Race Weekend Central

Ben Hanley Wins 4 Hours of Monza Pole After TDS Exclusion

TDS Racing’s Matthieu Vaxiviere was fastest in qualifying Saturday morning (May 12) for Sunday’s European Le Mans Series 4 Hours of Monza.  Vaxivière lapped the 3.599-mile road course in 95.456 seconds (135.732 mph) in his ORECA 07-Gibson, the fastest lap of the weekend.  However, the No. 33 ORECA 07-Gibson was found to have tape on the bodywork to cover up seams.  That is against the ELMS Technical Regulations.  As a result, Vaxivière’s times were deleted and the No. 33 TDS Racing racing team will start from the rear.

DragonSpeed’s Ben Hanley in a similar ORECA 07 was nearly four-tenths of a second slower than Vaxivière, but will inherit the overall pole with a lap of 95.837 seconds (135.192 mph).  APR-REBELLION Racing’s Gustavo Menezes was third quickest in the session, but had his times erased due to a front splitter height violation.  Menezes will have to start in the rear as well.

As a result of the penalties, Duqueine Engineering’s Nelson Panciatici inherits second on the grid.  G-Drive Racing’s Jean-Eric Vergne will start third, followed by the Ligier JS P217-Gibson of United Autosports’ IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship regular Filipe Albuquerque in fourth.  The best Dallara LMP2 was the No. 30 AVF by Adrián Vallés entry driven by Konstantin Tereschenko in fifth.

There was one red flag that flew with just under three minutes to go when Algarve Pro Racing’s Ate De Jong crashed at the Parabolica.  De Jong walked away, but the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier was significantly damaged.

In LMP3, Ultimate’s Matthieu Lahaye was fastest in his Norma M30-Nissan with a lap of 105.386 seconds (122.942 mph) good enough for 19th overall.  Lahaye’s time was nearly a quarter of a second faster than M. Racing – YMR’s David Droux.

AT Racing’s Mikkel Jensen was only five-thousandths of a second behind Droux in the fastest of the Ligier JS P3-Nissans.  However, the No. 9 Ligier also failed the front splitter height test had their times deleted.  As a result, United Autosports’ Sean Rayhall was elevated to third.  RLR MSport’s Job Van Uitert, who impressed at Paul Ricard, will start fourth in class, followed by Oregon Team’s Riccardo Ponzio.

Ebimotors dominated the GTE session.  Riccardo Pera was fastest nearly from the start of the session.  By the time the 10-minute session finished up, Pera had set a time of 107.493 seconds (120.532 mph) to lead the class in 36th overall.

Despite Pera being fastest nearly the entire session, he ended up less than two-hundredths of a second ahead of Porsche factory racer Gianmaria Bruni in Proton Competition’s No. 88 Porsche.  Spirit of Race’s Matt Griffin was only eight-hundredths of a second off of Pera in third.


The 4 Hours of Monza is scheduled to go green at 6:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday morning.  The race will be streamed live at EuropeanLeMansSeries.com and on YouTube for free.  The race will also be available for Motor Trend subscribers at MotorTrend.com and on the Motor Trend app.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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