Audi Sport UK final qualifying report

British team's Audi looking well prepared at Le Mans The Audi Sport UK R8 of Frank Biela, Mika Salo and Perry McCarthy starts the 71st Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday (1600 local) from the second row of the capacity 50-car grid. Biela had set...

British team's Audi looking well prepared at Le Mans

The Audi Sport UK R8 of Frank Biela, Mika Salo and Perry McCarthy starts the 71st Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday (1600 local) from the second row of the capacity 50-car grid.

Biela had set the third fastest time (3mins 37.076secs) on Wednesday evening and although the British Audi was bumped down to sixth place during Thursday evening, Frank then produced a stunning time of 3:35.745 - in total darkness shortly before 11pm - to retrieve third spot and the honour of highest-placed "privateer" Audi.

Triple Le Mans winner Biela shares the Audi UK-owned 2002-specification R8 with ex-Formula One driver Salo and experienced single-seater and sportscar pilot McCarthy.

Frank Biela (38), from Germany: "I'm very happy for the team and Audi UK - especially considering what happened at the pre-test when I spun off on oil and damaged the car - that upset me. I had a good run on my last set of qualifiers but third place on the grid does not mean a great deal - obviously it's the race that matters but we've shown well in each qualifying session."

Perry McCarthy (41), from Britain: "It was more enjoyable for me tonight. I felt more comfortable in the car so got my head down, relaxed and enjoyed myself out there in the dark and I was pleased with my times."

Mika Salo (36), from Finland: "I did not get many laps in tonight which was a shame and was also always on full-tanks. But Frank has shown that the car works well and is fast. I think that the race will be definitely different to qualifying and we'll be much closer to the Bentleys."

Mike Earle , Audi Sport UK Team Director: "Had a brake problem in the first part of the session this evening and then Frank came up trumps on our last set of qualifiers to grab back third on the grid for us which, being the best-placed Audi, obviously makes me very happy."

David Ingram , Audi UK Motorsport Manager: "Frank tonight proved he's one of the best sportscar drivers in the world. To be competitive at Le Mans you need a good car, good drivers and a good team -- and we got a result tonight."

-audiuk-

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