Stephane Sarrazin and Peugeot fired back at Audi in Thursday’s second practice session for Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6. The Frenchman turned the fastest lap of the race week so far at Road Atlanta, a 1:06.952 (136.575 mph) that put the French marque on top of the timing screen for the first time this week.
Diesel-powered prototypes held the top three positions Thursday afternoon. Sarrazin, who will drive with Nic Minassian and Christian Klien, was 0.128 seconds better than Audi Sport North America’s Allan McNish. The Scot was the quickest driver in the morning session in the Audi R10 TDI that he will share with Dindo Capello and Emanuele Pirro.
The second Audi of Marco Werner and Lucas Luhr turned a best lap of 1:07.773 (134.921 mph). They are the newly crowned LMP1 champions, having taken the title at Detroit.
Penske Racing’s No. 7 Porsche RS Spyder was quickest in LMP2 for the second session in a row. This time, Romain Dumas turned the fastest lap with a 1:07.800 (134.867 mph). He will drive with Timo Bernhard who was quickest in class this morning. The pairing were class winners in last year’s 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic.
Andretti Green Racing’s Acura ARX-01b of Franck Montagny, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti sat second at 1:07.876 (134.716 mph). A second Penske Porsche of Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe sat third with a lap of 1:08.104 (134.265 mph).
The top 12 cars were under Werner’s record qualifying lap of 1:08.906 set last year.
Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen put the Corvette C6.R that he will share with Johnny O’Connell and Ron Fellows out front in GT1 with a lap of 1:16.668 (119.267 mph). Magnussen and O’Connell are the class championship leaders with seven victories so far this year.
Next up was the sister car of Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Max Papis at 1:16.825 (119.024 mph).
Jaime Melo was the fastest GT2 driver with a lap of 1:19.252 (115.379 mph) in Risi Competizione’s Ferrari F430 GT. Melo and Mika Salo will look to repeat their class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Melo was 0.899 seconds ahead of LG Motorsports/Riley Technologies’ Corvette C6 of Marc Goossens, Lou Gigliotti and Tomy Drissi. Next was the class championship-leading No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche of Jörg Bergmeister, Wolf Henzler and Marc Lieb, which turned a time of 1:20.157 (114.076 mph).
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