Thursday first qual: No change at the top

While there was no change at the very top of the timesheets in the penultimate qualifying session for the 2001 24 Hours of Le Mans, with none of the top three Audis bettering the times set yesterday, the Dome of Jan Lammers and the Gulf-backed Audi of Stefan Johansson proved there were improvements to be found. Both bettered their times set yesterday and, in the case of Johansson, actually moved up the grid

Thursday first qual: No change at the top

Lammers' fastest lap of 3m34.838s was just over a second quicker than Wednesday's time, strengthening his fourth place spot on the grid for Saturday's race, but remaining almost 0.5s off the pace of the third Audi - the Champion car of Herbert.

Johansson, however, jumped from eighth place to fifth after setting his lap of 3m35.985 with just 10 minutes of the session remaining. Indeed, only five cars in the top 15 bettered their Wednesday times as most of the teams concentrated on finding the ideal race set up.

Unluckiest man of the session was Bentley driver Martin Brundle. The former Grand Prix driver was twice baulked on flying laps that looked like moving him up from the seventh place he held overnight. Ironically, the British Racing Green car was baulked for the first time by fellow British newcomer marque MG.

In the LMP675 class, the MG of Anthony Reid, Warren Hughes and Jonny Kane keeps its class pole, but it was the number 38 Roc Auto Reynard that was the fastest in the class this evening, with Jordi Gene Guerrero clocking a time two seconds faster than his Wednesday time.

However, the biggest improvement came from the Rowan Racing Pilbeam, with Martin O Connell improving his time by 15 seconds - this despite the team rectifying an aero package problem that threatened to flip the car!

In GTS the Saleen of Oliver Gavin, Franz Konrad and Terry Borcheller retained its class pole, with Gavin improving his time to 3m52.849s.

And in the GT class, where much of the excitement took place this evening, the new Aspen Callaway stole the thunder of the Porches, with Curt Wagner setting a time of 4m10.168s to retain pole.


9 (900) J lammers/V Hillebrand/D Crevels, Dome-Judd S101, Racing For Holland, 3m34.838s
4 (900) T Coronel/S Johansson/P Lemarie, Audi R8, Johanssen Racing (Arena), 3m35.985s
5 (900) E Bernard/E Collard/M Goosens, Cadillac Northstar LMP, DAMS, 3m37.402s
8 (GTP) E van der Poele/A Wallace/B Leitzinger, Bentley EXP Speed 8, Team Bentley, 3m39.302s
17 (900) J C Boullion/S Bourdais/L Redon, Courage-Peugeot C60, Pescarolo Sport, 3m39.789s
10 (900) H Katoh/J Nielsen/C Elgaard, Dome-Judd S101, Den Blas Avis (RN Motorsport), 3m40.958s
7 (GTP) M Brundle/S Ortelli/G Smith, Bentley EXP Speed 8, Team Bentley, 3m42.245s
3 (900) J Herbert/R Kelleners/D Theys, Audi R8, Champion Racing, 3m42.392s
15 (900) Y Dalmas/F Montagny/S Sarrazin, Chrysler-Mopar LMP, ORECA Chrysler, 3m42.559s
12 (900) D Brabham/J Magnussen/G Formato, Panoz LMP 07, Panoz Motorsports, 3m42.974s

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