EU 2000: Le Mans Saturday qualifying notes

Clairay dominates at home For Yann Clairay (SG Formula), Le Mans really is his home circuit. Even if he himself says that he feels no more at ease here than anywhere else, he always seems to fly around the Bugatti circuit. As a result, he ...

Clairay dominates at home

For Yann Clairay (SG Formula), Le Mans really is his home circuit. Even if he himself says that he feels no more at ease here than anywhere else, he always seems to fly around the Bugatti circuit. As a result, he takes both pole positions. He will be starting alongside Kamui Kobayashi (Prema Power Team) and Junior Strous (Mr. Glow Motorsport).

Session 1

The first series turned into a duel between Jenzer Motorsport and SG Formula. The early leaders, Michael Ammermüller and Adrian Zaugg (Jenzer) were knocked off the top spots by Yann Clairay and Franck Mailleux (SG). On home soil, Clairay was not going to give his rivals any chances, setting the best time 3/10ths ahead of Zaugg, who was then disqualified for failing to follow the correct course route. These two were followed by Ammermüller, who seemed to be on bad form relative to his previous four consecutive pole positions, then Mailleux!

Adrian Zaugg, Johan Charpilienne, Dani Clos, Miguel Molina, Juan Antonio del Pino and Xavier Maasen all had at least one of their times disallowed for failing to observe the course route.

In the second series, Kamui Kobayashi (Prema Power Team) went top before the red flag had to be brought out to allow the race marshals to clear Kasper Andersen's car (Formula Sport) from the track at the Dunlop chicane.

When the session resumed, Carlo Van Dam (SG Formula) took second at the expense of his teammate Julien Jousse. The duel between Kobayashi and Van Dam went right down to the chequered flag: In the end, the Japanese driver took it by just 6/1000ths from the Dutchman.

Again, a long list of drivers were penalized for failing to observe the course route including Patrick Rocha, Kasper Andersen, Kamui Kobayashi, Westley Barber and Julien Jousse, whose session ended in the gravel trap!

Session 2

With the track drying out, the times were coming down lap by lap. The battle between Junior Strous (Mr. Glow Motorsport), Westley Barber (Comtec Racing), Kamui Kobayashi (Prema Power Team), Carlo Van Dam and Julien Jousse (SG Formula) continued to rage. As the last driver past the chequered flag, Junior Strous held onto the best time ahead of Van Dam, Barber, Kobayashi and Jousse.

For the second series the racing line had nearly completely dried out and the sun was even starting to shine again. The times continued to come down with every driver who crossed the line. At the chequered flag, it was Franck Mailleux who had the best provisional time, 3/1000ths ahead of his teammate Yvan Clairay. But it was Clairay who took his second pole ahead of Adrian Zaugg, who made up for yesterday's disappointment, then Franck Mailleux and Michael Ammermüller.

Yann Clairay: "I'm on good form since taking part in the Zandvoort Masters and private testing at Estoril. We found two or three little changes to make to the setup which have really made a difference. Here, we are trying to share data with the SG Formula drivers competing in the French Championship, especially Romain Grosjean. Now all I have to do is win both races!"

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Westley Barber , Junior Strous , Yann Clairay , Kasper Andersen , Patrick Rocha , Kamui Kobayashi , Xavier Maassen , Johan Charpilienne , Adrian Zaugg , Julien Jousse , Romain Grosjean , Franck Mailleux , Miguel Molina , Carlo Va , Dani Clos , Michael Ammermüller
Teams Jenzer Motorsport