LONG, BERGMEISTER HEAD OF GT2 CLASS AT LE MANS
The first practice & qualifying session at Le Mans is finished with American Le Mans Series drivers holding the top two spots in GT2. American Porsche factory driver Patrick Long went quickest at 4:00.793 in the IMSA Performance Porsche 911 GT3 RSR that won last year's race.
Long, who drives a Porsche RS Spyder for Penske Racing in the States, was just 0.291 seconds ahead of the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister, who is driving with Johannes van Overbeek and Seth Neiman. Flying Lizard leads the GT2 championship in the American Le Mans Series and is one of the favorites at Le Mans after winning at Sebring.
Risi Competizione's Ferrari F430 GT of Mika Salo, Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni was sixth in class at 4:04.692.
Corvette Racing's two factory Corvette C6.Rs sat second and third in GT1. Oliver Gavin was the quickest Corvette driver at 3:51.461 (nearly a half- second behind the class-leading Labre Saleen S7R of Christophe Bouchut). Next was Jan Magnussen in the sister Corvette at 3:52.361 with Aston Martin Racing's David Brabham a further half-second back.
Overall, Peugeot's three diesel-powered Peugeot 908s went quickest with Stephane Sarrazin setting a Le Mans record with a lap of 3:18.513. Audi's three R10 TDIs were in the 3:25 and 3:27 range, clearly satisfied with concentrating on race pace. The fastest Audi was Tom Kristensen's lap of 3:25.354 in the R10 TDI he will share with Dindo Capello and Allan McNish.
In LMP2, Porsche works driver Sascha Maassen was third in Team Essex's Porsche RS Spyder at 3:36.853, 1.5 seconds behind the leading Barazi Epsilon Zytek. Maassen is Long's teammate at Penske in the American Le Mans Series.
The second half of Wednesday's qualifying will start at 10 p.m. in Le Mans (4p.m. ET).