Audi starts quick at Petit LeMans testing

Audi Sport Team Joest and Romain Dumas set the quickest time in Sunday's first test session for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda – a 1:09.555 (131.464 mph) lap in the R18 TDI’s first laps around Road Atlanta.

A total of 20 cars turned laps in the two-hour session with a five-hour run set for the afternoon. Many drivers commented on the amount of traffic for a test day but it’s a nice tune-up. Fifty-three cars are expected to start Saturday’s 1,000-mile/10-hour finale of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n.

Dumas – teaming with Marcel Fassler and Timo Bernhard – was just 0.046 seconds ahead of the Peugeot 908 and drivers Simon Pagenaud, Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Bourdais.

Oak Racing’s Oak Pescarolo-Judd of Jacques Nicolet, Patrice Lafargue and Frederic Da Rocha was the fastest of the LMP2 runners at 1:14.396 (122.910 mph). It was only 0.262 seconds clear of Christophe Bouchut in Level 5 Motorsports’ HPD ARX-01g.

Local man Bryan Sellers went quickest among the GTE Pro runners for Team Falken Tire. His set a best lap of 1:22.130 (111.336 mph) in his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. He was 0.607 seconds quicker than Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Darren Law in another Porsche.

TRG’s Dion von Moltke was the fastest GTC driver with a lap of 1:27.241 in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The Magnus Racing Porsche of John Potter, Craig Stanton was 0.452 seconds back.

Genoa Racing’s ORECA FLM09 of Jordan Gregor, Aldous Mitchell and Bassam Kronfli went quickest at 1:22.141 (111.321 mph). Larbre Competition’s Corvette C6.R of Patrick Bornhauser, Julien Canal and Gabriele Gardel was the quickest car in the GTE Am class at 1:27.873 (104.059 mph).
Romain Dumas, Audi Sport Team Joest
“The car was quite quick this morning. The Peugeot did a (1:09.5) and I did a 9.5. So it is already very, very close. We did much testing over the winter in preparation for Le Mans so I got to drive the car many times. But it is nice to be back in the Audi R18. Already there is a lot of traffic. It will get much worse later in the week. I do think that this will be most difficult race of my career."

Adrian Fernandez, Aston Martin Racing
“It’s been a tough year but the win in Monterey was really good. We didn’t get the car until a month ago. There were some new rules for this year and we had to make some changes. We made more after the first session at Laguna and it really improved the car."

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