Peugeot take top 3 grid positions for Le Mans 24 hours

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Race event, Le Mans 24 hours

Peugeot have taken this years qualifying by storm and when the chequered flag fell they occupied a very impressive 1st, 2nd and 3rd in LM P1. The Audis did begin to speed up towards the end of the session but pole is safe for the #8 Team Peugeot Total, Peugeot 908 HDI FAP driven by Lamy, Sarrazin and Wurz.

They never came under any threat all the way through two days of qualifying; however it is interesting to see that at one point when both Audi and Peugeot were running in ‘race trim’ they were both putting in steady 3:26/27 laps. So maybe they are in fact rather more evenly matched than it looks on the time sheets. Whatever the times might say there is no doubt that both teams have carefully worked out their race strategy, almost regardless of these qualifying performances. However Peugeot are facing some problems rebuilding the #9 Peugeot Sport Total, Peugeot 908 HDI FAP that crashed heavily. The team will now be under pressure to ship more spare parts down to Le Mans to virtually rebuild the car. After #7 Team Peugeot Total, Peugeot 908 HDI FAP was written off during testing the team are facing a tense build up to the race despite their tremendous outright speed advantage. The fastest petrol powered car was the #10 Charouz Racing System, Lola Aston Martin which was eventually 6th overall ahead of the #1 Audi Sport North America, Audi R10 driven by Biela, Pirro and Werner

In LMP2 the Porsche Spyders have been swapping times all the way through qualifying. It has been an impressive show and they are placed 14th and 16th overall. Next up in 19th place is the #32 Barazi Epsilon, Zytek 07S driven by Barazi, Vergers and Moseley. They are almost two seconds behind the two Porsches.

In LMGT1 The quickest car is the #63 Corvette Racing, Corvette C6.R of O'Connell, Magnussen and Fellows which has been at the top of the sheets most of the day. The surprise is seeing the #50 Larbre Competition, Saleen S7R of Bouchut, Bornhauser and Smet lying second ahead of the powerful line up in the #64 Corvette Racing, Corvette C6.R of Beretta Gavin and Papis. After a slow start the #009 Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin DBR9 of Brabham,Garcia and Turner has moved into a more encouraging 4th in class. So there is a very interesting mix of cars in LMGT1 and they all seem pretty evenly matched.

In LMGT2 The Porsches have shown their strength and finally dominated the Ferraris with the #76 Imsa Performance Matmut, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on pole driven by Narac, Longa and Lietz. Second in class was the #77 Team Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driven by Davison, Henzler and Felbermayr sen. Third was the #96 Virgo Motorsport, Ferrari F430 GT driven by Bell,Sugden and Mullen. This was a bit of a surprise since the Ferraris were expected to be quicker than the Porsches.

So all the cars have qualified with the possible exception of the #22 Tokai University - YGK Power, Courage-Oreca Ygk Suzuki Kageyama Kurosawa which may be struggling, they are 35 seconds slower than pole and that might not have been quick enough to qualify.

LM P1

#8 Team Peugeot Total, Peugeot 908 HDI FAP Lamy Sarrazin Wurz 3:18.513 - pole time set by Sarrazin
#9 Peugeot Sport Total, Peugeot 908 HDI FAP Montagny Zonta Klein 3:18.682
#7 Team Peugeot Total, Peugeot 908 HDI FAP Gené Minassian Villeneuve 3:20.451
#2 Audi Sport North America, Audi R10 Capello McNish Kristensen 3:23.847 (set today)
#3 Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R10 Luhr Premat Rockenfeller 3:24.287
(n.b. #10 Charouz Racing System, Lola Aston Martin Mücke Charouz Enge 3:25.158 fastest petrol car)

LM P2

#34 Van Merksteijn Motorsport, Porsche RS Spyder Van Merksteijn Verstappen Bleekemolen 3:32.301
#31 Team Essex, Porsche RS Spyder Nielsen Elgaard Maassen 3:33.441 (set today)
#32 Barazi Epsilon, Zytek 07S Barazi Vergers Moseley 3:35.344
#33 Speedy Racing Team Sebah, Lola Judd Pompidou Belicchi Zacchia 3:35.401
#45 Embassy Racing, Embassy Zytek Hughes Kane Foster 3:39.926

LM GT1

#63 Corvette Racing, Corvette C6.R O'Connell Magnussen Fellows 3:47.668
#50 Larbre Competition, Saleen S7R Bouchut Bornhauser Smet 3:47.761
#64 Corvette Racing, Corvette C6.R Beretta Gavin Papis 3:48.539
#009 Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin DBR9 Brabham Garcia Turner 3:48.994
#007 Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin DBR9 Wendlinger Piccini Frentzen 3:49.060 (set today)

LM GT2

#76 Imsa Performance Matmut, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Narac Long Lietz 3:58.152 (set today)
#77 Team Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Davison Henzler Felbermayr sen. 3:59.072 (set today)
#96 Virgo Motorsport, Ferrari F 430 GT Bell Sugden Mullen 3:59.820 (set today)
#80 Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Bergmeister van Overbeek Neiman 4:00.106
#90 Farnbacher Racing, Ferrari F 430 GT Kaffer Nielsen Ehret 4:01.464 (set today)

Source: http://www.lemans.org/