All go in Spain with ACO rules ELMS and Le Mans Cup Qualifying

Saturday, April 22, 2023


It’s been ‘all go’ today in Spain as both the European Le Mans Series and supporting Le Mans Cup Series held their Qualifying sessions earlier today for the opening race of the 2023 LMC Series later today and the opening four-hour race of the ELMS tomorrow.

With a solo Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 from the Racing Spirit of Leman team competing within the LMC Series and three AMR Vantage GTE’s racing within the larger ELMS Series, todays Qualifying proved to be another mixed affair for these four runners.

Having already run within the series two Free Practice and Bronze driver sessions earlier in the day and yesterday with Valentine Hasse-Clot, it was Arnold Robin’s responsibility to guide the #10 car around the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona to end up qualifying on the GT3 class Pole Position for his efforts within the twelve-car strong class.

Delivering a best lap time of a third of as second quicker than his nearest rival earlier within the session, his efforts were nearly unravelled with a late off-track excursion towards the end but fortunately the Frenchman was able to keep the car out of the barriers as the team now prepare for this afternoon’s 110-minute race.

It was a similar case within the ELMS where Arnold Robin was again behind the driver’s seat of his #72 TF Sport entered AMR Vantage GTE that he shares with brother Max and (again) Hasse-Clot. They joined their sister TF Sport #95 car line up of John Hartshorne, Jonny Adam and Ben Tuck as well as the new for 2023 #44 GMB Motorsport AMR of Jens Moller, Gustav Birch and Nikki Thiim.

Being another ACO BoP controlled series, it was again the turn of the lower bronze rated driver to Qualify the car – that being Arnold Robin, Moller and Hartshorne respectively.

Within their ten-minute Qualifying window, both the #44 and #72 both featured towards the top of the timing screen – never at the top but close enough to ‘appear’ to show competitiveness within class despite the chassis close comparison in BoP to their WEC Vantage GTE peers – and we know who underperforming that Vantage is in that series at present.

The session ended with the #72 car finishing P4, the #44 GMB Motorsport car just behind in P5 and with the #95 TF Sport car in P12.

As always, Qualifying is one thing – racing is another as we will have to wait until tomorrow to see how these Vantage GTE crews will fare in tomorrow’s four-hour opener.

Photo credits – LMC / ELMS / Teams / A Lofthouse
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