Series qualifying report

Audi on top of the world Several drivers and teams came head-to-head in four classes in Le Mans Series title decider at Silverstone, but also first round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, and it is still impossible to predict who...

Audi on top of the world

Several drivers and teams came head-to-head in four classes in Le Mans Series title decider at Silverstone, but also first round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, and it is still impossible to predict who will triumph, even if today's sunny qualifying session gave the polesitters a leg up.

Audi Sport Team Joest's Allan McNish retained the honor of setting the fastest lap time of the Autosport 1,000Km of Silverstone qualifying session, despite some strong competition from Timo Bernhard in the sister car.

Saturday was a day of surprises in Great-Britain - no Peugeot prototype on the front row, no genuine threat to polesitters Audis, and JMW Motorsport eclipsing the Porsches and the Ferraris in the LMGT2 class. Who are the genuine contenders for victory on Sunday afternoon? May the best teams and drivers win!

MC NISH AND WATTS AT HOME

The Audi R15 TDI has topped most of the time-sheets since the beginning of the weekend. Both Audis have been head and shoulders above both Peugeots in qualifying. The German car-manufacturer is shaping up to add another Le Mans Series overall win to his already impressive racing portfolio after a solid qualifying session as Allan McNish explained: "The car had a good balance and the engineers know the track well, except the new part. What can I say? That I am very happy to be on pole!"

If the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP has not been the fastest car on the track today, Team Peugeot Total and Team ORECA Matmut took the second row spots on the qualifying list. The German team now has the psychological advantage over Peugeot, and the duel looks very promising for a gripping race tomorrow.

After their impressive class win at the Le Mans 24 hour race and their tremendous overall win in Hungary three weeks ago, Danny Watts, Nick Leventis and Jonny Kane travelled to the Autosport 1,000Km of Silverstone with great optimism. The British team and winners of two races this year are eager to continue their success streak with the HPD prototype. Danny Watts dug deep into the talent and brought out a stunning performance as he claimed his fifth pole of the year in the Series despite crashing the car in the third practice session this morning.

The reigning champion Quifel-ASM Team will also start the race from the LMP2 front row as Olivier Pla qualified the Ginetta-Zytek second in class. The qualifying effort was the culmination of a strong performance for the Portuguese team this week, as co-drivers Olivier Pla and Miguel Amaral led the class through the second practice session on Friday. Another Ginetta-Zytek will start from third place, courtesy of Team Bruichladdich's Thor-Christian Ebbesvik, who has been a revelation this season and has a great chance to score a strong result.

THE BRITISH DRIVERS LIKE THEIR HOME TRACK

Hope PoleVision Racing's chances of winning the title are still intact while Dams' drivers will try to keep the lead after their victory in Hungary and clinch the title in Formula Le Mans class. The Swiss team's Charlie Hollings and Steve Zacchia secured the front row ahead of... DAMS' Warren Hughes. Unlike the LMGT1 class, the battle is not over yet!

Indeed, Larbre Competition already clinched the title last month in Hungary and the Saleen is the only car on the entry list. For the French team, tomorrow's race will have a taste of a test session and whatever the result of the race, the team will have both Drivers and Teams' titles to celebrate.

In a thrilling qualifying session, Rob Bell led the LMGT2 class this afternoon after putting the JMW Motorsport #92 Aston Martin on pole. It is only half of a surprise because the car has been very fast through the last two practice sessions.

In an incredibly tightly fought session, with the top six cars all within five tenths of a second of each other, Toni Vilander did a great job to place the #95 AF Corse Ferrari car in second place on the LMGT2 grid for tomorrow's race. His time was less than two hundredths of a second ahead of the current class leader, Marc Lieb and the #77 Felbermayr-Proton Porsche.

-source: lemans-series

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Allan McNish , Rob Bell , Timo Bernhard , Jonny Kane , Warren Hughes , Marc Lieb , Olivier Pla , Miguel Amaral , Steve Zacchia , Toni Vilander , Thor-Christian Ebbesvik , Danny Watts , Charlie Hollings
Teams Audi Sport Team Joest , AF Corse , Larbre Competition , JMW Motorsport , DAMS