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
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