8H Portimao: Alpine secures maiden pole position, Estre continues streak in GTE

Matthieu Vaxiviere of the #36 Alpine Elf Matmut secured pole position in qualifying for the 8 Hours of Portimao on Sunday 13 June.

It was a warm setting for qualifying ahead for the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and the first time at the Autodromo do Algarve.

Even so, exceeding track limits were a theme across both 10 minute sessions as well as at least two laps enabling the tyres to gain up to operating temperature.

Due to the close nature of timing, many succumbed to pushing with their one outlap.

Qualifying was split into two sessions, one for both Pro and Am LM-GTE classes, and the Hypercars and LMP2s.

In GTE qualifying, François Perrodo of the #83 AF Corse came from a win at Spa to kick off their GTE-Am title defence but were the first to exceed the track limits.

The Frenchman lost his first and second flying laps, putting pressure for a fast third run.

Their sister car, the #54 AF Corse, spun on the approach to Turn 2 as Thomas Flohr kicked up gravel whilst doing so.

Egidio Perfetti of the #56 Team Project 1 took pole in GTE-Am with a time of 1m40.191s.

GTE-Pro’s #52 AF Corse had Daniel Serra’s excession of strict track limits prevented him putting a second flying lap and but soon got his banker lap back to start fourth-in-class.

Kevin Estre continues his form after last week’s Green Hell, and the pole position at Spa, to take a consecutive qualifying success over the GTE field for the #92 Porsche.

In the Hypercar and LMP2 qualifying session, a greater number of cars had their lap-times deleted due to exceeding track limits at Turn 1.

This included the #36 Alpine Elf Matmut, the #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing, and at least four LMP2s.

After a close brawl, it was a 1-2 for the JOTA team after FIA WEC Season 9 rookie Tom Blomqvist took pole in LMP2 with a 1m31.210s.

Home-hero Antonio Felix Da Costa set a time only 0.045s away from the sister car. This ends United Autosports’ pole qualifying streak which began in February 2020.

In Hypercars, Richard Westbrook struggled to get the #709 Glickenhaus Racing up to the pace it showed during FP3 with it being the first ever WEC qualifying session for the team.

It was a jostle for overall/Hypercar pole was between Alpine and Toyota GAZOO Racing.

Matthieu Vaxiviere claimed his first top qualifying spot for Alpine Elf Matmut with a 1m30.364s.

1 1 #36 Alpine Elf Matmut Matthieu Vaxiviere 1m30.364s – –
2 2 #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing Brendon Hartley 1m30.458s 0.094s
3 3 #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing Mike Conway 1m31.540s 0.176s
11 4 #709 Glickenhaus Racing Richard Westbrook 1m32.690s 2.174s
4 1 #28 JOTA Tom Blomqvist 1m31.210s 0.846s
5 2 #38 JOTA Antonio Felix Da Costa 1m31.255s 0.891s
6 3 #29 Racing Team Nederland (Pro/Am) Job Van Uitert 1m31.545s 1.181s
7 4 #22 United Autosports USA Paul Di Resta 1m31.598s 1.234s
8 5 #31 Team WRT Robin Frijns 1m31.648s 1.284s
9 6 #34 Inter Europol Competition (Pro/Am) Alex Brundle 1m31.737s 1.373s
10 7 #70 Realteam Racing (Pro/Am) Norman Nato 1m31.854s 1.490s
12 8 #21 DragonSpeed USA (Pro/Am) Ben Hanley 1m32.526s 2.162s
13 9 #20 High Class Racing Anders Fjordbach 1m32.626s 2.262s
14 10 #1 Richard Mille Racing Sophia Floersch 1m32.748s 2.384s
15 11 #44 ARC Bratislava (Pro/Am) Oliver Webb 1m34.224s 3.860s
16 1 #92 Porsche GT Team Kevin Estre 1m37.986s – –
17 2 #51 AF Corse James Calado 1m38.359s 0.373s
18 3 #91 Porsche GT Team Gianmaria Bruni 1m38.389s 0.403s
19 4 #52 AF Corse Daniel Serra *1m44.377s 6.391s
20 1 #56 Team Project 1 Egidio Perfetti 1m40.191s 2.205s
21 2 #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Christian Reid 1m40.236s 2.250s
22 3 #47 Cetilar Racing Roberto Lacorte 1m40.885s 2.899s
23 4 #54 AF Corse Thomas Flohr 1m41.001s 3.015s
24 5 #85 Iron Lynx Manuela Gosner 1m41.085s 3.099s
25 6 #83 AF Corse François Perrodo 1m41.141s 3.155s
26 7 #57 Kessel Racing Takeshi Kimura 1m41.276s 3.280s
27 8 #98 Aston Martin Racing Paul Dalla Lana 1m41.366s 3.380s
28 9 #777 D’station Racing Satoshi Hoshino 1m41.499s 3.513s
29 10 #86 GR Racing Michael Wainwright 1m21.604s 3.618s
30 11 #33 TF Sport Ben Keating 1m41.993s 4.007s
31 12 #60 Iron Lynx Claudio Schiavoni 1m42.521s 4.535s
32 13 #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Dominique Bastien 1m43.374s 5.388s