Silverstone: Series qualifying report

Peugeot front row for title decider as Audi gives chase Peugeot locked out the front row of the grid for the fifth and final race of the 2008 Le Mans Series at Silverstone. Stephane Sarrazin set a new qualifying record of 1m30.359s to beat his...

Peugeot front row for title decider as Audi gives chase

Peugeot locked out the front row of the grid for the fifth and final race of the 2008 Le Mans Series at Silverstone. Stephane Sarrazin set a new qualifying record of 1m30.359s to beat his team-mate Nicolas Minassian by one hundredth of a second. Minassian recovered from a collision with Xavier Pompidou's Speedy Racing Lola which damaged the rear of the 908 Hdi FAP in which he, and co-driver Marc Gene, have won twice to lead the series.

However, Audi is expecting to challenge strongly after Allan McNish set third fastest time, just 0.661s from Stephane Sarrazin's pole position time and his team-mate Alexandre Premat was fourth fastest. "In qualifying we are closer than before and our race pace is closer," said the Scottish driver. "Victory here would be sweet."

Dutchman Jos Verstappen set pole position time for the "LM" P2 category in the van Merksteijn Porsche RS Spyder. His time of 1m34.173 was good enough for eighth position overall and completes a remarkable season of qualifying for the ex-Grand Prix driver. Not only has he a 100 per cent record in the Le Mans Series, but he also set pole position at Le Mans in June. The team had a difficult preparation for the qualifying session after Verstappen, who shares with Peter van Merksteijn, crashed during the wet practice session on Friday afternoon, damaging the rear of the car.

For the first time, Lamborghini was fastest in the "LM" GT1 category, Peter Kox making a stunning lap to beat the Aston Martin of Tomas Enge to the class pole. It was a surprise for the team, as Kox commented: "The Lamborghini does not like the English weather," Enge, with Spaniard Antonio Garcia, must win the race with the Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette failing to score to win the title. However, Guillaume Moreau was third fastest, ahead of Darren Turner's Aston Martin.

In the "LM" GT2 category, Rob Bell again set pole position time in the titlechallenging Virgo Motorsport Ferari 430 GT. The British driver set a time of 1m48.960s, eight -tenths of a second clear of the second-placed IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche of Richard Lietz, while Dirk Werner was third in the Farnbacher Racing Porsche. Bell, this weekend sharing with Brazilian Jaime Melo, leads the drivers' title by just three points from the Felbermayr Porsche of Marc Lieb and Alex Davison heading into this final race. Davison set fourth fastest time.

-credit: lemans-series.com

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Series European Le Mans
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Tomas Enge , Antonio Garcia , Allan McNish , Stéphane Sarrazin , Rob Bell , Peter Kox , Jaime Melo , Luc Alphand , Xavier Pompidou , Marc Lieb , Alex Davison , Alexandre Prémat , Peter van Merksteijn , Dirk Werner , Richard Lietz