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Peugeot dominates in Monza qualifying
The first outing for the all-new Peugeot 908 HDi FAP has got off to a promising start, with both cars dominating the front row of the grid for the Monza 1000kms that takes place tomorrow (Sunday 15 April). Nicolas Minassian claimed an excellent pole position ahead of the other Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, driven by Stephane Sarrazin. Team Peugeot Total took full advantage of the free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday morning to build up to this qualifying result, encountering only a gearshift command problem on car n°7. So far Monza has underlined the performance of the new car, seen for the first time at the official Le Mans Series test at Paul Ricard, but this weekend’s key objective is continue the durability work carried out to date. Spaniard Marc Gené will start the race from pole tomorrow in the n°7 car, while Portuguese driver Pedro Lamy will take the wheel of car n°8. As required by the rules, both cars will take tomorrow’s 1300 start on the tires used for qualifying today.

Nicolas Minassian: “This pole position is a great reward for the whole team, which has worked so hard from the start. We have continually been refining the set-up and handling of the car since Friday morning, always heading in the right direction. I set off quite late for my qualifying run, in order to avoid a dirty track and find a good gap in the traffic. I had to push really hard to set a time quicker than that of Stéphane Sarrazin – who is my team mate but also my key rival.”

Stéphane Sarrazin : “I had a fantastic car but we didn’t anticipate the traffic well. I only got one clear lap, but we still managed to get onto the front row and it’s a very long race ahead…”

Bruno Famin (Technical Director): “The outcome of these first two days has been extremely positive, with no major problems apart from the gearshift command glitch on car n°7 – which was quickly resolved. We’ve managed to work through our entire test program, which has added greatly to our knowledge of the car. Now we just have to keep going for the next 1000 kilometers…”

Full qualifying times for the first round of the 2007 Le Mans Series at Monza, Italy.

1. Minassian/Gene Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP 1min 34.503secs LMP1
2. Sarrazin/Lamy Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP 1min 34.680secs LMP1
3. Charouz/Mucke Charouz Racing Systems Lola B07/17-Judd 1min 36.187secs LMP1
4. Collard/Bouillon Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo-Judd 1min 37.349secs LMP1
5. Frei/Cochet Courage Competition Courage LC70-AER 1min 37.650secs LMP1
6. Gounon/Moreau Courage Competition Courage LC70-AER 1min 37.834secs LMP1
7. Hart/Lammers/Bleekemolen Racing for Holland Dome S101.5-Judd 1min 37.986secs LMP1
8. Primat/Tinseau Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo-Judd 1min 38.469secs LMP1
9. Evans/Berridge/Owen Chamberlain Synergy Lola B06/10-AER 1min 39.216secs LMP1
10. Amaral/de Castro/Burgeno Quifel-ASM Team Lola B05/40-AER 1min 39.271secs LMP2
11. Barazi/Vergers/Ojjeh Barazi-Epsilon Zytek 07S-Zytek 1min 39.481secs LMP2
12. Erdos/Newton RML MG Lola EX264-AER 1min 40.146secs LMP2
13. Greaves/Moseley Team Bruichladdich Radical Radical SR9-AER 1min 40.641secs LMP2
14. Lienhard/Theys/van de Poele Horag Racing Lola B05/40-Judd 1min 41.325secs LMP2
15. Hughes/Cunningham Embassy Racing Radical SR9-Judd 1min 41.420secs LMP2
16. Binnie/Timpany/Buncombe Binnie Motorsports Lola B05/40-Zytek 1min 41.623secs LMP2
17. Nicolet/Filhol/Jouanny Saulnier Racing Courage LC75-AER 1min 41.692secs LMP2
18. Rostan/Bruneau/Pullan Pierre Bruneau Pilbeam MP93-Judd 1min 42.549secs LMP2
19. Burgess/de Pourtales/Siegler Kruse Motorsport Pescarolo-Judd 1min 43.230secs LMP2
20. Ortelli/Ayari Team Oreca Saleen S7-R 1min 45.443secs GT1

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