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Iron Dames' Sarah Bovy takes second pole position of the ELMS season

Sarah Bovy's dominant qualifying pace was on full display once again at Le Castellet, as the Belgian conquered the second pole position of the European Le Mans Series season for Iron Dames in just as many rounds.

Sarah Bovy, Iron Dames Porsche 911 GT3 R, European Le Mans Series, 2024 Le Castellet
Photo credits: FocusPackMedia - Marcel Wulf

Sarah Bovy continued her streak of pole positions in European Le Mans Series by claiming the top spot at the upcoming 4 Hours of Le Castellet, second round of the championship that previously saw the Belgian and her teammates Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting leading most of the race at Barcelona before being taken out by a technical issue at the final pit stop.

The bronze-rated driver has therefore secured her ninth pole position with the all-female team Iron Dames across GT competitions since joining the squad in 2021.

She became the first ever woman to start from the top spot in FIA WEC and ELMS in 2022, and conquered the final pole position in the history of the LMGTE category before both series switched to LMGT3 specifications in 2024. At Circuit de Catalunya, she resumed the streak of poles for Iron Dames in ELMS, after the team had taken a one year hiatus from the series in 2023.

While the Barcelona race was an unfortunate one, the speed shown at the season opener was highly encouraging for all three drivers, who had performed brilliantly in the magenta Porsche 911 GT3 R; the Circuit du Le Castellet has traditionally represented a friendly ground for the Iron Dames so hopes were high.

And they delivered once again, as the #85 Porsche was third fastest in the Bronze session on Friday, as well as in the second practice session on Saturday morning, where Michelle Gatting clocked a 1:55.212 that was also the best lap for any Porsche.

Back behind the wheel for the 15 minute qualifying, Sarah Bovy took over driving duties for the LMGT3 class on Saturday afternoon. The Belgian's first lap placed her in P4, as the Kessel, Spirit of Race and Formula Racing Ferraris made up the top positions. Bovy, though, got in the rhythm and immediately snatched the top spot with a 1:56.003 which was almost a second faster than anyone, with 5 minutes left on the clock.

Sarah's lap was so remarkable that second-placed Takeshi Kimura struggled to reduce the gap to under the second; it would be Duncan Cameron to take second place, but couldn't get closer than seven tenths of a second. Similarly, Derek Deboer (Racing Spirit of Leman Aston Martin) was up to third place on his final lap.

Bovy was in the zone and set a purple final sector, but couldn't quite improve the overall lap.

Following Célia Martin's pole position in the Michelin Le Mans Cup earlier, Iron Dames took their second pole position of the day, as qualifying master Sarah Bovy will start from the top spot in tomorrow's 4 Hours of Le Castellet, ahead of the #55 Spirit of Race Ferrari 296 and the #63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan.

"Second pole position of the season - the car felt mega", Bovy commented. "It was not an easy compromise to find but it was really cool."

"Also, it's kind of a pink afternoon, with Célia [Martin] doing pole, Natalia [Granada], doing pole" she added, mentioning Martin's efforts in Le Mans Cup and Iron Dames' karting star Granada in the IAME Euro Series.

Belén García's team will line up in seventh place among the LMP3 category, after teammate Wyatt Brichacek placed the DKR Engineering Duqueine seven tenths away from pole position, which went to the #15 RLR M Sport prototype of Julien Gael.

The second round of the European Le Mans Series will get underway on Sunday 5th May at 11:30 local time.



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