Barcelona Heat, Qualifying: Team Virage, RLR MSport and LR Motorsport take the first pole positions of the season

Team Virage secured the first double pole position of the season in the sports-prototype category with the #48 Ligier JS P4 of Mihnea Stefan. It’s déjà vu all over again for the team, which had secured a double pole position in the opening round of last season (and all those after). In the Ligier JS2 R category, the #10 of RLR MSport won the pole for race 1, and the #43 of LR Motorsport did so for race 2.

Ligier JS P4 category: Perfect performance for Mihnea Stefan in the #48 of Team Virage

Mihnea Stefan in the #48 Team Virage Ligier JS P4 won the pole position for both races in Barcelona. He set the fastest lap of 1:44.487s in qualifying 1 and improved upon his time in qualifying 2 with a lap of 1:44.065s. But it wasn’t by much, as Bernardo Pinheiro in the #60, the second Team Virage car, was only seven thousandths slower than the Romanian driver.

In the AM class, the #16 Pegasus Racing Ligier JS P4 driven by David Caussanel clocked the fastest lap of the first qualifying session in 1:45.717s. In the second session, American Kevin Madsen in the #1 Team Virage car posted the best time of 1:45.631s.

Ligier JS2 R category: RLR MSport and LR Motorsport share the pole positions

On the GT side, pole position for race one went to the #10 Ligier JS2 R of RLR Msport, PRO-AM entry driven by Maximus Mayer. The silver driver set the fastest lap of 1:52.501s. Close behind in second place was the #42 ANS Motorsport Ligier JS2 R with Julien Lemoine at the controls, who set a time of 1:52.533s to secure top honours in the AM class.

Thanks to its fastest lap of 1:52.290s, the #43 Ligier JS2 R AM of LR Motorsport, with David Rodorigo aboard, will start race two on pole. The #10 RLR MSport car driven by Simon Butler is first among the PRO-AM entries, with a lap of 2:00.896s.

Mihnea Stefan, Team Virage, JS P4 #48, pole position, races 1 & 2 :

“It’s nice to be back again. I got a little taste of the series last year at Portimao. Now I’m excited to be here for the full season with a new team. Qualifying went great. P1 in both sessions. I’m thinking about tomorrow. Keeping my head down. I still have to work on my driving style and to adapt it to the car. But it’s great and I’m very happy to be here.”

Maximus Mayer, RLR MSport, JS2 R #10, pole position, race 1:

“I’m really happy with qualifying. We had a few issues this morning. I missed on FP2 and had only 8 laps under my belt. Simon did a pretty good job. It’s great to take the pole for Race 2. Looking forward to tomorrow’s two races and trying to win in both races. It’s a strong field so it’s gonna be difficult for us in both races. Race 1 starting from pole will be different. It’s all about managing the pace, keeping it consistent, keeping the lead and Race 2 will be about doing the best we can to move up the order.”

David Rodorigo, LR Motorsport, JS2 R #43, pole position, race 2:

“The first session was really chaotic for me. I finished last! For the second qualifying, I decided to push the limits, my limits. The car felt completely different, the track too. I kept improving my lap times. During the last lap I could have gonna faster but I was bothered by another car. I had to change my style of driving. I was driving the car as a motorbike. The same lines, very fast in the corners. During qualifying 2, I pushed and changed my style of driving. I still need to work on it but it’s a good start.”

Race one of the 2023 season will start on Saturday 22 April, at 9 am. Race two will get underway in the early afternoon at 1.30 pm. Both races will be streamed live on the Ligier European Series YouTube channel and Facebook page.

For the results of Qualifying 1, CLICK HERE.

For the results of Qualifying 2, CLICK HERE.