Simon Pagenaud puts Peugeot on pole for AUTOSPORT 6 Hours of Silverstone
|By Sam Tremayne||Saturday, September 10th 2011, 13:36 GMT|
Simon Pagenaud earned Peugeot pole position for the AUTOSPORT 6 Hours of Silverstone in tricky qualifying conditions.
Spots of rain threatened at the start of the session, prompting the LMP field to attack from the outset. Pagenaud and Stephane Sarrazin traded times in the #7 and #8 Peugeots, before the former pulled clear with a 1m43.943s effort.
Allan McNish was the first to reply in the #2 Audi R18, moving to within nine tenths of Pagenaud and then setting the overall fastest sector two time on his next tour, only to then meet traffic in the final third of the lap.
Rain then fell and effectively looked like bringing the session to a premature close - with Peugeot calling both drivers in and hesitantly beginning celebrations.
McNish opted to stay out for one more lap, and as the rain began to ease looked well poised. The session had been declared wet meaning tyre choices were free, and with Peugeot's charges halted Audi strapped fresh rubber to McNish's car and weighed up a final push.
The decision was taken away from them as the time ticked down however, although several cars did go out and made substantial gains.
Nicolas Prost in the #12 Rebellion was one of the beneficiaries, rising to fifth overall - behind the #8 Peugeot and #1 Audi.
Danny Watts made gains to go fastest in LMP2 in the #42 Strakka HPD, while Tom Kimber-Smith also improved late on to take second for the #41 Greaves Motorsport squad.
Across in the GTE Pro class, which had qualified earlier and therefore avoided the drama of the rain, BMW executed a perfect session as they locked out the front row of the grid and left their rivals no time or chance to respond.
Neither car had turned a wheel with seven minutes of the session remaining, but one lap each in the final minutes proved all that was needed.
Augusto Farfus led the charge in the #56 M3, storming to a 2m01.768s - at the time putting him almost 1s clear of an otherwise extremely close field. Andy Priaulx then took his turn, falling 0.3s short but still comfortably securing second. He was on a faster second lap when he hit traffic, and opted to return to the pits.
Before BMW's emphatic late display, the top six cars had been separated by just 0.227s. Toni Vilander put the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 top ahead of Marc Lieb in the #77 Felbermayr Porsche 911, but the pair will now start third and fourth in the Pro class.
As has been the case all weekend, the battle for the GTE Am class was fought between the Porsches. Nicolas Armindo claimed the top spot as the flag fell, putting his #67 IMSA 911 two tenths clear of the #63 Proton 911 qualified by Patrick Long.
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time 1. LMP1 Bourdais/Pagenaud Peugeot 1m43.924s 2. LMP1 Kristensen/McNish Audi 1m44.856s 3. LMP1 Montagny/Sarrazin Peugeot 1m45.102s 4. LMP1 Bernhard/Fassler Audi 1m46.621s 5. LMP1 Prost/Jani Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m47.684s 6. LMP1 Lahaye/Moreau/Ragues Oak Pescarolo-Judd 1m47.785s 7. LMP1 Nicolet/Premat/Pla Oak Pescarolo-Judd 1m47.890s 8. LMP1 Belicchi/Boullion Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m48.287s 9. LMP1 Collard/Tinseau/Jousse Pescarolo-Judd 1m48.624s 10. LMP2 Leventis/Watts/Kane Strakka HPD 1m49.619s 11. LMP2 Ojjeh/Kimber-Smith/Lombard Greaves Zytek-Nissan 1m50.922s 12. LMP1 Fernandez/Primat/Klien AMR Lola-Aston 1m52.151s 13. LMP2 Beche/Thiriet/Firth TDS ORECA-Nissan 1m52.224s 14. LMP2 Frey/Meichtry/Rostan Race Performance ORECA-Judd 1m52.457s 15. LMP2 Mailleux/Ordonez/Vernay Signatech ORECA-Nissan 1m53.233s 16. LMP2 Kraihamer/Ebbesvik Boutsen ORECA-Nissan 1m53.247s 17. LMP2 Companc/Russo/Kaffer Pecom Lola-Judd 1m53.791s 18. LMP2 Newton/Erdos/Collins RML HPD 1m55.236s 19. LMP2 Barlesi/da Rocha/Lafargue Oak Pescarolo-Judd 1m57.817s 20. FLM Hartshorne/Keating/Keen Neil Garner FLM 1m58.143s 21. FLM Marcelli/Ducote/Moro JMB FLM 1m59.053s 22. FLM Mitchell/Grogor/Kronfli Genoa FLM 1m59.907s 23. FLM Schultis/Simon/Schell Pegasus FLM 2m00.061s 24. GTE-P Farfus/Muller BMW 2m01.768s 25. GTE-P Priaulx/Alzen BMW 2m02.096s 26. GTE-P Melo/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 2m02.744s 27. GTE-P Lieb/Lietz Felbermayr Porsche 2m02.787s 28. GTE-P Ortelli/Makowiecki Luxury Ferrari 2m02.934s 29. GTE-P Pilet/Henzler IMSA Porsche 2m02.937s 30. GTE-P Goossens/Holzer Prospeed Porsche 2m02.950s 31. GTE-P Fisichella/Bruni AF Corse Ferrari 2m02.971s 32. GTE-P Bell/Walker JMW Ferrari 2m03.118s 33. GTE-P Broniszewski/Peter Kessel Ferrari 2m03.295s 34. GTE-P Hancock/Dolan/Buncombe Jota Aston Martin 2m03.433s 35. GTE-P Jakubowski/Beltoise/Marroc Luxury Ferrari 2m03.659s 36. GTE-P Farnbacher/Simonsen Farnbacher Ferrari 2m03.864s 37. GTE-A Narac/Armindo IMSA Porsche 2m04.028s 38. GTE-A Roda/Long Proton Porsche 2m04.172s 39. GTE-A Ehret/Lynn/Wills CRS Ferrari 2m04.427s 40. GTE-A Krohn/Jonsson/Rugulo Krohn Ferrari 2m04.987s 41. GTE-A Perazzini/Cioci/Lemeret AF Corse Ferrari 2m05.103s 42. GTE-P Rossiter/Mowlem/Wendlinger Jetalliance Lotus 2m05.143s 43. GTE-A Felbermayr/Ried Felbermayr Porsche 2m06.392s 44. GTE-A Giroix/Goethe/Wainwright Gulf Aston Martin 2m06.976s 45. GTE-P Lichtner-Hoyer/Rich/Hansson Jetalliance Lotus 2m07.831s 46. GTE-A Hummel/Christodoulou/Quaife CRS Ferrari 2m13.219s 47. LMP1 Cortes/Geri/Picini MIK Zytek - 48. LMP2 Gates/Hughes/Garofall RLR MG Lola-Judd - 49. GTE-A Bornhauser/Canal/Gardel Larbre Corvette -