Tom Kristensen took provisional pole-position from the sister Bentley with two stunning laps at the start of the second part of the first qualifying session. His first flying lap, which included being balked by a slower car, was nearly three...
Tom Kristensen took provisional pole-position from the sister Bentley with two stunning laps at the start of the second part of the first qualifying session. His first flying lap, which included being balked by a slower car, was nearly three seconds quicker than in the first session. His second lap was nearly a second faster still.
The team took full advantage of the empty track, low temperature and set-up work carried out in the first session to get in a couple of clear near-perfect laps. "On the second lap it was really really good, the grip was phenomenal, the car was amazing," confirmed Kristensen.
Other initial improvements were Jan Lammers whose first lap moved the Racing For Holland Dome S101-Judd up to third place, and Frank Biela in the Audi Sport UK R8 who improved to third and knocked Lammers down to fourth, which became fifth when Pirro put in a couple of fast flying laps too.
The teams used the rest of the session for doing scheduled running on high fuel loads with worn tyres in the dark conditions, to allow the drivers to practise running in race conditions and for drivers to complete the required amount of qualifying laps.
The session was halted after 75 minutes because the Team Bucknum Racing Pilbeam-JPX MP91 suffered a mechanical failure at Virage d'Indianapolis and covered the track in oil. The marshals took 20 minutes to clear the oil from the circuit after which the session was restarted.
In the LMP675 class the RN Motorsport DBA 4-Zytek O3S car driven by Shimoda, Nielsen and Elgaard improved by five seconds to increase the lead over the Intersport Racing Lola-RG to nearly ten seconds.
The GTS class leader was the Veloqx Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello driven by Jamie Davies, Peter Kox and Tomas Enge, two seconds ahead of the Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C5-R of Kelly Collins, Oliver Gavin and Andy Pilgrim.
The GT class provision leader was the Peterson Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-RS driven by Sascha Maassen, Lucas Luhr and Emmanuel Collard.
There were a few incidents during the session. The sixth-placed Audi, being driven by Marco Werner, made a brief visit to the gravel one hour into the session but was able to rejoin the circuit and continue without a problem.
Marc Goossens stopped the Riley & Scott Racing MkIIC-Ford on track at "S" Su Tertre Rouge with a few minutes to go. Andrew Bagnall lost control of his Seikel Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3-RS and spun into the gravel trap, Jon Field stopped his Intersport Racing Lola-MG at the exit of Virage D'Anarge with a probably electrical problem and Felipe Ortiz spun off his Racing For Holland Some S101-Judd near the start of the lap and rejoined.
Bentley cars provisionally occupy the front row with the Bentley of Kristensen/Capello/Smith on pole and the Brabham/Blundell/Herbert sister car in second place. The Audi Sport UK R8 driven by Biela/Salo/McCarty lines up third.
The Bentley team also took the second part of the session to admit that David Brabham had been behind the wheel during the fastest lap in the first session, not Mark Blundell as originally indicated.
The first part of the second qualifying session will take place at 7pm local time (+2 hours GMT) on Thursday 12 June.