Le Mans 24 Hours: Audi on provisional pole, Toyota fastest in the wet

Audi remains on course for pole position for the Le Mans 24 Hours, despite Toyota's Alex Wurz topping a rain-hit second qualifying session that was shortened due to barrier damage

Le Mans 24 Hours: Audi on provisional pole, Toyota fastest in the wet

More than 40 minutes remained on the clock when LMP2 driver Matt Downs crashed the #40 Boutsen Ginion ORECA-Nissan into the barriers just before the section that leads into Indianapolis.

With lengthy repairs essential, race officials opted not to restart the session, which had started on a wet circuit after a burst of rain arrived shortly before it commenced.

The initial benchmark times were around 45 seconds off Loic Duval's provisional pole time from Wednesday, although these soon began to improve as track conditions got progressively better.

With the Audis completing little running before the track was good enough for intermediate rubber, Toyota drivers came to the fore.

Both Wurz and fellow Toyota man Anthony Davidson gradually chipped away, with the former's 3m40.924s the best time of the session once the Austrian had fitted slicks.

This was still 18 seconds slower than the best of the dry times and so made no difference to the look of the provisional grid.

Lucas di Grassi was the best Audi driver in second place - less than a tenth of a second slower than Wurz - while Marcel Fassler, driving the #1 R18 e-tron quattro, was third.

Nissan-engined cars dominated in LMP2 with provisional polesitter John Martin again fastest in the #26 G-Drive/Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan.

Tom Kimber-Smith put the #41 Greaves Zytek-Nissan, which missed first qualifying after a major practice crash, second, although his time means he is still only 19th on the provisional class grid.

The sister car of Jann Mardenborough/Michael Krumm/Lucas Ordonez was third while Tony Burgess had a spin during the worst of the conditions in the HVM-Status Lola-Judd.

Corvette driver Jan Magnussen set the pace in GTE Pro, while the sister car was spun by Richard Westbrook - without damage - at the first Mulsanne chicane early on.

GTE Am honours went to Stuart Hall in the works Aston Martin with the sister car of Kristian Poulsen second.

Race officials indicated that final qualifying will start half an hour early in order to make up for the lost time.

Second qualifying - top five: Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. P1 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota 3m40.924s 2. P1 di Grassi/Gene/Jarvis Audi 3m40.990s +0.066s 3. P1 Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler Audi 3m41.954s +1.030s 4. P1 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m42.261s +1.337s 5. P1 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota 3m42.507s +1.583s Provisional Grid: Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. P1 Kristensen/McNish/Duval Audi 3m22.349s 2. P1 di Grassi/Gene/Jarvis Audi 3m24.341s +1.992s 3. P1 Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler Audi 3m25.474s +3.125s
4. P1 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota 3m26.676s +4.327s 5. P1 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m30.423s +8.074s 6. P1 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota 3m30.841s +8.492s 7. P1 Belicchi/Beche/Cheng Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m32.167s +9.818s 8. P1 Kane/Watts/Leventis Strakka HPD 3m36.547s +14.198s 9. P2 Rusinov/M.Martin/Conway Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 3m39.535s +17.186s 10. P2 Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard Morand Morgan-Judd 3m40.741s +18.392s 11. P2 Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m40.780s +18.431s 12. P2 Graves/Nakano/Hamilton Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 3m40.925s +18.576s 13. P2 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m42.387s +20.038s 14. P2 Perez Companc/Minassian/Kaffer Pecom ORECA-Nissan 3m43.420s +21.071s 15. P2 Thiriet/Badey/M.Martin TDS ORECA-Nissan 3m43.494s +21.145s 16. P2 Panciatici/Ragues/Gommendy Signatech ORECA-Nissan 3m43.835s +21.486s 17. P2 Hartley/Patterson/Chandhok Murphy ORECA-Nissan 3m44.538s +22.189s 18. P2 Dolan/Turvey/Luhr Jota Zytek-Nissan 3m44.835s +22.486s 19. P2 Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen Race Perf' ORECA-Judd 3m45.244s +22.895s 20. P2 Imperatori/Tung/Howson KCMG Morgan-Nissan 3m45.500s +23.151s 21. P2 Weeda/Rossiter/Bouchut Lotus-Praga 3m47.920s +25.571s 22. P2 Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m48.196s +25.847s 23. P2 Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe Level 5 HPD 3m48.597s +26.248s 24. P2 Giroix/Haezebrouck/Ihara Gulf Lola-Nissan 3m49.096s +26.747s 25. P2 Mardenborough/Ordonez/Krumm Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m49.421s +27.072s 26. P2 Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi HVM Status Lola-Judd 3m49.805s +27.456s 27. GTP Bell/Makowiecki/Senna Aston Martin 3m55.658s +33.309s 28. GTP Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli AF Corse Ferrari 3m55.909s +33.560s 29. GTP Dumbreck/Mucke/Turner Aston Martin 3m56.004s +33.655s 30. GTP Auberlen/Dalla Lana/Lamy Aston Martin 3m56.336s +33.987s 31. GTP Lieb/Lietz/Dumas Manthey Porsche 3m56.457s +34.108s 32. GTP Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 3m56.471s +34.122s 54. P2 Kimber-Smith/Rossi/Lux Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m56.487s +34.138s 33. GTP Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard Manthey Porsche 3m56.573s +34.224s 34. P2 Porta/Raffin/Brandela DKR Lola-Judd 3m56.905s +34.556s 35. P2 Downs/Dagoneau/Younessi Boutsen ORECA-Nissan 3m57.139s +34.790s 36. GTA Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen Aston Martin 3m58.661s +36.312s 37. GTA Ried/Roda/Ruberti Proton Porsche 3m59.246s +36.897s 38. GTP Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor Corvette 3m59.526s +37.177s 39. GTP Westbrook/Gavin/Milner Corvette 3m59.860s +37.511s 40. GTA Milesi/Gibon/Henzler Imsa Porsche 4m00.503s +38.154s 41. GTA Hall/Goethe/Campbell-Walter Aston Martin 4m01.035s +38.686s 42. GTA Narac/Bourret/Vernay Imsa Porsche 4m01.713s +39.364s 43. GTA Gerber/Griffin/Cioci AF Ferrari 4m02.815s +40.466s 44. GTP Dalziel/Farnbacher/Goossens SRT Viper 4m03.127s +40.778s 45. GTA Dempsey/Foster/Long Dempsey Porsche 4m03.378s +41.029s 46. GTP Bomarito/Kendall/Wittmer SRT Viper 4m03.461s +41.112s 47. GTA Perazzini/Case/O'Young AF Corse Ferrari 4m03.966s +41.617s 48. GTA MacNeil//Rodrigues/Dumas Larbre Corvette 4m04.512s +42.163s 49. GTA Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor Larbre Corvette 4m04.873s +43.524s 50. GTA Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright 8star Ferrari 4m07.625s +45.276s 51. GTA Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank AF Ferrari 4m09.064s +46.715s 52. GTP Collard/Perrodo/Crubile Prospeed Porsche 4m11.719s +49.370s 53. P2 Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz Lotus-Praga 4m12.327s +49.978s 55. GTA Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani Krohn Ferrari 56. GTP Bertolini/Al Faisal/Al Qubaisi JMW Ferrari
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Author Jamie O'Leary
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