Nurburgring: Michelin qualifying report

MICHELIN ON POLE WITH PEUGEOT AT THE NURBURGRING The No.7 Peugeot-Michelin will start Sunday'sNurburgring 1 ,000km from pole position thanks to a qualifying time of 1m 39.492s from Marc Gene . The French machine will be joined on...

MICHELIN ON POLE WITH PEUGEOT AT THE NURBURGRING

The No.7 Peugeot-Michelin will start Sunday'sNurburgring 1 ,000km from pole position thanks to a qualifying time of 1m 39.492s from Marc Gene . The French machine will be joined on the front row by its No.8 sister car which is shared by Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin . Following on the second row will be the Team Charoux Lola Aston Martin (Mucke Stefan/Charouz Jean) alongside the Audi R10 TDi of Alexandre Premat and Mike Rockenfeller.

In LMP2, Jos Verstappen/Jeroen Bleekemolen were the fastest in qualifying and also seventh quickest overall, while the GT1 field will be led away by the Team Modena Aston Martin of Garcia Antonio/Enge Thomas which posted its best lap at the very end of the session.

Michelin's GT2 partners compete in the LMS with commercially available tyres and the French firm picked up the second best time of the afternoon thanks to the No.77 Farnbacher R acing Porsche 997.

Michelin runners will monopolise the top-eight places on tomorrow's grid.

Matthieu Bonardel: Four-wheel Programme Director, Michelin Competition

"All three practice sessions took place in dry conditions and in higher temperatures than we had been expecting. This gave competitors in the different categories a chance to evaluate the performance and endurance ability of the various tyre solutions we have here this weekend.

"Although the weather remained stable, the track evolved enormously and we saw lap-times tumble from 1m 42s to 1m 39s in the space of just three sessions. Grip improved as we went along and that didn't make comparisons any easier for the teams, but everyone came to a decision in the end.

"In LMP1, the two options we have here - soft and medium - were enough to please our partners, although we can expect to see some very different calls from one end of the grid to the other, from softs or mediums on all four corners, to compromise set-ups with softs on the right-hand side and mediums on the left. The Charouz Lola put in a superb performance to sneak in amongst the diesel cars.

"In LMP2, the Van Merksteijn Porsche succeeded in mixing it with the LMP1s and make a clean break with the other cars in its category. Three types of tyre are available for this class and our new 'extra soft' tyre which is being used for the first time in Europe this weekend won over some of the teams. Most of those who tried it will also fit it for the start of the race.

"The GT1 runners were able to choose between soft and medium compounds and, here again, we saw a broad spread of choices. It is entirely possible that we will see the new 'extra soft' and 'extra hard' products available here come out during the race depending on the teams' different strategies. "We have also introduced a new GT2 tyre to our catalogue. It went very well and we are eager to see how it performs on its debut race tomorrow.

"The Nu rburgring is one the venues visited by the LMS which evolves the most in the course of the race, so we will need to be prepared for that and cope with the changes as best we can. "I would be surprised if there was any double-stinting to begin with until more rubber has been laid down onto the track to provide a more consistent, grippier surface - maybe after an hour or so."

-credit: michelin

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Marc Gene , Alexandre Prémat , Mike Rockenfeller , Thomas Enge