Last-gasp Lotterer heads Audi 1-2-3 in first qualifying at Le Mans

Andre Lotterer set the pace again in the first night qualifying session at Le Mans with a spectacular 3m25.453s lap in the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 1.083 seconds ahead of traffic-baulked team-mate Tom Kristensen

Last-gasp Lotterer heads Audi 1-2-3 in first qualifying at Le Mans

Lotterer nailed his lap after the clock ran down, with an eyeballs-on-stalks effort that could have been even quicker had he not encountered the double-whammy of two squabbling prototypes at the end of the Mulsanne Straight and a Porsche at Arnage.

The majority of Audi's drivers filed their fast laps early in the session before settling down to a programme of long runs. Kristensen found a relatively clear lap to go round in 3m26.536s for the early benchmark time in the #2 R18 e-tron quattro, in which Allan McNish then completed a full race stint.

The only apparent departure from the plan came when Marcel Fassler had a brief off in the #1 car, incurring minor bodywork damage. Lotterer resumed normal service however by putting the car top with his late flyer.

With 20 minutes to run Loic Duval went out on a mission in the #3 Audi, setting a purple first sector before ending the lap in 3m26.694s, which would stand as second quickest until the closing moments. Traffic on subsequent laps precluded him from improving.

Kristensen returned to the cockpit of #2 with 10 minutes to go but the circuit was busy with other cars attempting final glory runs and he could not find a clear lap.

Nicolas Lapierre was the early pacesetter for Toyota, posting a 3m27.191s in the #7 before handing over to Kazuki Nakajima for the Le Mans rookie to complete his night qualifying run. That time stood as the car's quickest until the end of the session, making it fourth overall ahead of the #4 Audi of Rockenfeller/Jarvis/Bonanomi.

Following its engine change the #8 TS030 Hybrid returned to the circuit with Stephane Sarrazin at the wheel 40 minutes into the session, setting a 3m30.183s before Sarrazin handed over to Anthony Davidson. With 25 minutes of the session to run Davidson went for a fast run and improved the car's fastest time to 3m28.295s, before Sebastien Buemi closed out the session.

Sixth fastest and best-of the-rest was the #21 Strakka HPD shared by Jonny Kane, Danny Watts and Nick Leventis, 7.297s off Lotterer's benchmark.

LMP2 was hotly contested again, with just two seconds covering the top six. Le Mans veteran Christophe Tinseau's 3m39.252s in the #46 TDS Racing ORECA-Nissan stood as the quickest for the majority of the session, with the #48 Murphy ORECA-Nissan next fastest on 3m39.877s.

Chevrolet spent most of the session on top in GTE Pro, with the #74 Gavin/Westbrook/Milner car holding court by less than two tenths of a second from the #59 Luxury Racing Melo/Makowiecki/Farnbacher Ferrari - both banking quick laps in the first hour. The other factory Corvette of Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor was a second further adrift and Stefan Mucke stepped up the pace in the final hour with a 3m57.466s to go fourth for Aston Martin with 30 minutes remaining.

Once again the #79 Flying Lizard Porsche set the pace in GTE Am with a fastest lap of 3m57.594s. American Le Mans Series veteran Spencer Pumpelly spent much of the session at the wheel, consistently lapping comfortably faster than the other class entries as the gentleman drivers essayed their mandatory night qualifying laps.

Michael Krumm achieved his ambition of breaking into the 3m42s with the DeltaWing Nissan, setting a time of 3m42.612s before riding a kerb too aggressively. This dislodged the car's fire extinguisher, which disrupted the DeltaWing's electrics and brought it to an immediate halt.

Neither the #16 Pescarolo LMP1 nor the #51 AF Corse Ferrari GTE Pro entry took part in the session. Both were undergoing repairs after incidents during practice.

 Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time 1. P1 Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer Audi e-tron 3m25.453s 2. P1 Capello/Kristensen/McNish Audi e-tron 3m26.536s 3. P1 Dumas/Duval/Gene Audi Ultra 3m26.694s 4. P1 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota 3m27.191s 5. P1 Bonanomi/Jarvis/Rockenfeller Audi Ultra 3m27.554s 6. P1 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota 3m28.295s 7. P1 Leventis/Watts/Kane Strakka HPD 3m32.750s 8. P1 Belicchi/Primat/Bleekemolen Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m33.140s 9. P1 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m33.211s 10. P1 Ara/Minassian/Bourdais Pescarolo Dome-Judd 3m34.716s 11. P1 Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck JRM HPD 3m37.088s 12. P1 Montagny/Baguette/Kraihamer OAK Pescarolo-Judd 3m38.414s 13. P2 Beche/Thiriet/Tinseau TDS ORECA-Nissan 3m39.252s 14. P2 Firth/Hughes/Hartley Murphy ORECA-Nissan 3m39.877s 15. P2 Potolicchio/Dalziel/Kimber-Smith Starworks HPD-Honda 3m40.639s 16. P2 Briere/Petersen/Nakano Boutsen ORECA-Nissan 3m40.727s 17. P2 Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla OAK Morgan-Judd 3m40.902s 18. P2 Dolan/Hancock/Kurosawa Jota Zytek-Nissan 3m41.287s 19. P2 Sims/Buurman/Iannetta Status Lola-Judd 3m41.451s 20. P2 Heinemeier Hansson/Leinders/Martin OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m41.721s 21. P2 Martin/Charouz/Graves ADR ORECA-Nissan 3m41.791s 22. P2 Perez-Companc/Ayari/Kaffer Pecom ORECA-Nissan 3m41.916s 23. P2 Ordonez/Brundle/Brundle Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m42.125s 24. P2 Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov Signatech ORECA-Nissan 3m42.157s 25. P2 Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz Level 5 HPD-Honda 3m42.224s 26. CDNT Franchitti/Krumm/Motoyama Highcroft Delta Wing Nissan 3m42.612s 27. P2 Mailleux/Lombard/Tresson Signatech ORECA-Nissan 3m44.495s 28. P2 Zugel/Gonzalez/Julian Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m47.408s 29. P2 Holzer/Schultis/Moro Kodewa Lola-Lotus 3m48.067s 30. P2 Frey/Hirschi/Meichtry Race Performance ORECA-Judd  3m48.124s 31. P2 Giroix/Johansson/Badey Gulf Lola-Nissan 3m50.526s 32. P2 Haezebrouck/Thirion/Papin Extreme Limite Norma-Judd 3m51.012s 33. GTE P Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette 3m55.910s 34. GTE P Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher Luxury Ferrari 3m56.076s 35. GTE P Taylor/Garcia/Magnussen Corvette 3m57.181s 36. GTE P Fernandez/Mucke/Turner Aston Martin 3m57.466s 37. GTE P Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci AF Corse Ferrari 3m57.509s 38. GTE A Neiman/Pilet/Pumpelly Flying Lizard Porsche 3m57.594s 39. GTE P Lieb/Lietz/Henzler Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 3m57.648s 40. GTE P Alfaisal/Curtis/Edwards IMSA Porsche 3m58.035s 41. GTE P Bergmeister/Long/Holzer Flying Lizard Porsche 3m58.717s 42. GTE A Simonsen/Nygaard/Poulsen Aston Martin 3m58.725s 43. GTE A Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy Larbre Corvette 3m59.192s 44. GTE A Ried/Roda/Ruberti Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 3m59.529s 45. GTE A Armindo/Narac/Pons IMSA Porsche 4m00.332s 46. GTE A Ehret/Montecalvo/Jeannette Luxury Ferrari 4m00.849s 47. GTE P Walker/Cocker/Wills JMW Ferrari 4m00.883s 48. GTE A Bourret/Gibon/Belloc Larbre Corvette 4m03.021s 49. GTE A Rodrigues/Ferte/Illiano JMB Ferrari 4m04.416s 50. GTE A Perazzini/Cadei/Griffin AF Corse Ferrari 4m04.493s 51. GTE A Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo Krohn Ferrari 4m04.698s 52. GTE A Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers AF-Waltrip Ferrari 4m04.861s 53. GTE A Camathias/Daniels/Palttala JWA Porsche 4m08.170s 54. P2 Deletraz/Ihara/Rostan Gulf Lola-Nissan 4m14.086s 55. P1 Collard/Boullion/Hall Pescarolo-Judd 56. GTE P Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 
Andre Lotterer says Le Mans pole not priority for Audi's #1 e-tron crew

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Series WEC
Drivers Andre Lotterer
Author Stuart Codling
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