Le Mans: Qualifying one report

Watch out for the French! Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing) took his second consecutive pole position, but he will have to watch out for the French drivers! The Swedish driver will be joined on the front row by Tristan Gommendy (Pons Racing). Tech...

Watch out for the French!

Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing) took his second consecutive pole position, but he will have to watch out for the French drivers! The Swedish driver will be joined on the front row by Tristan Gommendy (Pons Racing). Tech 1 Racing produced a great team performance with Patrick Pilet starting on row two.

Group A

With a few minutes gone, Marco Martinez (Eurointernational) crashed off the track, resulting in the session being yellow flagged and all lap times being neutralized.

Half-way through the session, the leaders upped the tempo: Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing), Pastor Maldonado (Draco Multiracing USA) and Andy Soucek (Interwetten.com) took it in turns to lay their claim to pole position. Robbie Kerr (KTR) and Miguel Molina (GD Racing) were the surprise guests in this contest.

Pastor Maldonado was forced to come in to the pits after puncturing his rear left tyre.

With five minutes to go, Alx Danielsson brought out his heavy artillery and improved his time to take provisional pole in a time of 1'25''559. While Maldonado was warming his tyres before one final attempt, Kerr and Molina relegated him to fourth position.

But then Molina span, which meant that the session came under "full yellow" again and that he will start from the back of the start grid for race 1. The green flags were waved again with 1'30'' of the session remaining.

As the session drew to a close, Milos Pavlovic (Draco Multiracing USA) and Christian Montanari (Prema Powerteam) grabbed second and third places. Relegated to the fifth and sixth rows behind Robbie Kerr, Maldonado and Soucek face an uphill struggle this afternoon if they are to finish high in the points!

Group B

As soon as the second group session started, Tristan Gommendy (Pons Racing) moved straight to the top. But Celso Miguez (Comtec Racing) was quick to respond.

Half-way through the session, the two Tech 1 Racing drivers caused a sensation: Ryo Fukuda and Patrick Pilet grabbed the second and third fastest times! Alvaro Parente (Victory Engineering) and Tristan Gommendy completed the top five at this stage. Gommendy then span, but he managed to get away again without impeding his rivals.

With five minutes to go, Tristan Gommendy snatched the second best time. The Frenchman kept up his momentum and went quicker than Miguez on his next lap: his time of 1'25''788 is still not as quick as that of Danielsson.

As the chequered flag brought the session to a close, Patrick Pilet grabbed second position, but missed out on a front row spot by a mere 2/1000ths! Ryo Fukuda completed the superb result of the Tech 1 Racing team by holding onto a place on row four.

Alx Danielsson: "I was in the more difficult group, with a lot of quick drivers. But it can also be a psychological advantage when you manage to come out on top. I'm very pleased to get the extra point for pole position. I now need to pick up a lot more!"

Tristan Gommendy: "I didn't expect to feel so at home. We made some major changes to the setup on the rear suspension during the session and it worked out very well. I think we can still improve a lot of things."

-credit: renault

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Ryo Fukuda , Robbie Kerr , Christian Montanari , Tristan Gommendy , Alvaro Parente , Pastor Maldonado , Celso Miguez , Patrick Pilet , Milos Pavlovic , Andy Soucek , Miguel Molina