Gene takes Sebring pole for Peugeot
|By Matt Beer||Friday, March 19th 2010, 18:52 GMT|
Peugeot took its anticipated front row sweep in qualifying for the Sebring 12 Hours, with Marc Gene beating team-mate Nicolas Minassian to the top spot.
The diesel-powered LMP1 squad has dominated the event from the start of unofficial testing this week, and only needed one run in qualifying to secure the top two positions, with 0.3 seconds separating its drivers.
Stefan Mucke briefly put Aston Martin Racing on provisional pole before the Peugeots got fully up to speed. He held on to third place, 0.8s from Gene's time. AMR will share row two with the Drayson Lola, swiftly repaired after Paul Drayson's practice crash in time for Emanuele Pirro to take it out in qualifying.
A little under 0.2s covered the three contenders in LMP2, but it was Highcroft that emerged narrowly in front, despite Marino Franchitti having a quick spin. Klaus Graf put the Cytosport Porsche in second, fractionally in front of the Dyson Lola-Mazda.
LMPC also saw an extremely tight contest, as the Genoa, Level 5 and Green Earth Gunnar entries repeatedly swapped class pole. Gunnar Jeanette eventually pipped Level 5's Ryan Hunter-Reay by 0.118s with his final lap, while JR Hildebrand took third for Genoa.
Rahal Letterman BMW claimed pole in the wide open GT2 battle thanks to Dirk Muller, who led a pair of Porsches. Reigning class champion Flying Lizard will start second, ahead of the Falken car - showing hugely improved form now it has moved up Porsche's pecking order.
Risi's lead entry was the top Ferrari in fourth, ahead of the two Corvettes.
Alex Job Racing dominated the GTC class, taking a one-two-three on the grid. Leh Keen was the team's star performer, securing pole by over a second.
Pos Cl Drivers Car Time 1. P1 Gene/Wurz/Davidson Peugeot 1m45.214s 2. P1 Lamy/Bourdais/Minassian Peugeot 1m45.841s 3. P1 Mucke/Primat/Fernandez Lola-Aston Martin 1m46.079s 4. P1 Drayson/Cocker/Pirro Lola 1m46.460s 5. P2 Brabham/Pagenaud/Franchitti HPD 1m47.684s 6. P2 Pickett/Graf/Maassen Porsche 1m47.738s 7. P2 Dyson/Smith/Meyrick Lola-Mazda 1m47.882s 8. P1 Willman/Burgess/Ehret Lola 1m54.441s 9. PC Zugel/Jeannette/Julian ORECA 1m55.279s 10. PC Tucker/Hunter-Reay/Gue ORECA 1m55.397s 11. PC Wallace/Sutherland/Hildebrand ORECA 1m55.579s 12. PC Tucker/Bouchut/Wilkins ORECA 1m56.101s 13. PC Pagerey/Wong/Ducote ORECA 1m59.580s 14. GT2 Muller/Hand/Priaulx BMW 2m00.782s 15. GT2 Bergmeister/Long/Lieb Porsche 2m01.150s 16. GT2 Sellers/Henzler/Pilet Porsche 2m01.201s 17. GT2 Melo/Bruni/Kaffer Ferrari 2m01.236s 18. GT2 Magnussen/O'Connell/Garcia Corvette 2m01.358s 19. GT2 Beretta/Gavin/Collard Corvette 2m01.628s 20. GT2 Sharp/van Overbeek/Farnbacher Ferrari 2m01.914s 21. GT2 Auberlen/Milner/Werner BMW 2m01.922s 22. GT2 Brown/Cosmo/Barbosa Ferrari 2m02.242s 23. GT2 Robertson/Robertson/Murry Doran Ford 2m03.622s 24. GT2 Gentilozzi/Goossens/Dalziel Jaguar 2m04.804s 25. GTC Gonzalez/Leitzinger/Keen Porsche 2m05.959s 26. GT2 Krohn/Jonsson/van de Poele Ferrari 2m06.680s 27. GTC Gonzalez/Diaz/Kelly Porsche 2m07.018s 28. GTC Sweedler/Kapudija/Lueders Porsche 2m07.205s 29. GTC Lewis/Vento/Aschenbach Porsche 2m07.412s 30. GTC Curtis/Sofronas/Pilgrim Porsche 2m07.751s 31. GT2 Law/Neiman/Lietz Porsche 2m07.874s 32. GTC Rodriguez/Bieker/Friedman Porsche 2m10.312s 33. GTC Richard/Ende/Lally Porsche 2m11.371s 34. PC Feinberg/Marcelli/Weickardt ORECA