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Bourdais fastest in first qualifying

Peugeot's Sebastien Bourdais broke the 3m20s barrier to dominate a frantic qualifying session in which 40 minutes of the two hours were lost to stoppages.

The Peugeots went all-out to dominate the front of the grid from the very beginning of the qualifying session. Nicolas Lapierre went quickest in the ORECA Peugeot (3m21.192s) but was so light on fuel that he encountered fuel pick-up problems on his in-lap and stopped at Arnage.

Sarrazin got airborne in the #2 908 at Tertre Rouge, spoiling his attempt to match Lapierre's time, and Bourdais also missed it by a tenth of a second. The session then came to a halt because the #88 Felbermayr Porsche had spun and obstructed the track on the run up to Indianapolis.

The ORECA car remained marooned out on the circuit for the rest of the session, although Lapierre's time stood for another hour. When the session restarted after a second stoppage, the remaining Peugeots began a charge - running almost in formation and followed by the factory Audis.

All three works Peugeots beat the ORECA's time - Bourdais led with a 3m19.711s, then turned down the wick, repeatedly setting fastest times in the first sector then backing off.

"I had a scary moment at the Ford chicane on my fast lap," said Bourdais. "It was very quick."

Alexander Wurz aborted a hot lap at the end of the session and was second fastest in the #1 908, followed by Sarrazin in the #2 car.

Audi had no answer to Peugeot's pace. The #9 Rockenfeller/Dumas/Bernhard R15 Plus was the fastest, but its time of 3m23.578s was 3.867s off the quickest Peugeot, good enough for fifth ahead of the #8 (Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer) and #7 (McNish/Kristensen/Capello).

"With that sort of a gap, we're not in a position to fight for pole," said McNish.

The #007, #009 and #008 Aston Martins were the fastest petrol-powered LMP1s, ending the session eighth, ninth and 10th, ahead of the #6 ORECA.

After some impressive laps in practice, Rebellion Racing had a more muted showing. The #12 Lola missed qualifying while the team examined the extent of some cracks in the front suspension mounts, though none of the drivers confessed to causing the damage.

HPD chassis continued to dominate LMP2. Jonny Kane set the first benchmark time (3m36.168s) for Strakka Racing, just ahead of David Brabham in the Highcroft entry (3m37.202s). Brabham emerged in the final 15 minutes of the session, hotly pursued by Danny Watts in the Strakka car, but neither driver improved their car's qualifying time.

The trio of Tomas Enge, Cristoffer Nygaard and Peter Kox maintained a comfortable margin ahead of their GT1 rivals in the #52 Aston Martin DBR9, setting a time of 3m55.025s early in the session. It was good enough to stand throughout, ending 2.271s ahead of the repaired #60 Ford GT of Mutsch/Grosjean/Hirschi.

In GT2, Gianmaria Bruni made the early running in the #82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 (3m59.233s) but a transmission glitch caused the car to start crabbing and it was sidelined for much of the session while mechanics investigated.

"I changed gear on the straight and I think something on the diff was out so the car is pushing on one side," said Bruni. "But I'm pleased because we worked hard to find a good set-up on the car in the practice session this afternoon and now it is very good."

Another Ferrari frontrunner, AF Corse, also hit trouble when Matias Russo crashed the #96 car at the Porsche Curves, causing the second red flag.

A banzai final effort by Antonio Garcia in the #63 Corvette failed to better the car's earlier time and it ended 0.864s behind the #82 Risi Ferrari. The #64 Corvette was third fastest.

Pos Driver                        Cls Car                Time     Gap
 1. Lamy/Bourdais/Pagenaud        P1  Peugeot 908        3:19.711
 2. Wurz/Davidson/Gene            P1  Peugeot 908        3:20.317 +0.606
 3. Montagny/Sarrazin/Minassian   P1  Peugeot 908        3:20.325 +0.614
 4. Panis/Lapierre/Duval          P1  ORECA Peugeot 908  3:21.192 +1.481
 5. Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller   P1  Audi R15           3:23.578 +3.867
 6. Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer     P1  Audi R15           3:24.430 +4.719
 7. Kristensen/McNish/Capello     P1  Audi R15           3:24.688 +4.977
 8. Mucke/Fernandez/Primat        P1  Lola-Aston Martin  3:26.680 +6.969
 9. Turner/Hancock/Barazi         P1  Lola-Aston Martin  3:26.747 +7.036
10. Mailleux/Ragues/Ickx          P1  Signature Aston    3:29.774 +10.063
11. Ayari/Andre/Meyrick           P1  ORECA 01-AIM       3:30.056 +10.345
12. Bouchut/Tucker/Rodrigues      P1  Kolles Audi R10    3:30.907 +11.196
13. Jarvis/Albers/Bakkerud        P1  Kolles Audi R10    3:31.661 +11.950
14. Watts/Kane/Leventis           P2  Strakka HPD ARX-01 3:36.168 +16.457
15. Pirro/Cocker/Drayson          P1  Drayson Lola       3:36.634 +16.923
16. Mansell/Mansell/Mansell       P1  Beechdean Ginetta  3:36.897 +17.186
17. Brabham/Franchitti/Werner     P2  Highcroft HPD      3:37.202 +17.491
18. Hughes/Amaral/Pla             P2  ASM Ginetta-Zytek  3:41.968 +22.257
19. Moreau/Charouz/Lahaye         P2  Oak Pescarolo      3:42.399 +22.688
20. Belicchi/Boullion/Smith       P1  Rebellion Lola     3:44.101 +24.390
21. Erdos/Newton/Wallace          P2  RML Lola HPD       3:44.598 +24.887
22. Pirri/Cioci/Perrazzini        P2  Racing Box Lola    3:51.065 +31.354
23. Hein/Nicolet/Yvon             P2  Oak Pescarolo      3:52.730 +33.019
24. Noda/Pourtales/Kennard        P2  KSM Lola-Judd      3:52.972 +33.261
25. Enge/Nygaard/Kox              GT1 YD Aston           3:55.025 +35.314
26. Greaves/Ojjeh/Chalandon       P2  Bruichladdich      3:55.680 +35.969
27. Salini/Salini/Gommendy        P2  WR/Salini WR       3:55.818 +36.107
28. Grosjean/Mutsch/Hirschi       GT1 Matech Ford GT     3:57.296 +37.585
29. Jousse/Gouselard/Massen       GT1 Alphand Corvette   3:58.810 +39.099
30. Policand/Gregoire/Hart        GT1 Alphand Corvette   3:58.906 +39.195
31. Bruni/Melo/Kaffer             GT2 Risi Ferrari       3:59.233 +39.522
32. Rostan/Meichtry/Bruneau       P2  Race Perf Radical  3:59.361 +39.650
33. O'Connell/Magnussen/Garcia    GT2 Corvette           4:00.097 +40.386
34. Leinders/Palttala/de Doncker  GT1 Marc VDS Ford GT   4:00.325 +40.614
35. Lewis/Burgess/Willman         P1  Autocon Lola-AER   4:00.646 +40.935
36. Gavin/Beretta/Collard         GT2 Corvette           4:01.012 +41.301
37. Pilet/Narac/Long              GT2 IMSA Porsche       4:01.755 +42.044
38. Lieb/Lietz/Henzler            GT2 Felbermayr Porsche 4:02.001 +42.290
39. Alesi/Fisichella/Vilander     GT2 AF Corse Ferrari   4:02.492 +42.781
40. Salo/Russo/Companc            GT2 AF Corse Ferrari   4:02.615 +42.904
41. Gardel/Berville/Canal         GT1 Larbre Saleen      4:03.175 +43.464
42. Schell/da Rocha/Zollinger     P2  Pegasus Norma      4:03.784 +44.073
43. Farnbacher/Simonsen/Keen      GT2 Hankook Ferrari    4:03.886 +44.175
44. Krohn/Jonsson/van de Poele    GT2 Risi Ferrari       4:03.959 +44.248
45. Farfus/J Muller/Alzen         GT2 BMW M3             4:04.986 +45.275
46. Priaulx/D Muller/Werner       GT2 BMW M3             4:05.851 +46.140
47. Westbrook/Scheider/Holzer     GT2 BMS Porsche        4:06.278 +46.567
48. Bell/Sugden/Miller            GT2 JMW Aston Martin   4:06.391 +46.680
49. Coronel/Dumbreck/Bleekemolen  GT2 Spyker             4:06.997 +47.286
50. Bergmeister/Law/Neiman        GT2 Fl. Lizard Porsche 4:08.315 +48.604
51. Felbermayr/Felbermayr/Konopka GT2 Felbermayr Porsche 4:10.054 +50.343
52. Allemann/Gachnang/Frey        GT1 Matech Ford GT     4:11.566 +51.855
53. Yogo/Iiri/Yamanishi           GT1 JLOC Lamborghini   4:13.368 +53.657
54. Goossens/Dalziel/Gentilozzi   GT2 Jaguar XKR         4:13.537 +53.826
55. v.Splunteren/Hommerson/MachielGT2 Prospeed Porsche   4:14.578 +54.867
56. Jani/Andretti/Prost           P1  Rebellion Lola     no time
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