Houston: Audi Motorsport qualifying report

Audi R10 TDI on the front row in Houston Allan McNish misses pole-position by a mere 0.006 sec Marco Werner claims sixth position in "sister" car Qualifying finally decided in the very last seconds The two Audi R10 TDI sportscars start...

Audi R10 TDI on the front row in Houston

Allan McNish misses pole-position by a mere 0.006 sec Marco Werner claims sixth position in "sister" car Qualifying finally decided in the very last seconds The two Audi R10 TDI sportscars start Saturday's fourth round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in Houston (US state of Texas) as fastest LM P1 prototypes from the first and third rows. During the qualifying on Friday evening, Allan McNish (Scotland) was beaten in the fight for pole-position by a mere 0.006 seconds. His team-mate Marco Werner (Germany) qualified the second Audi R10 TDI in sixth place -- second in the LM P1 category -- with a gap of 0.7 seconds.

Allan McNish immediately posted the fastest time in the 20 minute qualifying session, improving his fastest time twice. Until the final moments of qualifying, the Scotsman was in front with his 650 hp diesel sportscar but was ultimately beaten in the very last seconds by David Brabham in the fastest LM P2 car.

While Allan McNish and Dindo Capello (Italy) know the 1.7 mile street circuit around the "Reliant Park" stadium complex following their victory in the Audi R8 last year, Marco Werner and Emanuele Pirro (Italy) had to use the two, one-hour practice sessions on Friday to gain their first experience on the very bumpy concrete track.

The race in Houston starts on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. local time (0:30 a.m. on Sunday morning in Germany) and lasts 2:45 hours.

Quotes after qualifying

Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #1): "We found a good balance in qualifying. There is a tinge of personal disappointment that I ultimately missed out on pole right at the end of the session by 0.006 secs. Starting on the front row we're in the fight but I think the race will be harder than qualifying. We need to set consistently fast lap times and not just one -- and my qualifying lap was on the absolute ragged edge."

Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #1): "After the first practice our engineers improved the car very much. Even on 'old' tyres I was happy. The race will be hard -- consistency will be the key. Last year we were very happy when we won here. I hope we can do it again. It's great to be back on the front row -- Allan did a great job in qualifying."

Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #2): "We have improved a lot since the practice. The qualifying looked good. The lap times were very close. We have a good car for the race, we only have to find a little bit more. The race is long and the track will be full of traps. I think our grid position is not a big problem for the length of the race although it will be very difficult to overtake any other cars."

Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2): "I had expected a little bit more. I tried everything, but the car was a little harsh on the bumps with low fuel for the qualifying. I did a lot of laps in the practice before and the car was good, so I hope that we are well prepared for the race."

Dave Maraj (Team Director Audi Sport North America): "It was a great effort from both drivers, for as we know, the Audi R10 TDI is not suited to this kind of tight, street course. I most certainly never expected that we would start from the front row of the grid especially after the morning practice. But there still remains a big effort from us to come through and score a good race result. Thankfully it's back to a 165-minute race so we can work on strategy."

-credit: audi

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Allan McNish , Marco Werner , Dave Maraj , Dindo Capello , Emanuele Pirro