Audi prevailed in qualifying for round 2 of the FIA World Endurance Championship
Ingolstadt/Spa, May 3, 2013: At Spa, the three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars secured the three front grid positions and thus have good prerequisites for the race that starts at 14:30 on Saturday.
In qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, Audi managed the maximum last years World Champion is at the front of the grid with all three hybrid sports cars. Marcel Fässler (CH) and André Lotterer (D) on their four best laps achieved an average of 1m 59.961s. In the number 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro they are competing together with Benoît Tréluyer (F) and were the only driver squad to break the two-minute mark.
An impressive performance was achieved by Lucas di Grassi (BR) and Marc Gené (E). With Oliver Jarvis (GB) they share the number 3 hybrid sports car which has been aerodynamically optimized for the upcoming run at Le Mans. But even on the track in the Ardennes that is less suitable for this body version, they qualified for the front row by posting a time of 2m 00.236, missing the best time by only 0.274s. On his first lap, Lucas di Grassi even set the fastest time of the day at 1m 58.934s.
Third place is shared by the three leaders of the standings. Tom Kristensen (DK) and Allan McNish (GB) on average posted a lap time of 2m 00.610s. They are contesting the race together with Loïc Duval (F). As Audis best immediate rival, the number 7 Toyota in position four missed the best time by 0.986s.
Quotes after qualifying
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): Its nice to have three cars at the front. Its also good to see that car number 3, that is running with the Le Mans specification, is doing well on the track at Spa. Toyota was not as strong as wed expected in qualifying but that means nothing with respect to the race because the times are close together. This is good motivation for the squad thats been working hard. Were going to try and clinch a good result on Saturday as well.
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): After our drivers completed their first lap, qualifying was interrupted by the red flag. Thats why weve now got a few more laps on our tires than planned. Lucas di Grassi managed a particularly strong lap. Weve got three cars at the front. Thats a good starting base.
Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): My laps worked out pretty well. On average, we were the quickest trio. A big thank you to Audi Sport Team Joest for making such a strong effort to support us by working long hours. The fastest time is our way of reciprocating for their superb work, and a good starting base for Saturday.
André Lotterer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): A fantastic result! Qualifying alongside Marcel Fässler was great fun. He was brilliant, I made an effort, the car was superb. Benoît Tréluyer is in good shape as well. Im hoping for things to continue this way for Audi.
Benoît Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): That was a good qualifying session and the whole squad did a thorough job the engineers, the mechanics and us drivers. Our Audi R18 e-tron quattro was well balanced in all practice sessions. With two free practice sessions plus qualifying on a single day we had to carefully organize our work. The result is nice for all of us.
Marc Gené (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #3): The front row of the grid is a good result. But on reflection, we could have achieved the best time as well. I was running on old tires all day and didnt know what to expect on new tires. Thats why my first lap was relatively slow. I should have driven a third lap but we chose not to. That was my mistake. But Lucas di Grassi delivered a perfect performance today.
Lucas di Grassi (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #3): Congratulations to Audi on taking positions one to three. For us, the front row is a good result. The three of us worked a lot in free practice. Thats why Ive got a good feeling before this 6-hour race.
Loïc Duval (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): Our qualifying wasnt easy because we were running in traffic. But weve got to basically improve our pace a bit more as well because were lacking a few tenths. But in a 6-hour race anythings possible. Over the long run, we were very consistent in the practice sessions today. Weve still got to fine-tune the set-up a bit more.
Tom Kristensen (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): On my first fast lap, I unfortunately hit some traffic. Then there was a red flag. Afterwards, I was only able to improve by two tenths of a second. Unfortunately, Allan McNish didnt catch a free lap either. Now Im looking forward to a long race. Weve got a good team and a strong car.
Allan McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): The day remained dry although wed been expecting some rain in qualifying. We knew that traffic would be playing a role. In fact, I had to overtake other cars on every timed lap. But thats the way the conditions are when a total of four laps have to be driven and the average is subsequently determined. Now were concentrating on finding the best balance for Saturday. The track is rough on the tires with its many fast, long turns. In any event, positions one, two and three for Audi are a good beginning.