Treluyer takes pole for Audi

Audi secured the front row of the grid for the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours thanks to an opportunist lap by Benoit Treluyer with 40 minutes of the final qualifying session left to run. Peugeot fought back but its drivers' efforts were ultimately thwarted by traffic. The Simon Pagenaud/Sebastien Bourdais/Pedro Lamy Peugeot 908 lined up third on the grid behind the R18s of Treluyer/Marcel Fassler/Andre Lotterer and Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Mike Rockenfeller

Treluyer takes pole for Audi

The first sorties in the battle for pole were fought in the opening minutes as Bourdais in the #9 Peugeot and Tom Kristensen in the #3 Audi essayed fast laps on fresh tyres. Traffic precluded them from improving on their cars' times from the previous session straight away, and it was Dumas in the #1 Audi who found a clear lap to vault from fifth place to the top of the timesheets with a 3m25.799s. Kristensen took over a second out of the #3 R18's fastest time from the previous session but it was not enough to move the car up the order.

Anthony Davidson spun at the Ford chicane before starting his first flying lap and then hit traffic, and further attempts to improve the #7 Peugeot's time were stymied by a red flag at the 20-minute mark.

The session was stopped after 20 minutes when the #58 Ferrari of Anthony Beltoise went off on oil at Mulsanne Corner and hit the tyre barrier. Christian Klien also fell foul of the oil in the #007 Aston Martin and sustained a rear left puncture, but made it back to the pits. Twenty minutes were lost while cement dust was laid on the racing line at crucial corners between Mulsanne and the pits, particularly in the first right-hander of the Porsche Curves.

A lull followed as the leaders worked through their programmes, but with 40 minutes to run the track had cleaned sufficiently for Treluyer to post a 3m25.738s in the #2 Audi, slotting ahead of the #1 car.

With 20 minutes to go the session awoke from its torpor once more. Kristensen had another run but a promising lap was interrupted when he came across the #68 Ford GT at the exit of the Porsche Curves. He took on new tyres and a splash of fuel before heading out again, while Simon Pagenaud clocked a 3m26.010s in the #9 Peugeot to move up to third overall. Traffic interfered with further efforts and as the clock counted down to zero Kristensen spun off at Tertre Rouge.

Both Rebellion Lolas improved during the early part of the session, before it was halted. Neel Jani posted a 3m32.883s to surpass the #16 Pescarolo as the quickest petrol-powered car, while Andrea Bellichi's 3m34.573s fell a second and a half short.

The Soheil Ayari/Franck Mailleux/Lucas Ordonez Signatech ORECA-Nissan remained at the head of the LMP2 field but did not surpass its 3m41.458s, lining up 14th overall. Once again, Strakka Racing's rebuilt HPD ARX.01 did not improve upon the 3m42.615s Jonny Kane recorded in the car during last night's qualifying session, but it remained unbeaten by its other rivals and will start 16th.

Augusto Farfus set the fastest GTE Pro time thus far in the #55 BMW just before the stoppage. His 3m57.592s is nearly half a second clear of the #51 Ferrari driven by Gianmaria Bruni/Toni Vilander/Giancarlo Fisichella, which improved to 3m58.040. The Ferrari therefore moves ahead of the Andy Priaulx/Dirk Muller/Joey Hand #56 BMW, which did not take part in the session.

AF Corse's #61 Ferrari driven by Piergiuseppe Perazzini, Marco Cioci and Sean Paul Breslin took a clear lead in the GTE Am class, edging into the GT Pro tail-enders with a 4m01.282s, over a second quicker than the previous session. Its nearest opposition, the #63 Proton Competition Porsche, did not improve on its previous best of 4m03.532s.

 Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time 1. LMP1 Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer Audi R18 TDI 3m25.738s 2. LMP1 Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller Audi R18 TDI 3m25.799s 3. LMP1 Lamy/Bourdais/Pagenaud Peugeot 908 3m26.010s 4. LMP1 Montagny/Sarrazin/Minassian Peugeot 908 3m26.156s 5. LMP1 Capello/Kristensen/McNish Audi R18 TDI 3m26.165s 6. LMP1 Gene/Wurz/Davidson Peugeot 908 3m26.272s 7. LMP1 Lapierre/Duval/Panis ORECA Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP 3m30.084s 8. LMP1 Jani/Prost/Bleekemolen Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m32.883s 9. LMP1 Collard/Tinseau/Jousse Pescarolo-Judd 3m33.066s 10. LMP1 Belicchi/Boullion/Smith Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m34.573s 11. LMP1 Monteiro/Moreau/Ragues Oak Pescarolo-Judd 3m34.933s 12. LMP1 Ickx/Martin/Leinders Kronos Aston Martin 3m36.551s 13. LMP1 Amaral/Pla/Hughes Quifel-ASM Zytek 3m37.393s 14. LMP2 Mailleux/Ordonez/Ayari Signatech ORECA-Nissan 3m41.458s 15. LMP1 Hein/Nicolet/Yvon Oak Pescarolo-Judd 3m41.908s 16. LMP2 Leventis/Watts/Kane Strakka HPD ARX-01d 3m42.615s 17. LMP2 Premat/Hallyday/Kraihamer Oreca-Nissan 3m43.098s 18. LMP2 Perez Companc/Russo/Kaffer Pecom Lola-Judd 3m43.223s 19. LMP2 Nakano/De Crem/Charouz Oak Racing Pescarolo-BMW 3m43.479s 20. LMP2 Ojjeh/Kimber-Smith/Lombard Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m43.812s 21. LMP2 Frey/Meichtry/Rostan Race Performance ORECA-Judd 3m44.294s 22. LMP1 Mucke/Turner/Klien Aston Martin AMR-One 3m45.918s 23. LMP2 Erdos/Newton/Collins RML HPD ARX-01d 3m47.308s 24. LMP1 Zacchia/Lammers/Elgaard Hope ORECA 3m47.691s 25. LMP1 Primat/Fernandez/Meyrick Aston Martin AMR-One 3m48.355s 26. LMP2 Rosier/Haezbrouck/Fournoux Extreme Limite Norma-Judd 3m48.420s 27. LMP2 Barlesi/Da Rocha/Lafargue Oak Pescarolo-Judd 3m48.665s 28. LMP2 Tucker/Bouchut/Barbosa Level 5 Lola-Honda 3m48.863s 30. GTE P Farfus/Muller/Werner BMW M3 3m57.592s 29. GTE P Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 3m58.040s 31. GTE P Priaulx/Muller/Hand BMW M3 3m58.426s 32. GTE P Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook Corvette C6 ZR1 3m59.519s 33. GTE P Farnbacher/Simonsen/Keen Farnbacher Ferrari 3m59.519s 34. GTE P Beretta/Milner/Garcia Corvette C6 ZR1 3m59.633s 35. GTE P Lieb/Lietz/Henzler Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 3m59.662s 36. GTE P Ortelli/Makowiecki/Melo Luxury Racing Ferrari 3m59.901s 37. GTE P Goossens/Holzer/Van Lagen Prospeed Porsche 3m59.962s 38. GTE P Dolan/Hancock/Buncombe Jota Aston Martin 4m00.747s 39. GTE P Bell/Sugden/Maasen JMW Ferrari 4m00.890s 40. GTE P Bergmeister/Long/Luhr Flying Lizard Porsche 4m01.024s 41. GTE P Beltoise/Jakubowski/Thiret Luxury Racing Ferrari 4m01.176s 42. GTE A Perazzini/Cioci/Breslin AF Corse Ferrari 4m01.282s 43. GTE P Al Faisal/Tandy/Miller Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 4m01.752s 44. GTE P Kauffman/Waltrip/Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 4m02.216s 45. GTE P Pilet/Narac/Armindo IMSA Performance Porsche 4m02.548s 46. GTE A Felbermayr/Felbermayr/Ried Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 4m03.532s 47. GTE A Niemen/Law/Pumpelly Flying Lizard Porsche 4m03.648s 48. GTE A Bourret/Gibon/Belloc Larbre Porsche 4m03.918s 49. GTE A Rodrigues/Menahem/Marroc JMB ORECA 4m04.640s 50. GTE A Giroix/Goethe/Wainwright Gulf Aston Martin 4m04.825s 51. GTE A Krohn/Jonsson/Rugulo Krohn Ferrari 4m05.211s 52. GTE A Bornhauser/Canal/Gardel Larbre Porsche 4m05.955s 53. GTE A Ehret/Lynn/Wills CRS Ferrari 4m07.236s 54. GTE P Hirschi/Rossiter/Mowlem Jetalliance Lotus Evora 4m07.465s 55. GTE A Robertson/Robertson/Murry Robertson Racing Ford-Doran 4m08.208s 56. GTE P Rich/Slingerland/Hartshorne Jetalliance Lotus Evora 4m12.569s 
Fassler takes Audi provisional pole
Previous article

Fassler takes Audi provisional pole

Next article

Newton fit to race after Spa crash

Newton fit to race after Spa crash
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Plus

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Autosport recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Plus

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained

Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Plus

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out

Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Plus

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title Plus

How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title

In the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a better run of tyre wear for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi brought the Toyota trio its third win from five events, as the #7 squad put one hand on the title. Here's how the first of the WEC's two Bahrain enduros played out

Nov 1, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021