Hartley obliterates ELMS field in torrential qualifying session

Autosport

Brendon Hartley dominated European Le Mans Series qualifying at the Hungaroring to take pole position for Murphy Prototypes.

The ex-Red Bull junior single seater racer was two seconds clear of his nearest challenger in horrendous conditions, as the session was punctuated by several red flag stoppages.

In the end, the Murphy car’s nearest challenger was the Race Performance Oreca driven by Patric Niederhauser, just ahead of Nelson Panciatici in the Signatech Alpine.

Panciatici was one of the few drivers to find a clear lap in the last five minutes of green flag action before there was a final stoppage with just over a minute left on the clock.

However, conditions had worsened since the earlier laps of the session so he was unable to improve.

The poor weather caused problems for two of the championship’s frontrunners, with the #1 Thiriet by TDS Racing entry and the #38 Jota Sport car hitting trouble.

Jota’s session came to an early end when Oliver Turvey went off and tagged the barriers at Turn 1, while Mathias Beche was one of several cars to spin into the gravel further round the lap.

That left Turvey fifth fastest for Jota, while Beche – sharing with championship leader Pierre Thiriet – was only seventh.

In the GT ranks, the easier to drive GTC cars had the edge over the GTE machines.

That enabled Lorenzo Case to take pole in the GTC AF Corse entry, while Andrea Bertolini was the best GTE runner for JMW Motorsport and went second fastest.

Hartley obliterates ELMS field in torrential qualifying session

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