Le Mans: Series qualifying report

Brits enjoying Le Mans The British drivers took Le Mans by storm in qualifying, and three of them will start from the front of the grid this weekend in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Jon Lancaster (Comtec Racing) is pole-sitter for the first time,...

Brits enjoying Le Mans

The British drivers took Le Mans by storm in qualifying, and three of them will start from the front of the grid this weekend in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Jon Lancaster (Comtec Racing) is pole-sitter for the first time, ahead of James Walker (P1 Motorsport) and Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport). Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing), by qualifying fourth, will get a shot at the British trio.

Group B:

The Group B drivers started the morning's qualifying on the Le Mans Bugatti track. Oliver Turvey set the pace with his first flying lap. Team-mate Jaime Alguersuari (Carlin Motorsport) stole the show away from him in 1'27''829. But the Catalan was himself ousted from the top of the leaderboard by Fairuz Fauzy (Mofaz Fortec Motorsport), with a time of 1'26''848. Oliver Turvey was first to fire off on new rubber and took the lead back in 1'26''295. But in the end Jaime Alguersuari went under to take the quickest time of the session. The Carlin Motorsport driver claimed the best performance in Group B with 1'26''056 ahead of Sten Pentus (Mofaz Fortec Motorsport) and James Walker (P1 Motorsport). Greg Mansell (Ultimate Signature) was the first driver not qualified for SuperPole.

Group A:

Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) was pace setter in group A, ahead of Adrian Zaugg (Interwetten.com Racing) and Miguel Molina (Ultimate Motorsport). Before pitting for new tires, Jon Lancaster went to the top of the timing screens in 1'26''336.The last few minutes were decisive. Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing), grabbing fifth place, was first to improve his time. But Jon Lancaster went under to secure the leadership in 1'26''147, while Charles Pic went up to second. Miguel Molina managed to put himself between Lancaster and Pic at the end of the session. Sixth placed Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) was the last driver to qualify for the SuperPole, while Bertrand Baguette was left out with seventh. However, Baguette benefitted from the cancelling out of Dani Clos (Epsilon Euskadi) best time to win his ticket for the SuperPole.

SuperPole:

The drivers started this SuperPole session with a reconnaissance lap on old rubber. After shodding new tires, Oliver Turvey hit hard to take provisional pole position, ahead of Miguel Molina. The response came from Edoardo Mortara. The Italian moved into first position with a 1'26''842 lap. James Walker was the one to oust him from pole, only to be overhauled by Oliver Turvey then Bertrand Baguette in quick succession. The race order was to continue to change, with the British drivers finally going one -- two -- three. Jon Lancaster, took pole with 1'25''677, ahead of James Walker and Oliver Turvey. Charles Pic was 4th and Jaime Alguersuari fifth.

Quote, unquote:

Jon Lancaster: "I made a slight error in my fastest lap but I got a second chance and it worked. I've been really on the pace this weekend, and so it was important to confirm with this first pole position. I've got a 4 position penalty for race 1, so I'll be starting from behind. For race 2, on the other hand, I'll be on pole and I'll do everything I can to take a win. At Silverstone we heard plenty of the Marseillaise, so here we're going to get some God Save the Queen--".

James Walker: "Yesterday, after being ill, we didn't know if I'd be able to race today. I'm ok and this result is spurring me on. Without having driven in testing, this result is a good sign. It's the 5th time I've qualified in 2nd place. I have to win this weekend to take the lead."

-credit: wsr

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Fairuz Fauzy , James Walker , Marcos Martinez , Bertrand Baguette , Adrian Zaugg , Greg Mansell , Sten Pentus , Oliver Turvey , Miguel Molina , Edoardo Mortara , Charles Pic , Jaime Alguersuari , Jon Lancaster
Teams Carlin