Aston tops first practice at Barcelona

Aston Martin Racing is predicting a close battle at the front of the Le Mans Series after a ultra-competitive first free practice session at Barcelona

Aston tops first practice at Barcelona

AMR driver Stefan Mucke topped the times in the best of the Lola-Aston LMP1 coupes with a 1m35.014s lap, which was just 0.078s clear of Jean-Christophe Boullion in the revised Pescarolo-Judd 01. The Strakka Ginetta-Zytek was a little over a second behind, while the number one Courage-ORECA was a further 0.004s in arears.

AMR team principal George Howard-Chappell said: "It was a problem-free session for us; everything seems fine. The good thing is that it looks incredibly close between us, Pescarolo, ORECA and the Ginetta-Zytek, and I'm sure the [Kolles] Audis are going to get up there too. I'm sure it is going to close
this year."

Howard-Chappell singled out the Pescarolo, which had not run in its 2009 configuration prior to the session, for praise.

"That Pescarolo is a fast car," he said. "It did more 1m35s laps than we did, that's for sure."

Strakka driver Peter Hardman ended up on a 1m36.113s after a new-tyre run. Team-mate Danny Watts did a 36.3s on old tyres.

The LMP2 times were headed by Olivier Pla in the ASM Team Ginetta-Zytek.

The Luc Alphand Aventures Chevrolet Corvette C6, driven by team Yann Clairay, Patrice Goueslard and team boss Alphand, headed the four-car GT1 field, while Tom Coronel jumped to the head of the GT2 times in the factory Spyker C8 right at the end of the session.

Pos Cl Drivers Car Time 1. LMP1 Charouz/Mucke/Enge Lola Aston Martin 1.35.014 2. LMP1 Boullion/Tinseau Pescarolo-Judd 1.35.047 3. LMP1 Hardman/Leventis/Watts Ginetta-Zytek 09S-Zytek 1.36.113 4. LMP1 Panis/Lapierre Courage-Oreca LC70-AIM 1.36.117 5. LMP1 Belicchi/Prost/Fassler Lola B06/80 Coupe-Aston 1.36.247 6. LMP1 Primat/Turner/Ramos Lola Aston Martin 1.36.549 7. LMP1 Ragues/Mailleux Courage-Oreca LC70-Judd 1.36.707 8. LMP1 Bakkerud/Albers Audi R10 TDI 1.36.896 9. LMP2 Amaral/Pla Ginetta-Zytek 09S-Zytek 1.37.241 10. LMP1 Ortelli/Senna Courage-Oreca LC70-AIM 1.37.320 11. LMP2 Francioni/Ceccato/Piccini Lola B08/80 Coupe-Judd 1.38.512 12. LMP2 Pompidou/Kane/Leuenberger Lola B08/80 Coupe-Judd 1.38.806 13. LMP1 Jouanny/Barbosa Pescarolo-Judd 1.38.932 14. LMP2 Erdos/Newton Lola B08/80 Coupe-Mazda 1.38.946 15. LMP2 Ojjeh/Gosselin/Peter Zytek 07S-Zytek 1.39.063 16. LMP2 Noda/Sini/Marsh Lola B09/86-Mazda 1.40.054 17. LMP1 Meyrick/Zwolsman/Krumm Audi R10 TDI 1.40.188 18. LMP2 Piccini/Bobbi/Biagi Lola B08/80 Coupe-Judd 1.40.192 19. LMP2 Salini/Salini/Gommendy WR-Zytek 1.40.906 20. LMP2 Bruneau/Moseley/Greensall Radical SR9 -AER 1.41.931 21. LMP2 Lahaye/Ajlani Pescarolo-Mazda 1.44.331 22. LMP2 Hein/Nicolet Pescarolo-Mazda 1.44.780 23. GT1 Alphand/Goueslard/Clairay Corvette C6.R 1.46.354 24. LMP2 Schell/Thirion Courage-Oreca LC75-AER 1.46.463 25. GT1 Rusinov/Kox Lamborghini Murcielago 1.46.710 26. GT1 Makowiecki/Bornhauser/Smet Saleen S7R-Ford 1.48.202 27. GT1 Konopka/Edwards/Daniels Saleen S7R 1.48.752 28. LMP2 Moncada/Cortez/Armetta Lucchini-Judd 1.49.134 29. GT2 Coronel/Janis Spyker C8 Laviolette 1.49.984 30. GT2 Lietz/Lieb Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 1.50.085 31. GT2 Narac/Pilet Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 1.50.490 32. GT2 Rosa/Petrobelli/Montermini Ferrari F430 GT 1.50.575 33. GT2 Garcia/Mansell Ferrari F430 GT 1.50.733 34. GT2 Ehret/Beltoise Ferrari F430 GT 1.50.863 35. GT2 Simonsen/Montanari/Schwager Ferrari F430 GT 1.50.894 36. GT2 Bell/Bruni Ferrari F430 GT 1.51.663 37. GT2 Felbermayr Jr/Ried/Martins Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 1.52.007 38. GT2 Hartshorne/Lebon/Ianetta Ferrari F430 GT 1.52.389 39. GT2 Drayson/Cocker Aston Martin Vantage 1.52.571 40. GT2 Vergers/McInerney/McInerney Ferrari F430 GT 1.52.996 41. GT2 Basso/Plati/Tenchini Lamborghini Gallardo 1.53.357 42. LMP2 Randaccio/Giammaria Lucchini 1.54.018 43. LMP2 Ibanez/Cavailhes/da Rocha Courage LC75 no time 
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