Rinaldo Capello Q&A

Everyone expected pole position for the 69th running of the Le Mans 24 hour race to go to Tom Kristensen and the number one Audi R8, including most of the Joest-run team, after the Dane set the pace during first qualifying on Wednesday evening. Rinaldo Capello, in the sister number two car, had other ideas. After running was slower in the first two-hour stint on Thursday, Kristensen, who shares the car with Frank Biela and Emanauele Pirro, looked to have the top spot in the bag. But as darkness fell in the first 10 minutes of the second session, Capello was first out onto the La Sarthe track and surprised almost everyone by going just 0.29s faster than his team mate. Autosport.com's Jake Sargent caught up with the Italian after his lap

Rinaldo Capello Q&A



"Yesterday I felt the car had good potential, but I didn't use it due to the amount of traffic. Today I tried to get out as soon as possible at the start of the second session, but at the start of the lap I had two cars in front and the team thought that I would get past the traffic quite quickly. Fortunately only one of the cars cost me a couple of tenths in Tertre Rouge and once I had got past, from there to the end was a free lap. Well almost a free lap. So I went only 29 thousandths of second better than the time set by Tom [Kristensen] yesterday, but it was enough to take pole - and that's the main thing."



"I wanted to try, but we were we in race conditions. We had put on the race engine and changed everything from yesterday and put a race set-up on the car. But if you get a free lap at Le Mans, it is very easy to improve your lap time."



"Sometimes, yes, because yesterday I was very, very happy about the car and felt it had very good potential. But with the traffic I could not show how quick car was. But today, fortunately, I did."



"I don't know really. I'm not sure if at Le Mans the person who set the pole position must start the race. In the ALMS, you can change. Sometimes you make the pole and then your team mate starts. I don't know, we have to discuss it."



"On one side it would be nice to start from pole position at Le Mans because then all the pictures of the first corner show you in the lead, which is very nice. But on the other side, there is always some stress when you have to start the race. It's a very long distance race and you don't have to try and win it in the first corner. Sometimes the feeling is very good about the start, sometimes not so good. At the moment I am not thinking about the start. I am just enjoying taking pole position. It's just the best feeling."



"Yesterday, I felt bad, because, as I said, I knew that I could go much quicker, but I couldn't because of the traffic. Today I think Tom had the same problem, so maybe he could have gone quicker, but it's always the same story at Le Mans."



"I couldn't tell that I had a different engine in the car. It felt exactly the same because we don't have a race engine and a qualifying engine, it's all the same. If it wasn't Le Mans and it was a shorter race, then we would start with the same engine, because it's just a question of engine life and mileage."



"Yeah, sure they did, but our engine is not fragile and we can always drive the same way in qualifying, warm-up and race. The set-up doesn't change very much between qualifying and the race."



"I think the quickest lap time in the race will be about four or five seconds, but on average it will be about six or seven. In the first hour in the morning and the last hour in the evening, when it is still light and conditions are cooler, then you can set a quick lap time, but never close to the pole position."

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