Pescarolo Sport on Provisional Pole

Pescarolo Sport ended the first day of qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours sitting atop the timesheets thanks to Soheil Ayari recording a lap of 4m01.197s moments before the chequered flag fell at midnight to bring the second of the pair of two-hour qualifying sessions to a close. Demonstrating how much the track had dried, took more than 12s off the fastest lap set in the first session

Pescarolo Sport on Provisional Pole

This demoted the Allan McNish/Emanuele Pirro/Frank Biela Champion Racing Audi R8 to second, with the Scottish driver's lap of 4m02.027s standing as its quickest tour.

With a sheen of moisture still coating the track as midnight approached, and dry weather forecast for Thursday, many of the teams elected to take a cautious approach and pack up early for the night rather than run the risk of damaging their cars.

Nicolas Minassian and the Creation Autosport if team elected to continue, though, with the French driver vaulting his way up the order to lap third fastest in 4m02.992s.

Fellow Audi driver Franck Montagny had spent half an hour awhile atop the timesheets in the Audi Playstation Oreca R8, but the Renault F1 test driver's lap of 4m05.770s was to prove good only for an eventual fourth overall, ahead of the third Audi, the Champion Racing R8 of Tom Kristensen/JJ Lehto/Marco Werner.

Japanese drivers impressed as darkness fell. First of all, 2004 Le Mans winner Seiji Ara moved to the top of the timesheets in the Jim Gainer International-run Dome, then team-mate Ryo Michigami chipped fractions of a second off that, but his lap of 4m08.745s was good for sixth after the late flurry of laps from his rivals.

LMP2 honours went to Intersport Racing's Lola-AER of Sam Hancock, Gregor Fisken and Liz Halliday, lapping eighth fastest overall in 4m11.719s. Rollcentre Racing was in the wars in this class, though, with the Michael Krumm/Harold Primat/Bobby Verdon-Roe catching fire in the pits.

There was considerable changing of position in GT1, with Vincent Vosse and colleagues Patrice Goueslard and Olivier Dupard outpacing the best that Aston Martin Racing and Corvette Racing could produce to top the class in the Larbre Competition Ferrari 550 Maranello with a best lap of 4m20.688s which was 13th fastest of all.

A late charge from the little-fancied Raymond Narac Porsche 911 GT3-RS driven by Narac, Romain Dumas and Sebastien Dumez took it to the top of the GT2 class, its best lap of 4m25.598s being good enough for 19th overall, usurping the Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 360 Modena of Nathan Kinch, Andrew Kirkaldy and Anthony Reid.

Pos # Team Drivers Car Class Time Gap
.1 17 Pescarolo Sport Loeb S
Helary E
Ayari S
Pescarolo Judd LM1 4:01.197
.2 2 Champion Racing Biela F
Pirro E
Mc Nish A
Audi R8 LM1 4:02.027 + 0.830
.3 7 Creation Autosportif Minassian N
Wallace A
DBA Judd LM1 4:02.992 + 1.795
.4 4 Audi Playstation Oreca Montagny F
Gounon JM
Ortelli S
Audi R8 LM1 4:05.770 + 4.573
.5 3 Champion Racing Lehto JJ
Werner M
Kristensen T
Audi R8 LM1 4:07.643 + 6.446
.6 5 Jim Gainer International Michigami R
Ara S
Kaneishi K
Dome Mugen LM1 4:08.745 + 7.548
.7 9 Team Jota - Zytek Hignett S
Stack J
Kurosawa H
Zytek 04S LM1 4:09.578 + 8.381
.8 32 Intersport Racing Fisken G
Halliday E
Hancock S
Lola AER LM2 4:11.719 + 10.522
.9 34 Miracle Motorsports Macaluso J
James I
Lally A
Courage AER LM2 4:12.754 + 11.557
.10 16 Pescarolo Sport Collard E
Boullion JC
Comas E
Pescarolo Judd LM1 4:13.526 + 12.329
.11 37 Paul Belmondo Racing Belmondo P
Andre D
Sutherland R
Courage C65 Fo LM2 4:14.406 + 13.209
.12 10 Racing For Holland Lammers J
Julian E
Bosch J
Dome Judd LM1 4:15.816 + 14.619
.13 50 Larbre Competition Goueslard P
Dupard O
Vosse V
Ferrari 550Mar GT1 4:20.688 + 19.491
.14 8 Rollcentre Racing Verdoen Roe RG
Krumm M
Primat H
Dallara Nissan LM1 4:20.862 + 19.665
.15 31 Del Bello Noel Amorin N
Iannetta R
Pillon CH
Courage - CG LM2 4:21.562 + 20.365
.16 59 Aston Martin Racing Brabham D
Sarrazin S
Turner D
Aston Martin D GT1 4:22.600 + 21.403
.17 61 Cirtek Motorsport Fomenko N
Vasiliev A
Bouchut CH
Ferrari 550Mar GT1 4:23.885 + 22.688
.18 52 BMS Scuderia Italia Bartyan M
Malucelli M
Seiler T
Ferrari 550Mar GT1 4:24.686 + 23.489
.19 76 Raymon Narrac Dumas R
Dumez S
Narac R
Porsche 911 GT GT2 4:25.598 + 24.401
.20 13 Courage Competition Cochet J
Nakano S
Jouanny B
Courage Judd LM1 4:26.247 + 25.050
.21 36 Paul Belmondo Racing Gosselin CY
Ojjeh K
Sharpe A
Courage C65 Fo LM2 4:27.268 + 26.071
.22 93 Scuderia Ecosse Kinch N
Kirkaldy A
Reid A
Ferrari 360 Mo GT2 4:28.724 + 27.527
.23 18 Rollcentre Racing Short M
Barbosa J
Ickx V
Dallara Judd LM1 4:28.852 + 27.655
.24 25 RML Erdos T
Newton M
Hughes W
Lola MG LM2 4:28.869 + 27.672
.25 33 Intersport Racing Zlobin S
Briere B
Barazi J
Courage AER LM2 4:29.217 + 28.020
.26 51 BMS Scuderia Italia Pescatori C
Gollin F
Ramos M
Ferrari 550Mar GT1 4:30.973 + 29.776
.27 58 Aston Martin Racing Enge T
Kox P
Lamy P
Aston Martin D GT1 4:31.022 + 29.825
.28 30 Kruse Motorsport Bennett P
Mitchell I
Mullen T
Courage Judd LM2 4:31.127 + 29.930
.29 35 G-Force Racing Hillebrand V
Hahn F
Pickering G
Courage C65 Ju LM2 4:31.453 + 30.256
.30 71 Alex Job Racing Hindery L
Rockenfeller M
Lieb M
Porsche 911 GT3 Rsr GT2 4:32.235 + 31.038
.31 77 Panoz Motor Sports Auberlen B
Liddell R
Maxwell SC
Panoz Elan GT2 4:32.904 + 31.707
.32 90 White Lightning Racing Bergmeister J
Long P
Bernhard T
Porsche 911 GT GT2 4:33.107 + 31.910
.33 69 JMB Racing De Fournoux Jr
Daoudi S
Matthews J
Ferrari 575 GT GT1 4:33.600 + 32.403
.34 64 Corvette Racing Gavin O
Beretta O
Magnussen J
Corvette C6-R GT1 4:36.209 + 35.012
.35 63 Corvette Racing Fellows R
O'connel J
Papis M
Corvette C6-R GT1 4:36.309 + 35.112
.36 85 Spyker Squadron Coronel T
Crevels D
Van Merksteijn
Spyker C8 Spyd GT2 4:36.539 + 35.342
.37 20 Bruneau Pierre Rostan M
Haezebrouck P
Bruneau P
Pilbeam JPX LM2 4:39.059 + 37.862
.38 72 Luc Alphand Aventures Policand J
Campbell CH
Alphand L
Porsche 911 GT GT2 4:41.065 + 39.868
.39 24 Rachel Welter Terada Y
Roussel P
Binnie W
Wr Peugeot LM2 4:42.403 + 41.206
.40 89 Sebah Automotive Nielsen L E
Thyrring T
Ehret P
Porsche 911 GT GT2 4:43.150 + 41.953
.41 80 Flying Lizard Motorsports Van Overbeek J
Pechnik L
Neiman S
Porsche 911 GT GT2 4:44.434 + 43.237
.42 12 Courage Competition Schwager D
Frei A
Vann C
Courage Judd LM1 4:45.084 + 43.887
.43 91 T2M Motorsport Pompidou X
Blanchemain JL
Yamagishi Y
Porsche 911 GT GT2 4:47.922 + 46.725
.44 95 RaceSport Peninsula TVR Hartshorne J
Stanton R
Johnson P
TVR Tuscan T40 GT2 4:48.379 + 47.182
.45 83 Seikel Motorsport Collin P
Felbermayr H
Shep D
Porsche 911 GT GT2 4:49.404 + 48.207
.46 23 Gerard Welter Bouvet JB
Boulay S
Julien R
WR LM2 4:51.163 + 49.966
.47 39 Chamberlain Synergy Motor Evans R
Berridge R
Owen P
Lola AER LM2 4:51.514 + 50.317
.48 92 Cirtek Motorsport Macari J
Ericsson S
Wilson R
Ferrari 360 Mo GT2 4:53.019 + 51.822
.49 78 Panoz Motor Sports Sellers B
Franchitti M
Bourdais P
Panoz Elan GT2 5:07.955 + 1:06.758
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