Back on track this Friday, August 25, with the two qualifying sessions for the Aragon Heat. Despite the oppressive conditions at Motorland Aragon, the teams rose to the challenge. Team Virage took pole position for both races with the #60 and Bernardo Pinheiro (race 1) and the #48 with Mihnea Stefan (race 2). In the JS2 R category, ANS Motorsport’s #42 and Julien Lemoine claimed the pole for race 1. Maximus Mayer, in the #10 of RLR MSport, will start on the pole for race 2.
JS P4 category: Spirited battle between the #48 and the #60 of Team Virage
The pole duel for race 1 was intense between two Team Virage Ligier JS P4s, the #60 with Bernardo Pinheiro and the #48 with Mihnea Stefan. In the end, it was the young Portuguese driver who prevailed over his Romanian rival. Bernardo Pinheiro secured his first pole position of the season with a lap of 2:02.004s.
But Mihnea Stefan got his revenge in the second qualifying session. He took pole position for race 2 with a lap of 2:01.346s. It was his fourth pole so far this season.
The fastest PRO-AM time in session 1 was set by the #16 Pegasus Racing Ligier JS P4 driven by Yuki Tanaka (2:03.517s). Steve Zacchia in the #50 Les Deux Arbres clocked the fastest lap in session 2 (2:03.763s).
Georgios-Periklis Kolovos was the fastest in the AM class in session 1 in the #4 HPRacing by Monza Garage Ligier JS P4 (2:04.089s). His team-mate Panagiotis Kaitatzis clocked the best time in session 2 (2:02.442s).
Bernardo Pinheiro, Team Virage, #60 Ligier JS P4, pole position, race 1:
“It’s good to get my first pole position. Ever since we tested here, I have felt good in the car. I hope we can compete with Mihnea [Stefan in sister car #48]. It’s really tough with the heat. It’s all about managing your energy, staying hydrated during the weekend obviously, endure it and try to make the best out of your physical condition and driving. Not pushing the car too much, not overdoing it. We look forward to tomorrow’s races. We are ready to put battle with Mihnea and do our best to finish in front.”
Mihnea Stefan, Team Virage, #48 Ligier JS P4, pole position, race 2:
“It’s the fourth heat of the season and my fourth pole position, so we’re maintaining good pace. Today was very hard when it came to managing the tyres and cope with the heat. We had to keep cool, the car has to be cool, your brain too in order for everything to work. It’s going to be a big battle tomorrow with my teammates [Bernardo Pinheiro and George King in car #60]. It’d be great if we could finish the races 1-2.”
JS2 R category: The #42 of ANS Motorsport and the #10 of RLR MSport share the poles
In the GT category, Julien Lemoine in the #42 ANS Motorsport Ligier JS2 R overcame Maximus Mayer in the #10 of RLR MSport. The Frenchman won the pole position for race 1 in 2:10.261s (and set the fastest time in the AM class). It is his second pole of the season.
Maximus Mayer in the #10 RLR MSport Ligier JS2 R dominated the second qualifying session. For the fourth time this season, the Spanish driver set the fastest lap in the category with a time of 2:10.009s. He is the only driver to have secured pole position at each meeting.
The best time in the AM class, in session 2, was set by Julien Lemoine in the #42 ANS Motorsport Ligier JS2 R (2:10.124s).
The #86 Les Deux Arbres Ligier JS2 R, driven by Jacques Nicolet and Bastien Ostian, did not take part in qualifying following a run-off in the second free practice session. The team-mates will start from the back of the grid for both races.
Julien Lemoine, ANS Motorsport, #42 Ligier JS2 R, pole position, race 1:
“It was hot, literally. It’s very hot. The first session went really well. The second didn’t go quite so well and I lost a bit of concentration at the end, which caused me to spin out. That was a shame. But other than that, we had good pace. The circuit is very technical and very difficult. It’s the second time I’ve driven this circuit. I think this training has been beneficial, as have the simulator sessions. I’m dreading tomorrow afternoon’s race with the heat. It’s going to be tough!”
Maximus Mayer, RLR MSport, #10 Ligier JS2 R, pole position, race 2:
“Qualifying was very hard here in Aragon. It’s a technical track. Good job to Julien [Lemoine in car #42 of ANS Motorsport] who clinched P1 in Q1, which was a blow to my moral. I needed to do better in Q2. It was really good and hard at the same time, because with the heat, if you don’t have the right temperature in the tyres, it’s very difficult to complete a full clean lap. I have raced at Motorland many times. It’s a home track but it didn’t really feel like home today losing by between three to five tenths to Julien in the last sector. Tomorrow is going to be interesting!”
For the results from Qualifying 1, CLICK HERE.
For the results from Qualifying 2, CLICK HERE.
Race 1 will start tomorrow morning at 9 am, and race 2 will follow in the afternoon at 2 pm. Both one-hour races will be streamed live on the Ligier European Series’ YouTube channel and Facebook page.