Sebastien Bourdais gave Peugeot pole position for the Spa 1000km with a stunning lap of 1m57.884s to fend of a seemingly growing threat from Audi this weekend.
The Frenchman put the #3 908 HDi FAP to the top of the times halfway through the 20-minute session. Timo Bernhard qualified second for the 1000 km of Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) with a time of 1m 58.519s (212.746 km/h).
On the 7.004-km track, the German was just 0.635 seconds slower than pole setter Sébastien Bourdais in the Peugeot 908. Audi Sport Team Joest had expected a bigger gap because, in contrast to the competition, all three Audi R15 TDI prototypes are running in full Le Mans spec - and thus with much less down force than usual at Spa-Francorchamps.
Audi Sport Team Joest was able to improve the drivability of the three Diesel-powered sports cars –trimmed for high-speed in low down force specification - during the three free practice sessions which were run in cold and changing weather conditions on Friday and Saturday. After the 20-minute qualifying session, the drivers of all three R15 TDI cars were happy with the improvements and the handling.
Timo Bernhard managed a perfect lap in qualifying. André Lotterer recorded the fifth fastest time in his first race for Audi Sport Team Joest despite having not completed a single lap in the morning practice due to a fuel leak.
Tom Kristensen, competing in his first race since injuring a foot, set the sixth fastest time. The Dane was not seen in the "La Source" hairpin by the driver of a slower car when he started his first flying lap. Kristensen’s R15 TDI lost a front left aerodynamic part in the contact. Later the Le Mans record winner had to abandon his fastest lap due to yellow flags.
For Sunday’s race changeable weather has been forecast. Eurosport will show the opening stages of the race from 1115 hrs (local time) live from Spa-Francorchamps.
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