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2014 After Road America
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1 Christian Fittipaldi 285
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Lotterer keeps Audi on pole for LeMans

Provisional pole sitter goes even faster Thursday night
Thursday, June 14, 2012

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Andre Lotterer (C), Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer

The second evening's qualifying session was full of suspense as the cars fought for pole for Saturday's Le Mans 24 Hours. As a prelude to a no-holds-barred battle with Toyota - and among themselves - the Audi R18 ultras and R18 e-tron quattros kept the many spectators present on tenterhooks as they swapped positions at the top of the time sheets. Finally, André Lotterer put in a stunning lap to clinch pole in the no. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro in 3m 23.787s.

The German's time was two seconds quicker than Benôit Tréluyer's pole last year. In addition, the suspense never let up in the LM P2 and LM GTE categories in which the hierarchy set on Wednesday was turned upside down.
After Lotterer's brilliant performance during the first evening nothing indicated that the drivers would go pedal to the metal in the second day's qualifying session. However, the weather conditions were obviously much better and this encouraged them to go quicker. Lotterer was the first to push the envelope further and then Loïc Duval knoked his team-mate's e-tron quattro off the top of the time sheets with a lap in 3m 24.078s in the no. 3 R18 ultra just before the evening break.

In the LM P2 category, Olivier Pla (no. 24 Morgan Judd / OAK Racing) went quicker than the no. 44 Honda Performance Development getting very close to the 3m39s barrier. The driver from Toulouse, whose confidence was boosted by this performance, pushed a bit too hard and went off at Indianpolis without damaging the car too much. In LM GTE Pro, another Frenchman, Fred Makowiecki, looked on course for pole in the no.59 Luxury Racing Ferrari, which was two seconds quicker than the no. 97 Aston Matin, fastest the evening before.

During the hour's break the fans had the pleasure of hearing the melodious sound of the V12 Matra engine as Henri Pescarolo and Gérard Larrousse gave the MS670B and C winners of the 1973 and 74 24 Hours, a canter on the scene of their former triumphs. In addition the Pony Pony Run Run Group attracted 5 000 fans at the Dunlop Footbrige for an open-air concert. At 22h00 battle was resumed out on the track. André Lotterer hit back at his team-mate after fifteen minutes with a lap in 3m 23.787s to retake provisional pole. Toyota wasn't too far behind either as proved by Anthony Davidson's brilliant flyer in 3m 24.842s at the end of the session to give the Japanese manufacturer third place on the grid. It was a very encouraging performance for the whole team proving the speed of the TS030 Hybrid despite the electrical problems that hit nos 7 and 8, which didn't damage the team's morale.

In the third hour Seiji Ara had a big shunt on the exit from the Karting corner. It was another blow to Henri Pescarolo's Sarthe-based team after Boullion's accident in the no. 16 03 the previous evening.

If outright pole provided its fair share of suspense it was the same story in LM P2. Olivier Pla, who was quickest early on in the eveing, was unable to prevent ORECA from topping the time sheets as the ARD Delta 03-Nissan got round in 3m 38.181s. In addition, it was a good eveing for the French manufacturer as it had five cars in the first seven in LM P2! In LM GTE Pro, Ferrari had the final say thanks to Makowiecki as the Luxury Racing driver remained unbeaten in the second part of the session.

Finally, only the quickest time in LM GTE Am didn't change yesterday. The no. 79 Flying Lizard Porsche stayed on top despite a last-minute charge by Prospeed Competition, which moved up from sixth to second place.

Given the very close times in all the categories the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours looks like being a thrilling race.

According to the latest weather forecast the event should take place in dry conditions to the delight of the thousands of fans expected in the Sarthe this weekend.

Pos

Cl Drivers Team/Car Time
1. P1 Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer Audi e-tron 3m23.787s
2. P1 Dumas/Duval/Gene Audi Ultra 3m24.078s
3. P1 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota 3m24.842s
4. P1 Capello/Kristensen/McNish Audi e-tron 3m25.433s
5. P1 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota 3m25.488s
6. P1 Bonanomi/Jarvis/Rockenfeller Audi Ultra 3m26.420s
7. P1 Leventis/Watts/Kane Strakka HPD 3m29.622s
8. P1 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m29.837s
9. P1 Belicchi/Primat/Bleekemolen Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m31.866s
10. P1 Ara/Minassian/Bourdais Pescarolo Dome-Judd 3m33.066s
11. P1 Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck JRM HPD 3m35.421s
12. P1 Montagny/Baguette/Kraihamer OAK Pescarolo-Judd 3m35.584s
13. P1 Collard/Boullion/Hall Pescarolo-Judd 3m37.485s
14. P2 Martin/Charouz/Graves ADR ORECA-Nissan 3m38.181s
15. P2 Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla OAK Morgan-Judd 3m38.598s
16. P2 Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov Signatech ORECA-Nissan 3m39.152s
17. P2 Beche/Thiriet/Tinseau TDS ORECA-Nissan 3m39.252s
18. P2 Perez-Companc/Ayari/Kaffer Pecom ORECA-Nissan 3m39.711s
19. P2 Firth/Hughes/Hartley Murphy ORECA-Nissan 3m39.877s
20. P2 Heinemeier Hansson/Leinders/Martin OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m39.899s
21. P2 Sims/Buurman/Iannetta Status Lola-Judd 3m40.280s
22. P2 Potolicchio/Dalziel/Kimber-Smith Starworks HPD-Honda 3m40.471s
23. P2 Briere/Petersen/Nakano Boutsen ORECA-Nissan 3m40.727s
24. P2 Ordonez/Brundle/Brundle Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m40.738s
25. P2 Dolan/Hancock/Kurosawa Jota Zytek-Nissan 3m41.287s
26. P2 Mailleux/Lombard/Tresson Signatech ORECA-Nissan 3m41.982s
27. P2 Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz Level 5 HPD-Honda 3m42.224s
28. P2 Zugel/Gonzalez/Julian Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m42.292s
29. CDNT Franchitti/Krumm/Motoyama Highcroft Delta Wing Nissan 3m42.612s
30. P2 Frey/Hirschi/Meichtry Race Performance ORECA-Judd 3m43.619s
31. P2 Holzer/Schultis/Moro Kodewa Lola-Lotus 3m45.664s
32. P2 Giroix/Johansson/Badey Gulf Lola-Nissan 3m47.244s
33. P2 Haezebrouck/Thirion/Rosier Extreme Limite Norma-Judd 3m48.025s
34. GTE P Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher Luxury Ferrari 3m55.393s
35. GTE P Fernandez/Mucke/Turner Aston Martin 3m55.870s
36. GTE P Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette 3m55.910s
37. GTE P Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci AF Corse Ferrari 3m56.484s
38. GTE P Taylor/Garcia/Magnussen Corvette 3m57.181s
39. GTE A Neiman/Pilet/Pumpelly Flying Lizard Porsche 3m57.594s
40. GTE P Lieb/Lietz/Henzler Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 3m57.606s
41. GTE P Alfaisal/Curtis/Edwards IMSA Porsche 3m58.035s
42. GTE P Bergmeister/Long/Holzer Flying Lizard Porsche 3m58.717s
43. GTE A Simonsen/Nygaard/Poulsen Aston Martin 3m58.725s
44. GTE A Ehret/Montecalvo/Jeannette Luxury Ferrari 3m58.800s
45. P2 Rostan/Ihara/Deletraz Gulf Lola-Nissan 3m58.895s
46. GTE A Ried/Roda/Ruberti Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 3m59.181s
47. GTE A Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy Larbre Corvette 3m59.192s
48. GTE P Walker/Cocker/Wills JMW Ferrari 3m59.638s
49. GTE P Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 4m00.025s
50. GTE A Perazzini/Cadei/Griffin AF Corse Ferrari 4m00.288s
51. GTE A Armindo/Narac/Pons IMSA Porsche 4m00.332s
52. GTE A Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers AF-Waltrip Ferrari 4m00.691s
53. GTE A Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo Krohn Ferrari 4m02.323s
54. GTE A Rodrigues/Ferte/Illiano JMB Ferrari 4m02.461s
55. GTE A Bourret/Gibon/Belloc Larbre Corvette 4m02.969s
56. GTE A Camathias/Daniels/Palttala JWA Porsche 4m03.661s

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