Nurburgring qualifying

Audi have grabbed the front row for tomorrow's fourth round of the Le Mans Series at the Nurburgring in Germany overnight but Australia's David Brabham is well placed from position three on the grid. Rinaldo Capello continued to set the pace,...

Audi have grabbed the front row for tomorrow's fourth round of the Le Mans Series at the Nurburgring in Germany overnight but Australia's David Brabham is well placed from position three on the grid.

Rinaldo Capello continued to set the pace, setting the pole position time in the Audi R8 he shares with Allan McNish.

Capello initially recorded a time of 1:28.498, just four thousandths of a second ahead of his team-mate Frank Biela before a red-flag incident, but the Italian put the matter beyond doubt in the second half.

Following the break, Capello set a 1:27.938 with a mighty effort on a clear circuit to ensure Biela could not beat him. The Audis will therefore head the field across the line at the start of tomorrow's 1000km race on their home turf.

Brabham's team-mate Jan Magnussen took the wheel of the leading Panoz during qualifying and was six tenths of a second down on the second-placed Audi.

³We are happy to get third but would obviously have liked to get closer to the Audis. They are looking very strong and in the race it will be tough to match them," Magnussen said.

"But the Panoz feels very good now and in a six hour race anything can happen ­ particularly with the famous Nurburgring weather.²

The session was red-flagged following a nasty incident involving DAMS Cadillac driver Christophe Tinseau. Klaus Graf spun his Panoz into the gravel at the final corner and was pulled out across the circuit by the rescue vehicle while still under green-flag conditions.

The following Debora of Marc Rostan slid to a halt but Tinsaeu tried to pass through the gap. The tow-rope appeared to wrap itself around the Frenchman's helmet and, though he climbed out of his Cadillac Northstar unaided, he was taken to hospital with an injured hand and mouth.

The two BMWs recorded fourth and fifth fastest times, JJ Lehto ahead of Jean-Marc Gounon who did not set a time until after the break.

It was a Chrysler Viper whitewash in the GTS class, with the two Chrysler Viper Team ORECA cars heading the timesheets. Dick Barbour Racing's two Porsches headed the time sheets again in the GT class. <pre> QUALIFYING - PROTOTYPE DIVISION 1 - Capello/McNish - Audi R8 - 1:27.938 2 - Biela/Pirro - Audi R8 - 1:28.540 3 - Brabham/Magnussen - Panoz LMP1 - 1:29.103 4 - Lehto/Muller - BMW V12 LMR - 1:29.222 5 - Auberlen/Gounon - BMW V12 LMR - 1:29.907 GTS DIVISION 1 - Beretta/Wendlinger/Duez - Dodge Viper - 1:38.764 GT DIVISION 1 - Maassen/Wollek - Porsche GT3 R - 1:42.627

Paul ryan ryan@panoz.com.au

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Jan Magnussen , Allan McNish , Frank Biela , Klaus Graf , Christophe Tinseau , Dick Barbour , Jean-Marc Gounon , Marc Rostan , JJ Lehto
Teams DAMS