Team Bentley first qualifying report

Team Bentley claims provisional pole at Le Mans 2003 Le Mans, 11 June 2003 ... Team Bentley's two Speed 8 prototypes set the fastest times at today's first qualifying for the 2003 Le Mans 24-hours. The number 7 car claimed provisional pole time...

Team Bentley claims provisional pole at Le Mans 2003

Le Mans, 11 June 2003 ... Team Bentley's two Speed 8 prototypes set the fastest times at today's first qualifying for the 2003 Le Mans 24-hours. The number 7 car claimed provisional pole time with a time 4.2sec faster than any other car save its sister Bentley.

The number 7 Bentley, driven by Tom Kristensen, completed a lap in just 3min 32.8 sec, some 2.2sec quicker than Bentley's quickest time last year, despite the Speed 8 having to use a considerably smaller engine restrictor. The number 8 car set a time of 3min 35.2sec in the hands of David Brabham.

"It was a good lap," said Tom, "not perfect, but I can't complain. I wasn't really held up by the traffic, which makes a change round here, and we timed it right in terms of track temperature and visibility. Most of all, the car felt really good and fast. If we continue to improve the set up between now and the race, we should be in good shape."

David commented, "It was all going very well until a car moved over on me going through the kink before Mulsanne. At that speed it was quite an interesting moment and it blew any chance of getting a decent lap. What's more important is we're both currently on the front row which is as much as we could hope for."

Derek Bell, five times winner of Le Mans and Bentley Motors consultant said, "I'm reassured by the margin between the Bentleys and the rest. What's important now is that all the drivers get a decent amount of time at the wheel to prepare themselves and their cars for the weekend ahead."

-bentley-

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers David Brabham , Tom Kristensen , Derek Bell