McNish fastest in first qualifying

Allan McNish set the fastest time on the final lap of the first qualifying session for the Le Mans 24 Hours to take provisional pole position for the #1 Audi R15 ahead of tonight's final qualifying session

McNish fastest in first qualifying

Audi spent the vast majority of the two-hour session working on set-up and consistent pace over long runs, but McNish brought the #1 car into the pits in the last five minutes to bolt on a set a new tyres and go for an outright time on a single-lap run.

McNish improved by more than two seconds to lower his best time from a 3m25.9s to a 3m23.6s and pinch provisional pole from Peugeot, who had sat atop the timesheet for almost the entire session thanks to Franck Montagny's early pace in the #8 car.

The Frenchman had been lapping in the 3m25s bracket in the first 20 minutes of the session and went on to lower his time to a 3m24.852s with around half an hour to run.

Montagny was a couple of seconds clear at the head of the field for much of the two hours, until the other Peugeots and Audis increased their pace in the final half hour.

Jean-Christophe Boullion set the third quickest time of the session in the #17 Pescarolo-run customer Peugeot, just two tenths shy of Montagny's original benchmark and 1.2s slower than McNish.

Mike Rockenfeller posted a 3m26.3s lap in the #3 R15 and had been lapping at around the same pace as McNish before the Scotsman's new tyre run.

The other factory Peugeots filled fifth and sixth places, with Pedro Lamy and David Brabham setting the best times in the #7 and #9 cars respectively.

Anthony Davidson put the quickest Lola Aston Martin into eighth place, breaking into the 3m29s during his brief stint, while Danny Watts also ducked below 3m30s to put the Strakka Racing Ginetta-Zytek ninth. The #16 Pescarolo completed the top 10.

Each of the front running cars claimed not to be chasing laptimes, instead focusing on race set-up and consistent pace over long runs.

Casper Elgaard set the best LMP2 class time of the first qualifying session in the Team Essex Porsche RS Spyder, more than two seconds quicker than Seiji Ara in the similar Team Goh car.

Just half a second separated the two works Corvettes at the head of the GT1 class, with the #63 car just edging out the #64. Both were two seconds clear of their nearest challenger, which was the Jetalliance Aston Martin.

Jorg Bergmeister set the fastest GT2 time of the session in the Flying Lizards Porsche, ahead of early session pace-setter Marc Lieb in the Felbermayr 911. The BMS Scuderia Italia F430 was the quickest of the Ferraris, one second off Bergmeister's time.

Pos Class Drivers Team Car Time Gap
1. LMP1 Capello
Kristensen
McNish
Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R15 TDI 3m23.650
2. LMP1 Bourdais
Montagny
Sarrazin
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP 3m24.852 1.202
3. LMP1 Boullion
Pagenaud
Treluyer
Pescarolo Sport Peugeot 908 HDi FAP 3m25.062 1.412
4. LMP1 Rockenfeller
Werner
Luhr
Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI 3m26.352 2.702
5. LMP1 Minassian
Lamy
Klien
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP 3m26.992 3.342
6. LMP1 Brabham
Gene
Wurz
Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP 3m27.026 3.376
7. LMP1 Bernhard
Premat
Dumas
Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R15 TDI 3m27.106 3.456
8. LMP1 Davidson
Turner
Verstappen
Aston Martin Racing Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 3m29.522 5.872
9. LMP1 Hardman
Leventis
Watts
Strakka Racing Ginetta-Zytek 09S 3m29.798 6.148
10. LMP1 Tinseau
Juoanny
Barbosa
Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo 01-Judd 3m30.466 6.816
11. LMP1 Belicchi
Prost
Jani
Speedy Racing Team Sebah Lola B08/60-Aston Martin 3m30.552 6.902
12. LMP1 Albers
Bakkerud
Mondini
Kolles Audi R10 TDI 3m31.192 7.542
13. LMP1 Charouz
Enge
Mucke
AMR Eastern Europe Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 3m32.456 8.806
14. LMP1 Ortelli
Senna
Monteiro
Team Oreca Matmut AIM Oreca 01-AIM 3m33.708 10.058
15. LMP1 Hall
Primat
Kox
Aston Martin Racing Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 3m34.176 10.526
16. LMP1 Zwolsman Jr
Karthikeyan
Lotterer
Kolles Audi R10 TDI 3m34.414 10.764
17. LMP1 Panis
Lapierre
Ayari
Team Oreca Matmut AIM Oreca 01-AIM 3m34.686 11.036
18. LMP2 Elgaard
Poulsen
Collard
Team Essex Porsche RS Spyder 3m38.110 14.460
19. LMP1 Campbell-Walter
Ickx
Ianetta
Creation Autosportif Creation CA07-Judd 3m39.240 15.590
20. LMP1 Ragues
Mailleux
Andre
Signature Plus Courage-Oreca LC70E-Judd 3m39.326 15.676
21. LMP2 Ara
Kunimoto
Maassen
NAVI Team Goh Porsche RS Spyder 3m40.434 16.784
22. LMP1 Tomlinson
Dean
Moore
Team LNT Ginetta-Zytek 09S 3m40.856 17.206
23. LMP2 Leuenberger
Pompidou
Kane
Speedy Racing Team Sebah Lola B08/80-Judd 3m43.744 20.094
24. LMP2 Amaral
Pla
Smith
Quifel ASM Team Ginetta-Zytek 09S/2 3m44.298 20.648
25. LMP2 Newton
Erdos
Dyson
Ray Mallock Ltd. Lola B08/86-Mazda 3m44.432 20.782
26. LMP2 Laheye
Ajlani
Moreau
OAK Racing Pescarolo 01-Mazda 3m46.182 22.532
27. LMP2 Ojjeh
Gosselin
Peter
GAC Racing Team Zytek 07S/2 3m46.376 22.726
28. LMP2 Piccini
Biagi
Bobbi
Racing Box Lola B08/80-Judd 3m46.478 22.828
29. LMP2 Barazi
Moseley
Bennett
Team Barazi-Epsilon Zytek 07S/2 3m52.956 29.306
30. LMP2 Noda
Marsh
de Pourtales
Kruse-Schiller Motorsport Lola B07/46-Mazda 3m54.204 30.554
31. GT1 O'Connell
Magnussen
Garcia
Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R 3m54.230 30.580
32. GT1 Gavin
Beretta
Fassler
Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R 3m54.702 31.052
33. LMP2 Bruneau
Rostan
Greaves
Bruichladdich Bruneau Team Radical SR9-AER 3m55.320 31.670
34. GT1 Lichtner-Hoyer
Gruber
Muller
Jetalliance Racing Aston Martin DBR9 3m56.126 32.476
35. GT1 Alphand
Gregoire
Goueslard
Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R 3m57.170 33.520
36. LMP2 Nicolet
Hein
Yvon
OAK Racing Pescarolo 01-Mazda 3m59.450 35.800
37. GT1 Maassen
Jousse
Clairay
Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R 4m01.230 37.580
38. GT2 Bergmeister
Law
Neiman
Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 997 GT3-RSR 4m03.202 39.552
39. GT2 Lieb
Henzler
Lietz
Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 997 GT3-RSR 4m03.232 39.582
40. GT2 Babini
Malucelli
Ruberti
BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari F430 GT2 4m04.260 40.610
41. GT2 Pilet
Narac
Long
IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 997 GT3-RSR 4m05.422 41.772
42. GT2 Bruni
Perez Companc
Russo
AF Corse Ferrari F430 GT2 4m05.442 41.792
43. GT2 Rodrigues
Lebon
Bouchut
JMB Racing Ferrari F430 GT2 4m05.852 42.202
44. GT2 Farnbacher
Simonsen
Montanari
Hankook Farnbacher Racing Ferrari F430 GT2 4m06.612 42.962
45. GT2 Melo
Kaffer
Salo
Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT2 4m06.986 43.336
46. GT2 Bell
Kirkaldy
Sugden
JMW Motorsport Ferrari F430 GT2 4m08.366 44.716
47. GT2 Krohn
van de Poele
Jonsson
Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT2 4m08.758 45.108
48. GT2 Felbermayr Sr
Felbermayr Jr
Lecourt
IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 997 GT3-RSR 4m10.014 46.364
49. GT2 Drayson
Cocker
Franchitti
Drayson Racing Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT2 4m10.048 46.398
50. GT2 Coronel
Bleekemolen
Janis
Snoras Spyker Squadron Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2-R 4m10.462 46.812
51. GT2 Mansell
Ehret
Rusinov
Team Modena Ferrari F430 GT2 4m11.192 47.542
52. GT2 O'Young
Hesnault
Kralev
Endurance Asia Team Porsche 997 GT3-RSR 4m11.670 48.020
53. GT2 Dempsey
Kitch Jr
Foster
Team Advanced Engineering Ferrari F430 GT2 4m13.920 50.270
54. GT2 McInerney
McInerney
Vergers
Virgo Motorsport Ferrari F430 GT2 4m14.114 50.464
55. GT1 Yogo
Yamagishi
Apicella
JLOC Isao Noritake Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT 4m22.158 58.508
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