Peugeot on provisional pole

Peugeot have come out on top in a thrilling last-minute charge during the second qualifying session on the opening day for the 75th 24 Hours of Le Mans

Peugeot on provisional pole

Stephane Sarrazin used his final flying lap to produce a 3:26.344 effort, putting the No. 8 Peugeot that he shares with Pedro Lamy and Sebastien Bourdais on to provisional pole position with another two qualifying sessions still to run tomorrow.

The two-hour night session began slowly, with sections of the track that were still damp from earlier rain discouraging drivers from chasing a time.

It was only in the final 20 minutes that the conditions had improved to a point where the teams were ready to push, and Sarrazin was the first to take advantage of it, getting things rolling with a 3:27.029 lap that moved him to the top of the sheets.

Nicolas Minassian responded by going just 0.7 seconds slower in the sister Peugeot, and for several minutes the French cars held the two fastest times.

But Audi's Allan McNish had other ideas, shaving 0.012 seconds off Sarrazin's time to go fastest with five minutes remaining, and then finding an extra tenth the next time around.

As the clocked ticked down the split times suggested that Minassian would be the Peugeot's best hope of dislodging Audi from the top, but Sarrazin seemingly came from nowhere to take the honours instead.

With the weather forecasters predicting heavy rain tomorrow night, early talk is that tonight's times could well have determined the final grid for Saturday's race.

Jacques Villeneuve used the session to rack up some extra miles in the Peugeot, posting times comparable to the Audis during his run.

However, on the Audi side of the fence, Tom Kristensen spent much of the evening in the garage, leaving Dindo Capello and McNish to do the work in the No. 2 car.

Robbie Kerr was quickest of the LMP2 drivers in the Team Barazi Epsilon entry that he is sharing with Adrian Fernandez and Haruki Kurosawa, despite the car losing time earlier in the evening to electrical problems.

First blood in the GT1 showdown between Corvette and Aston Martin has gone Aston Martin's way.

The AMR Labre entry of Christophe Bouchut, Fabrizio Gollin and Casper Elgaard went quickest with 3:50.761. However, rather than a Corvette chasing them across the line, it was a Saleen S7R in the form of the Team Oreca car of Stephane Ortelli, Soheil Ayari and Nicolas Lapierre.

Early GT2 bragging rights went to the Team Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari F430 GTC of Andrew Kirkaldy, Tim Mullen and Chris Niarchos.

The session was sprinkled with a few minor incidents, the most notable being Iradj Alexander-David crunching the Swiss Spirit LMP1 at the Playstation chicane.

Adrian Newey caused some excitement in the Team AF Corse garage when he inadvertently set the fire extinguisher in the car off while the Ferrari F430 was having rear-end damage attended to.

Meanwhile Marco Apicella, who was involved in a massive accident in the opening session, was confirmed to have escaped uninjured, although his Lamborghini is in rather worse shape.

It is not yet known whether the car will be seen again this weekend.

Qualifying 1 final results:

Pos Cl Drivers Team Car Time Gap
1. LMP1 Lamy
Sarrazin
Bourdais
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 Hdi FAP 3:26.344
2. LMP1 Capello
Kristensen
McNish
Audi Sport North America Audi R10 TDI 3:26.916 0.572
3. LMP1 Gene
Minassian
Villeneuve
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 Hdi FAP 3:27.724 1.380
4. LMP1 Biela
Pirro
Werner
Audi Sport North America Audi R10 TDI 3:28.301 1.957
5. LMP1 Luhr
Rockenfeller
Premat
Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R10 TDI 3:29.736 3.392
6. LMP1 Collard
Boullion
Dumas
Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo Judd 3:33.590 7.246
7. LMP1 Gounon
Moreau
Johansson
Courage Competition Courage LC70 AER 3:35.171 8.827
8. LMP1 Barbosa
Hall
Short
Rollcentre Racing Pescarolo Judd 3:35.559 9.215
9. LMP1 Lammers
Hart
Bleekemolen
Racing For Holland Dome S101.5 Judd 3:35.660 9.316
10. LMP1 Campbell-Walter
Ortiz
Nakano
Creation Autosportif Ltd Creation Judd CA07 3:36.279 9.935
11. LMP1 Yoong
Mucke
Charouz
Charouz Racing Lola B07/17 Judd 3:37.737 11.393
12. LMP1 Frei
Cochet
Besson
Courage Competition Courage LC70 AER 3:38.371 12.027
13. LMP1 Primat
Tinseau
Treluyer
Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo Judd 3:38.753 12.409
14. LMP1 Deletraz
Fassler
Alexander
Swiss Spirit Lola Audi B07/10 3:42.626 16.282
15. LMP2 Fernandez
Kurosawa
Kerr
Barazi Epsilon Zytek 07S/2 3:44.158 17.814
16. LMP1 Evans
Berridge
Owen
Chamberlain Synergy Lola B06/10 AER 3:44.721 18.377
17. LMP2 Amaral
De Castro
Hughes
Quifel ASM Team Lola B05/40 AER 3:45.838 19.494
18. LMP2 Binnie
Timpany
Buncombe
Binnie Motorsports Lola B05/40 Zytek 3:48.173 21.829
19. LMP2 Greaves
Moseley
Liddell
Bruichladdich Radical Radical SR9 AER 3:48.332 21.988
20. LMP2 Barazi
Vergers
Ojjeh
Barazi Epsilon Zytek 07S/2 3:48.935 22.591
21. LMP2 Erdos
Newton
Wallace
RML Lola B05/40 AER 3:49.217 22.873
22. LMP2 Jouanny
Nicolet
Filhol
Saulnier Racing Courage LC75 AER 3:49.621 23.277
23. LMGT1 Bouchut
Gollin
Elgaard
AMR Larbre Comp. Aston Martin DBR9 3:50.761 24.417
24. LMGT1 Ortelli
Ayari
Lapierre
Team Oreca Saleen S7-R 3:51.240 24.896
25. LMP2 Rostan
Pickering
Macallister
Pierre Bruneau Pilbeam MP93 Judd 3:51.342 24.998
26. LMGT1 Brabham
Rydell
Turner
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DBR9 3:52.471 26.127
27. LMP2 Burgess
De Pourtales
Siedler
Kruse Motorsport Pescarolo Judd 3:52.552 26.208
28. LMGT1 O'connell
Magnussen
Fellows
Corvette Racing Corvette C6R 3:52.657 26.313
29. LMGT1 Beretta
Gavin
Papis
Corvette Racing Corvette C6R 3:53.537 27.193
30. LMGT1 Garcia
Menten
Fittipaldi
Team Modena Aston Martin DBR9 3:53.727 27.383
31. LMGT1 Groppi
Prost
Belloc
Team Oreca Saleen S7R 3:54.718 28.374
32. LMGT1 Babini
Davies
Malucelli
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DBR9 3:55.141 28.797
33. LMGT1 Enge
Herbert
Kox
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DBR9 3:55.714 29.370
34. LMGT1 Policand
Goueslard
Alphand
Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R 3:56.734 30.390
35. LMGT1 Smet
Gosselin
Peter
PSI Experience Corvette C6R 3:56.922 30.578
36. LMP2 Petrov
Halliday
Ianetta
Noel Del Bello Courage LC75 AER 3:57.566 31.222
37. LMGT1 Blanchemain
Vosse
Andre
Alphand Aventures Corvette C5-R 3:59.068 32.724
38. LMGT1 Bornhauser
Berville
Fisken
AMR Larbre Comp. Aston Martin DBR9 4:01.674 35.330
39. LMGT2 Niarchos
Kirkaldy
Mullen
Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 GT 4:04.185 37.841
40. LMGT2 Narac
Lietz
Long
Imsa Performance Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 4:04.622 38.278
41. LMGT2 Salo
Melo
Mowlem
Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT 4:05.358 39.014
42. LMGT2 Van Overbeek
Bergmeister
Neiman
Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 4:05.588 39.244
43. LMGT1 Apicella
Yogo
Yamanishi
JLOC Isao Noritake Lamborghini Murcielago 4:06.223 39.879
44. LMGT2 Nielsen
Simonsen
Ehret
Autorlando Sport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 4:08.211 41.867
45. LMGT2 Krohn
Jonsson
Braun
Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT 4:09.065 42.721
46. LMGT1 Vasiliev
Kostka
Persl
Convers Menx Team Ferrari 550 Maranello 4:09.088 42.744
47. LMGT2 Belicchi
Caffi
Chiesa
Spyker Squadron Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R 4:10.719 44.375
48. LMGT2 Kimber-Smith
Watts
Milner
Team LNT Panoz Esperante GTLM 4:11.025 44.681
49. LMGT2 Janis
Hezemans
Kane
Spyker Squadron Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R 4:11.598 45.254
50. LMGT2 Tomlinson
Dean
Bell
Team LNT Panoz Esperante GTLM 4:13.049 46.705
51. LMGT2 Marsh
Villarroel
Rosenblad
GPC Sport Ferrari F430 GT 4:15.669 49.325
52. LMGT2 Collin
Felbermayr Sr
Felbermayr Jr
Seikel Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 4:17.750 51.406
53. LMGT2 Macari
Aucott
Newey
AF Corse Ferrari F430 GT 4:21.714 55.370
54. LMP2 Longechal
Yamagishi
Terada
T2M Motorsport Dome Mader S101-5 4:53.983 1:27.639
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