1.

The Austrian driver’s 1:56.073 effort early in the run was enough for pole, while Colapinto slotted into second just 0.063 behind his G-Drive teammate.

Gelael came through in third for JOTA on a 1:56.302, while van der Linde lapped fourth-quickest ahead of Maini and Tilley.

Van der Linde took a while to establish himself on the Q2 leaderboard after his Phoenix Oreca needed to be fitted with a new right-rear wheel following a detachment in Q1.

Habsburg, Rene Binder and Yifei Ye maintained their 17-point championship lead over Colapinto, John Falb and Rui Andrade after both crews gained an extra point for pole.

In the LMP3 category, Wayne Boyd of United Autosports and Malthe Jakobsen of RLR MSport traded top honors.

Boyd, who won both Dubai races alongside his United Ligier co-drivers Manuel Maldonado and Rory Penttinen, clocked a 2:03.694 to lead the opening bracket.

Jakobsen finished less than a tenth behind on that occasion, before responding in Q2 with a 2:03.781 flyer that held sway over Boyd’s best attempt by 0.011s.

Mercedes-AMG factory driver Raffaele Marciello swept the pole positions in GT for reigning Asian LMS champion HubAuto Racing.

Marciello, who shares the Taiwanese team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with Liam Talbot and Marcos Gomes, posted times of 2:07.586 and 2:07.688 across the sessions.

Alessandro Pier Guidi completed the front row of the grid for race one in the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, while GPX Racing Porsche driver Julien Andlauer did the same for race two.

The penultimate race of the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series is due to get underway this afternoon at 4 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET, 12 p.m. GMT).

Results to follow.

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