Petit Le Mans: Neel Jani puts Rebellion on pole

Rebellion Racing will start the final American Le Mans Series race from pole after Neel Jani topped Petit Le Mans qualifying at Road Atlanta

Petit Le Mans: Neel Jani puts Rebellion on pole

Chris Dyson beached the Dyson Lola in spectacular fashion when he locked up braking hard for the Turn 10 chicane, bringing out the red flags.

The stoppage meant a five-minute shootout for pole and though Lucas Luhr improved to a 1m10.397s for the champion Pickett HPD squad, Jani lowered his benchmark further, claiming pole with an eventual best of 1m09.254s.

Ryan Briscoe headed the fight for LMP2 pole before the red flag in the #551 Level 5 car but David Brabham, driving the #01 Extreme Speed entry, snatched it with a stunning effort after the stoppage.

Having got ahead of Briscoe, who briefly rallied and regained top spot with a 1m12.490s - as Guy Cosmo slotted into third, Brabham surged back onto pole as Briscoe suffered an apparent fuel pick-up problem in the session's climax and broke down on circuit.

Dane Cameron looked as though he would have to settle for second after being usurped from top spot in LMPC by Bruno Junqueira.

But the Mathiasen driver squeezed back ahead of his returning rival before extending his advantage with the second of two laps good enough for pole.

Junqueira responded in the wrong way, skating over the Turn 5 gravel and nerfing the tyre wall right at the end of the session. Briton Tom Kimber-Smith nipped ahead of Kyle Marcelli to claim third.

RISI TOPS GT BATTLE

Matteo Malucelli's Risi Ferrari 458 Italia claimed GT honours in a tight qualifying session in which the top seven cars were covered by just over half a second.

Each of the five manufacturers represented in the series was in the early lead quintet, though the SRT Vipers swiftly put an end to that with Jonathan Bomarito emerged as the main challenger to Malucelli's 1m18.861s benchmark and closed the gap to 0.027 seconds.

Despite the Ferrari driver returning to the pits with five minutes remaining, Bomarito could not improve further.

Marc Goossens brought the second Viper into play in the closing stages of the session - just edging out Antonia Garcia in the first of the Corvettes in the process - but fell a tenth short of his team-mate.

Dirk Muller (RLL) and Bryan Sellers (Falken) were the lead BMW and Porsche cars respectively in fifth and sixth, just ahead of Oliver Gavin in the second Corvette.

In GTC, Spencer Pumpelly led the session's early running with a benchmark of 1m24.118s set in the opening stages of the session.

Andy Lally and Jeroen Bleekemolen gave chase and although the latter found enough time to haul him into second, he could do nothing about Pumpelly in front.

 Pos Cl Team/Car Time Cl Gap 1. P1 Heidfeld/Jani/Prost Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m09.254s 2. P1 Graf/Luhr/Dumas Pickett HPD 1m10.397s +1.143s 3. P2 Sharp/Lazzaro/Brabham Extreme Speed HPD 1m12.668s 4. P2 Tucker/Briscoe/Franchitti Level 5 HPD 1m12.792s +0.124s 5. P2 Cosmo/Kane/Dumbreck Level 5 HPD 1m13.637s +0.969s 6. P2 Brown/van Overbeek/Bell Extreme Speed HPD 1m13.929s +1.261s 7. PC Guasch/Cheng/Cameron PR1 Mathiasen FLM 1m14.955s 8. P1 Dyson/Burgess/McMurry Dyson-Lola 1m14.978s +5.724s 9. PC Junqueira/Ende/Menezes ORECA FLM 1m15.143s +0.188s 10. PC Bennett/Kimber-Smith/Wilkins CORE FLM 1m15.215s +0.260s 11. PC Marcelli/Cumming/Johansson BAR1 FLM 1m15.367s +0.412s 12. PC Rayhall/Negri 8Star FLM 1m15.399s +0.444s 13. PC Nunez/Shears Performance Tech FLM 1m15.604s +0.649s 14. PC Drissi/Mitchell/French BAR1 FLM 1m16.001s +1.046s 15. P1 Meyrick/Legge DeltaWing 1m16.206s +6.952s 16. GT Beretta/Malucelli/Liddell Risi Ferrari 1m18.861s 17. GT Bomarito/Wittmer/Kendall SRT Viper 1m18.888s +0.027s 18. GT Farnbacher/Goossens/Dalziel SRT Viper 1m19.017s +0.156s 19. GT Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor Corvette 1m19.128s +0.267s 20. GT Muller/Edwards/Auberlen RLL BMW 1m19.228s +0.367s 21. GT Henzler/Sellers/Tandy Falken Porsche 1m19.386s +0.525s 22. GT Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette 1m19.440s +0.579s 23. GT Long/Braun/Christensen CORE Porsche 1m19.947s +1.086s 24. GT Alzen/Martin/Muller RLL BMW 1m19.954s +1.093s 25. GT Miller/Holzer/Collard Miller Porsche 1m20.497s +1.636s 26. GT Sweedler/Keen/Mowlem West/AJR Ferrari 1m20.506s +1.645s 27. GTC Canache/Pumpelly/Snow Flying Lizard Porsche 1m24.118s 28. GTC MacNeil/Bleekemolen/Bleekemolen Alex Job Porsche 1m24.433s +0.315s 29. GTC Dempsey/Lally/Foster Dempsey Del Piero Porsche 1m24.480s +0.362s 30. GTC Hedlund/Heylen/Fogarty JDX Porsche 1m24.923s +0.805s 31. GTC Keating/Faulkner/Stanton TRG Porsche 1m24.926s +0.808s 32. GTC Armindo/Nielsen/Benitez NGT Porsche 1m25.237s +1.119s 33. GTC Putman/Espenlaub/Law Dempsey Del Piero Porsche 1m25.368s +1.250s 34. GTC Neiman/von Moltke/Sandberg Flying Lizard Porsche 1m28.039s +3.921s 
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About this article

Series WEC
Drivers Rob Bell , Neel Jani
Teams Rebellion Racing
Author Scott Mitchell
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