Watts takes Hungaroring pole for Strakka HPD

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Watts takes Hungaroring pole for Strakka HPD

Danny Watts took the Le Mans Series pole position for Strakka Racing at the Hungaroring today, in preparation for tonight's 1000-km endurance race. It was the first time an LM P2 car has scored an overall pole position in the series' seven-year ...

Danny Watts took the Le Mans Series pole position for Strakka Racing at the Hungaroring today, in preparation for tonight's 1000-km endurance race. It was the first time an LM P2 car has scored an overall pole position in the series' seven-year history.

Danny Watts.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.

Strakka's car sat in the team's garage a long time into the session, with Watts only having time to complete two flying laps late in the session. However, he made most of that, and in spite of a lower top speed on the straights, he was able to wend his way quickly enough through the twisty sections to edge the two Rebellion Racing Lolas by nearly half a second.

Jean-Christophe Boullion and Neel Jani took the LM P1 pole in the #13 Rebellion car, and will start second overall, next to the Strakka HPD. Nicholas Prost and Neel Jani will start third in the second Rebellion entry, ahead of the ORECAR Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, the powerful diesel car unable to take advantage of its power on the slow Hungaroring circuit.

Miguel Amaral and Olivier Pla took second in LM P2, and seventh overall, the Quifel-ASM Ginetta-Zytek 09S some three seconds behind the class-leading Strakka HPD.

Tables were turned in the GT classes as well, with Alvaro Parente taking the LM GT2 pole for AF Corse in a Ferrari F430, nearly half a second ahead of Gabriel Gardel in the Larbre Competition Saleen S7-R.

The GT2 pole was a close call, with Giancarlo Fisichella in the second AF Corse car little more than a tenth off the pace of the team's sister car. Andrew Kirkaldy put CRS Racing's Ferrari third in class, still ahead of the GT1-leading Saleen.

The second GT1 entry -- only two cars are taking part in the proceedings this weekend -- never completed a lap in qualifying, losing a wheel shortly after leaving the pit lane.

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Series ELMS