Matthieu Lahaye and Oak Racing on pole for 6hrs of Donington

Frenchman Matthieu Lahaye likes Donington. He raced there in Formula Renault 2.0 and set pole in the Mgane Trophy in 2006. In qualifying  for the English round of the ELMS Lahaye bagged pole position in 1m 20.921s in the OAK Racing Morgan-Judd. It was also his first pole in sports car racing!

Unlike the previous day the drivers went out onto a dry track for the 20-minute qualifying session. Lahaye quickly topped the time sheets and stayed there till the chequered flag. Franco-Swiss and championship leader Mathias Beche in the Thiriet by TDS Oreca 03-Nissan was second fastest, only 0.142s behind the Morgan driver. Into third came the Jota Zytek-Nissan in the hands of Sam Hancock, who went out late but made it into the top 3 in the dying minutes of the session. OAK Racing almost had its two cars in the top three as the second Morgan with Nissan power, which had suffered electrical problems the day before, will start from the second row for the race as Olivier Pla learned the Donington circuit very quickly on his first outing on the English track.The overall very high level of the European Le Mans Series is proved by the fact that eight of the nine LM P2 entered this weekend are covered by only a second. This promises a hotly-contested and very open 6-hour race starting today at 11h55 local time (12h55 in France).

Frenchman Thomas Dagoneau completes the prototype line-up in the only Formula Le Mans on the grid entered by Boutsen Ginion Racing. He is thus assured of victory in his category, and his sole aim in the race will be to see the chequered flag to gather more experience in his first season in prototype racing.

The Ferrari F458 Italias entered by JMW Motorsport and AF Corse set the fasted times in LM GTE Pro and GTE Am respectively. British driver Jonathan Cocker will have to do without his usual team-mate, James Walker, who had to leave the circuit abruptly as his wife was about to give birth! The name of his replacement will be announced in the very near future. 

Matthieu Lahaye (no. 24 OAK Racing Morgan-Judd)The overall level of the LM P2 field is so high that it's important to be at the front for the race. It's my first pole in sports car racing and I'm all the happier because it's a reward for the hard work done by the team. I know the Donington circuit well as I've already raced here in Formula Renault 2.0 and Mgane Trophy. Tomorrow's race will be a real sprint because we won't have to cope with a lot of traffic. I feel confident as we have a quick car on both a wet or dry track. Reliability will also play a crucial role.    


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