Stephane Sarrazin secures his first pole position
Although Stephane Sarrazin started June's Le Mans 24 Hours from pole position, the Frenchman and his team-mate Pedro Lamy had yet to qualify first on the grid of a Le Mans Series race since the beginning of the year.
As rain clouds gathered over the circuit of Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Stephane Sarrazin went out seven minutes before the end of today's qualifying session in a bid to improve on the excellent time set minutes previously by Marc Gene with the N7908 HDi FAP. The Frenchman's first flying lap saw him fall six tenths short but he continued to push during the second lap to beat his Spanish Peugeot Sport team- mate by almost two tenths.
The two 908 HDi FAPs will consequently start the race at noon on Saturday the start time of every round of the 2007 Le Mans Series for an endurance run of more than 1,600km which will see the chequered flag come down after nightfall at around 11pm (2am Sunday, CET).
Given the weather that has predominated in recent days, rain well could have an effect on the duel that opposes the N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP of Pedro Lamy/Stephane Sarrazin and the Pescarolo of Jean-Christophe Boullion/Emmanuel Collard/Harold Primat for this year's Le Mans Series title. The Peugeot currently leads by two points and only needs to finish third to clinch the title.
Stephane Sarrazin: "I am particularly pleased to be starting from pole position here at this circuit which I have always liked ever since my only F1 race with Minardi in 1999. My 908 was nicely balanced and I feel very confident after the positive work put in by everyone in the team during free practice. I didn't make any mistakes and I pushed hard. My thoughts are already on Saturday's race which promises to be very difficult, especially if it rains. That said, we did some testing at Magny-Cours recently and we know the car well in wet conditions. Qualifying in first place today has a special flavour, and not only because we've been trying hard for pole position since the start of the season: Marc Gene and I had a score to settle that dated back to the days when we were team-mates in Formula 1!"
Pedro Lamy will start Saturday's race with the N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, while Nicolas Minassian will take the wheel of the N7 car for the start.