15th JUNE 2000 QUALIFYING - LE MANS 24 HOUR - JUNE 17-18 Audi has pulled out a dominating performance to take the first three spots on the grid for this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hour. 1998 winners Alan McNish, Laurent Aiello and Stephane Ortelli...
15th JUNE 2000 QUALIFYING - LE MANS 24 HOUR - JUNE 17-18
Audi has pulled out a dominating performance to take the first three spots on the grid for this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hour.
1998 winners Alan McNish, Laurent Aiello and Stephane Ortelli will start from pole position ahead of Sebring winners Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro.
Australian star David Brabham will start from fourth position in the Panoz LMP-1 Roadster.
Ortelli was delighted with the performance of the Audi machine.
"We are getting better from lap to lap because experience is growing and we are getting more used to the track," Ortelli said.
"The car is very easy to drive. I guess the Audi R8 is the best car I've ever driven at Le Mans so far."
Brabham and the Panoz team sat on their Wednesday qualifying time, concentrating on race set-ups during the final qualifying.
"In qualifying we have certainly outrun the rest of the pack - now we just have to nip at the heels of the Audis and be ready to pounce if they drop the ball," Brabham said.
"Our aim was to find a good race set-up in the final qualifying session. There was not a lot of point throwing it off the road trying to find another second.
"The car is good on full tanks and I am really looking forward to the race."
Brabham will team up with Jan Magnussen and U.S. motorsport legend Mario Andretti in the Panoz in trying to become the first American marque to win the Le Mans 24 Hour since 1967 and to take the first victory for a front engined car since 1962.
The privateer Lola of Mimmo Schiatarella/Didier de Radigues and Emanuele Naspetti will start from position five ahead of the local Le Mans Courage team of Phillipe Gache, Gary Formato and Didier Cottaz.
The GTS class pole position went the dominant Dodge Viper squad of Olivier Beretta/Karl Wendlinger and Dominque Dupuy - just ahead of the chasing Chevrolet Corvette pack.
Former outright Le Mans winner Christian Bouchut took the GT pole aboard a Porsche GT3-R.
The Le Mans 24 Hour kicks off at 11.30pm Saturday Night, Adelaide time - 12.00midnight Eastern standard time. <pre> QUALIFYING - PROTOTYPE DIVISION 1 - Aiello/McNish/Ortelli Audi 3:36.124 2 - Biela/Kristensen/Pirro Audi 3:36.650 3 - Alboreto/Abt/Capello Audi 3:37.086 4 - Brabham/Magnussen/Andretti Panoz 3:39.156 5 - Schiattarella/de Radigues/Naspetti Lola 3:39.651 GTS 1 - Beretta/Wendlinger/Dupuy Dodge Viper 3:56.327 GT 1 -Bouchut/Chereay/Goueslard Porsche GT3-R 4:09.712
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