McNish tops Le Mans test

Veloxq Audi R8 driver Allan McNish marked his return to Le Mans by heading today's (Sunday) pre-race test on the La Sarthe circuit

McNish tops Le Mans test

McNish set a best time of 3m32.615s, eclipising the best time set by the sister Veloxq car driven by Johnny Herbert by just 0.012s in a tight finish to the day's testing.

"After a four year absence it's good to be back at Le Mans," said McNish. "The prospects look encouraging but the competition, and not just from the other Audi teams, will be close. I managed to break the 3m34s barrier with 20 minutes to go then sub 33s with just six minutes left which turned out to be fastest."

Both McNish and Herbert's times eclipsed the mark which earned Bentley pole position last year.

"The car felt good at the end of the morning although there was still too much understeer," said Herbert, who set his time with only five minutes to go. "I drove for the final 45 minutes and managed to get the second fastest time."

The Champion and Goh Audis were third and fourth, with Marco Werner and Tom Kristensen recording each car's top times.

Outside of the Audi march, recently-signed Zytek Engineering driver David Brabham was fastest, 2.517s off McNish's time, with Hiroki Katoh a surprise sixth fastest in the Kondo Dome.

Justin Wilson and Ralph Firman's Racing For Holland Dome ended the day ninth fastest, with Dutchman Tom Coronel setting the car's fastest mark.

In the GTS class, Chevrolet Corvettes dominated the timing sheets, with Max Papis and Oliver Gavin banging in ultra-quick laps in the closing minutes to put the Ferraris in the shade. Frenchman Christophe Bouchut was third fastest in the Larbre Ferrari, with the Prodrive Ferraris fourth and fifth fastest in the hands of Tomas Enge and Rickard Rydell.

GT honours fell to Jorg Bergmeister in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3-RSR, with Orbit Porsche driver Marc Lieb atoning for his morning off by running second fastest.


McNish/Biela/Kaffer (Veloqx Audi R8) 3m32.615s
Herbert/Davies/Smith (Veloqx Audi R8) 3m32.627s
Werner/Pirro/Lehto (Champion Audi R8) 3m34.176s
Kristensen/Ara/Capello (Goh Audi R8) 3m34.347s
Brabham/Wallace (Zytek Engineering Zytek) 3m35.132s
Katoh/Michigami/Shimoda (Kondo Dome-Judd) 3m36.150s


Papis/O'Connell/Fellows (Chevrolet Corvette C5) 3m49.982s
Gavin/Magnussen/Beretta (Chevrolet Corvette C5) 3m50.079s
Bouchut/Goueslard/Dupard (Larbre Ferrari 550 Maranello) 3m54.105s


Bergmeister/Long/Petersen (White Lightening Porsche 911 GT3-RSR) 4m05.975s
Lieb/Hindery/Rockenfeller (Orbit Porsche 911 GT3-RSR) 4m07.315s
Ortelli/Bernhard/Dumas (Freisinger Porshe 911 GT3-RSR) 4m09.071s

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