Audi Sport UK first qualifying report

Audi Sport UK content with third fastest time Triple Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Frank Biela earned Audi Sport UK a provisional second row start position for the Le Mans 24 Hours. Biela, who has triumphed for the past three years with the...

Audi Sport UK content with third fastest time

Triple Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Frank Biela earned Audi Sport UK a provisional second row start position for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Biela, who has triumphed for the past three years with the "factory" Audi team, clocked a 3min 37.076secs (142.97mph) in his British-prepared, "privateer" Audi R8 "open-top" sportscar.

Ex-Formula One driver Mika Salo, who is making his Le Mans debut, and experienced single-seater and sportscar driver Perry McCarthy, are sharing the driving duties in the Audi UK-owned R8.

After setting the 8th (3:42.398) quickest time in the opening two hour time trial, Biela made full use of "soft" qualifying tyres as night time began to fall - as well as the ambient temperature -- shortly after 10pm to register a second row grid time.

Frank Biela (38), from Germany: "The car felt much better in the second session. We can improve some small things but I am generally happy. My qualifying lap was not perfect but let's see what happens tomorrow."

Perry McCarthy (41), from Britain: "Frankie did a fantastic job for the team but it wasn't a particularly good night for me personally. I wasn't comfortable in the car, which obviously affected my driving and I couldn't get in to a rhythm. The team will alter my seat and that should make me much happier!"

Mika Salo (36), from Finland: "It was my first time driving the car in the dark. It also took a while for me to remember the circuit and find braking points again as my only previous experience of Le Mans was last month's test."

Mike Earle, Audi Sport UK Team Director: "We've achieved what we'd hoped for - to be the fastest Audi. Tomorrow we must give Perry more time in the car and Mika too. But we also need to be ready to protect our grid position."

David Ingram, Audi UK Motorsport Manager: "It's a great boost for our drivers and team to be the quickest Audi. We're in a good position to go in to tomorrow's time trials."

-audiuk-

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers Frank Biela , Mika Salo , Perry McCarthy