Monza Heat, Qualifying: Double pole position for M Racing, One apiece for HP Racing by Monza Garage and Les Deux Arbres

After free practice this morning, it was time for the serious business of the day with qualifying. The #23 HP Racing by Monza Garage Ligier JS P4 took pole position for race 1, while the #34 Les Deux Arbres car will lead the field in race 2. In the Ligier JS2 R category, the #53 M Racing took both pole positions for the second time of the season after Le Castellet.

Session one of qualifying got underway at 2:40 pm. In the sports prototype category, the #23 Ligier JS P4 driven by Alessandro Cicognani claimed his fifth pole position of the season. His best time of 1:58.310s will see him lead the field at the start of race 1. The #34 Les Deux Arbres entry driven by Patrice Lafargue will start on the outside of row one, and the #32 sister car with Steve Zacchia will set off from third place on the grid.

In the GT category, the #53 M Racing Ligier JS2 R of Natan Bihel set the fastest time of 2:01.014s and will start from pole position. It was followed by the #24 Orhès Racing car driven by Mathieu Martins, less than a half-second behind, and the #95 CTF Performance car with Nicolas Beraud behind the wheel.

The field immediately moved on to the second qualifying session. Dimitri Enjalbert in the #34 Les Deux Arbres entry took the pole for race 2 in the Ligier JS P4 category in his first weekend in the Ligier European Series with a lap of 1:57.114s. Like his team-mate Patrice Lafargue, Dimitri is an old-hand in the sports prototypes and is doing a double programme this weekend, combining the Ligier European Series and the Michelin Le Mans Cup in the LMP3 category aboard a Ligier JS P320. Behind him, the #23 HP Racing by Monza Garage with Jacopo Faccioni at the wheel and the #33 Les Deux Arbres, driven by Jacques Nicolet.

A few weeks after the Le Castellet Heat, Silver driver Natan Bihel in the #53 M Racing Ligier JS2 R added a sixth pole position to his 2021 collection with the best time of 2:01.746s in session 2. Gentleman driver Laurent Millara in the #69 M Racing Ligier JS2 R finished second ahead of Oliver Pernaut in the #24 Orhès Racing machine.

Alessandro Cicognani, #23 HP Racing by Monza Garage, Ligier JS P4, Pole Position Qualifying 1:

“I am delighted to claim my third pole position in a row. It’s a great honour to have taken pole position at home in Italy, on the track of Monza! I couldn’t ask for more. I have to say that the competition level is very high, so we have to be in control tomorrow and not make any mistakes”.

Natan Bihel, #53 M Racing, Ligier JS2 R, Double Pole Position :

“It went pretty well. The first session was more complicated.  There was a lot of traffic. At Monza, slipstreaming is a great deal, so I had to be in a good position without getting blocked. I was in a good position for the two qualifying sessions and it paid off. For tomorrow, I am quite confident. I’ll have to drive clean, consistent and not make any mistake to win”.

Dimitri Enjalbert, Les Deux Arbres, Ligier JS P4 #34, Pole Position Qualifying 2 :

“Qualifying went very well. I thought it would be difficult to switch from the Ligier JS P320 to the Ligier JS P4, but it uses the same braking points. I am pleasantly surprised by the car. As a driving instructor, I work with many different cars and very often with gentlemen drivers, and I find that the Ligier JS P4 is a car that fits them perfectly for both enjoying themselves and competition. But as a professional driver, you also have a lot of fun. The times are very close between the gentlemen and the professional. Patrice set the second-fastest time in the first qualifying session, and I set the pole in the second. Tomorrow’s objective is: to have fun (that’s been the buzzword since I’ve been driving with Patrice and IDEC Sport), to finish the race, to get onto the podium, and why not win? I think it’s possible”.

Race 1 on the Monza track gets underway on Saturday, 1 July at 10:35 am followed by race 2 at 2:35 pm. Both races will be aired live on the Ligier European Series website, as well as its YouTube channel and Facebook page.

For the Q1 full results, CLICK HERE.

For the Q2 full results, CLICK HERE.