Audi demonstrated why they are considered favorite for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours by dominating today's pre-event test day at the France circuit. Scottish star Alan McNish set the pace while teamed with fellow 1998 race winners Daniel Ortelli...
Audi demonstrated why they are considered favorite for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours by dominating today's pre-event test day at the France circuit.
Scottish star Alan McNish set the pace while teamed with fellow 1998 race winners Daniel Ortelli and Laurent Aiello.
McNish stopped the clocks at 3 minutes, 36.62 seconds around the 8.45 mile circuit before crashing at the end of the second 120 minute session.
"I was just coming into the Porsche Curves and the back lost grip," said the 1998 race winner.
"I tried to rescue it but it wasn't enough. It wasn't a fast accident but I hit the tyres. It looked worse than it was. When I hit the tyres all the water was lifted out of them and went all over me. But that's the least of my worries."
The Rafanelli Lola of Domenic Schiattarella and Didier de Radigues headed the Audi chase in fourth place while the Panoz squad battled handling problems.
Australia's David Brabham was eighth fastest in the car he will share with Jan Magnussen and motorsport legend, Mario Andretti.
"We are beginning to get some balance but it still needs some work," Andretti said.
"We ended up with a better car than this morning because we think we know where the problem is. We will be working hard between now and the race on the aero package until we are all happy with the balance."
The Le Mans 24 Hour will be held on the weekend of June 17 to 18. Winners of all three classes in Adelaide's Race of a Thousand Years in December will gain direct entry into next year's French classic.
Pos - Car - Drivers - Session 1 - Session 2
1 - Audi R8 - McNish/Aiello/Ortelli - 3m40.02s - 3m36.62s
2 - Audi R8 - Biela/Pirro - 3m37.35s - 3m37.21s
3 - Audi R8 - Alboreto/Abt/Capello - 3m38.46s - 3m37.69s
4 - Lola B2K/10 - Schiattarella/de Radigues - 3m43.19s - 3m38.80s
5 - Courage C60 - Gache/Formato - 3m45.73s - 3m39.80s
6 - Reynard 2KQ - Matthews/Johansson/Smith - 3m44.41s - 3m40.31s
7 - Panoz LMP - Kageyama/Kageyama - 3m46.53s - 3m40.54s
8 - Panoz LMP - Brabham/Magnussen/Andretti - 3m47.61s - 3m41.56s
9 - Lola B2K/10 - Coronel/Lammers - 3m46.10s - 3m41.89s
10 - Panoz LMP - Katoh/O¹Connell/Raphanel - 3m47.18s - 3m42.07s
- Paul Ryan