Aston Martin Racing claims GT1 class pole in Le Mans qualifying

Aston Martin has qualified first and second in class at Le Mans in a scintillating return to the world-famous 24-hour race, which starts at 4pm tomorrow.

The Aston Martin Racing DBR9 driven by Tomas Enge, Peter Kox and Pedro Lamy recorded a time of 3min 48.5sec in the final minutes of the four hours of qualifying, while its stablemate driven by David Brabham, Stephane Sarrazin and Darren Turner was just one second behind.

They eclipsed not only all their GT1 class opposition, but also all but a handful of entrants in the more powerful LM2 class.

It was a dramatic return to the French circuit 46 years after the company's historic victory, and one which delighted Aston Martin and Prodrive, partners in the Aston Martin Racing team.

Tomas Enge, who recorded the fastest time to claim class pole in car  number
58, said: "This is a great  car  which  is  easy  to  drive  with  excellent
handling.  We have shown we are fast and are  now  looking  forward  to  the
race.  The support here is fantastic and I am very pleased for the team."

Team Director David Richards said: "Naturally we are pleased with such a good qualifying performance, but we are of course conscious that there are many surprises in a 24-hour race and we are in for an interesting weekend.

"What is also pleasing is the consistency of all six drivers, who qualified within seconds of each other."