Monza: Horag Racing qualifying report

Horag Racing's van de Poele Qualifies Fifth in LMP2 For Sunday's 1,000 Km of Monza LMS Season Opener Eric van de Poele of Sart-Risbart, Belgium qualified the Horag Racing Lola B05/40 Judd fifth in the LMP2 class and 14th overall for...

Horag Racing's van de Poele Qualifies Fifth in LMP2 For Sunday's 1,000 Km of Monza LMS Season Opener

Eric van de Poele of Sart-Risbart, Belgium qualified the Horag Racing Lola B05/40 Judd fifth in the LMP2 class and 14th overall for Sunday's 1,000 Kilometers of Monza in action Saturday afternoon at the historic Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Behind the wheel of the immaculate Lista Office-sponsored No. 27, van de Poele's fastest lap in the qualifying session was a 1:41.325. His best lap for the 3.604-mile course took just 1.179 seconds longer than the driver who got third in his class, and 2.054 seconds longer than the driver who qualified first in the very competitive 10-car LMP2 field. All 10 cars in the class qualified in a row, separated by 3.9 seconds, and will hold down positions 10 through 19 overall on the starting grid tomorrow.

Van de Poele will share the brilliant red and white No. 27 in Sunday's 47-car, 173-lap LMS season opener with fellow Belgium native Didier Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Fredy Lienhard of Niederteufen, Switzerland.

The 20-minute qualifying session wasn't without a close call for the popular Swiss team, as van de Poele did a 360-degree spin in the first chicane on the first lap. He was able to regroup quickly with no damage done, and was seventh with 9 minutes remaining in the session and fifth with 8 minutes left. He slipped to sixth with 7 minutes to go but regained fifth with 6 minutes left and stayed in that spot until the end of the session.

"When I left pit road, the engine temperature was too low and the pit road limiter came on, and on the out lap while I was warming up the tires I lost the rear and did a 360 in the first chicane," van de Poele said afterwards. "I continued, and the car was OK; actually, it was quite nice. We have some adjustments that we'll do, but the gearbox was fine, the engine was fine, and the brakes were fine. I think we are just too far from first place in qualifying, but I feel we have a good car for the race. I believe in my team, and I think we can gain positions with good strategy.

"It felt very good to qualify a car again," he added. "Didier and I switch off in qualifying, and it was my turn today. It felt good to be doing it again."

Sunday's race begins at 1 p.m. It will be carried in Europe on Motors TV.

It will be preceded by a warm-up at 9 a.m. and an autograph session at 11 a.m.

Credit: horag

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Eric van de Poele , Fredy Lienhard