Audi eighth and ninth on the grid in chaos o Lottery in qualifying at Lime Rock o Modified track causes problems o Fastest lap of Lucas Luhr disallowed Ingolstadt/Lime Rock -- Following a chaotic practice day at Lime...
Audi eighth and ninth on the grid in chaos
o Lottery in qualifying at Lime Rock
o Modified track causes problems
o Fastest lap of Lucas Luhr disallowed
Ingolstadt/Lime Rock -- Following a chaotic practice day at Lime Rock (US state of Connecticut), Team Audi Sport North America must be satisfied with starting positions eight and nine for the fifth round of the American Le Mans Series.
The shortest track on the schedule of the US sportscar series (1.5 miles/2.414 kilometres) had been modified compared to last year. The two new chicanes caused numerous red flags during the two free practice sessions making a proper set-up work almost impossible. Qualifying turned into a lottery when boundary elements on the kerbs disintegrated and allowed the racing line further and further off the track in the chicanes.
As a consequence, various lap-times were disallowed which affected also the Audi Team. Lucas Luhr was hit especially hard after setting the third fastest time in 47.104 seconds just before the end of qualifying. His lap, however, was later disallowed and Luhr relegated to ninth position on the grid behind the "sister" car driven by Emanuele Pirro.
The track owners will try to modify the track overnight in order to allow a regular race on Saturday. The start is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. local time (8:05 p.m. in Germany).
Quotes after the qualifying at Lime Rock
Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #1): "It's nice to be back in the American Le Mans Series. We improved the car a lot from the first to the second session. Unfortunately I did very few laps with all this red flags we had. I hope I can do some more laps in tomorrow's warm-up to be ready for the race."
Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1): "The race can be a big mess because of the track conditions. It reminds me of a Supermoto race: One part of the track is tarmac, the other is gravel. Personally I'm satisfied. The car is very good for these conditions. Our lap time was close to the first. Normally in such a track we are always suffering in qualifying. When we put full fuel we are better. The position on the grid is not so good, but the general situation is promising."
Lucas Luhr (Audi R10 TDI #2): "I'm happy with our team and our performance. We showed that the Audi R10 TDI, which was built for Le Mans, is also strong on such a track. In my point of view, however, this is no real race track right now. And I'm very upset about the punishment. I would like to see the TV pictures. If I was really the only one to drive through the chicane like this, then the punishment is okay. But I don't believe this was the case."
Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2): "The problem on this track is the new chicanes and the kerbs. It's all about cutting: If they don't see you doing this you are in front. This is not the competition we like to have. This is lottery. We knew that this would not really be our track. But we could have had a much better starting position."
Dave Maraj (Team Director Audi Sport North America): "It was a little bit confusing because of those chicane-cuttings. But we are much closer to the LM P2 cars than we thought we would be. The simulations said a second, but now the gap is just 0.3 seconds. There are ten cars within a second. So it will be a very tough and exciting race."