Audi, BMW Pace Le Mans Wednesday Practice

June 8, 2011

Audi, BMW Pace Le Mans Wednesday Practice

June 8, 2011

Audi's No. 1 car set the fastest time of Wednesday practice right at the checkered flag. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

After four hours of running, the first practice session for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans is in the books. Peugeot led most of the time with its new 908 but toward the end of the session, Audi moved ahead with two of its new R18 TDIs.

In fact, right at the checkered flag, the No. 1 Audi of Mike Rockenfeller set the fastest overall time at 3:27.986. That eclipsed teammate Andre Lotterer in the No. 2 Audi, who had earlier set the mark of 3:28.296. Peugeot clocked in third and fourth, with the No. 3 Audi fifth ahead of two more Peugeots. Fastest in the petrol subcategory in LMP1 behind the seven diesels was the No. 16 Pescarolo Team Pescarolo Judd at 3:34.721, 6.735 seconds behind the leaders.

GTE Pro also witnessed a 1-2 from a German manufacturer – the boys from Bavaria as BMW Motorsport clocked in fastest with its two M3s. Augusto Farfus set the fastest time in the No. 55 entry ahead of Andy Priaulx in the No. 56. Corvette finished third and fifth in class, the No. 74 recovering from a power steering issue to finish fastest of the two American entrants.

Fellow ALMS competitors Flying Lizard Motorsports clocked in 10th and second in GTE Pro and GTE Am with its two Porsche 911s. The fastest of the six Ferrari F458 Italias was AF Corse’s No. 51, seventh quick in GTE Pro.

Level 5 Motorsports did not go out in the session following the fuel pump being replaced and hopes to make it to qualifying with the Lola HPD Coupe. The No. 76 IMSA Performance Porsche crashed in Porsche Curves, which brought the session to its only red-flag stoppage. Raymond Narac, team principal and driver, emerged unhurt from the incident though the car suffered significant damage.

Top 3 Times in Class

1. #1 Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R18 TDI, 3:27.986
2. #2 Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R18 TDI, 3:28.296
3. #9 Team Peugeot Total, Peugeot 908, 3:28.536

1. #42 Strakka Racing, HPD ARX-01d, 3:42.863
2. #48 Team Oreca Matmut, Oreca 03 Nissan, 3:43.295
3. #26 Signatech Nissan, Oreca 03 Nissan, 3:43.397

1. #55 BMW Motorsport, BMW M3, 3:59.028
2. #56 BMW Motorsport, BMW M3, 3:59.414
3. #74 Corvette Racing, Corvette C6.R ZR1, 4:00.467

1. #60 Gulf AMR Middle East, Aston Martin Vantage, 4:04.702
2. #81 Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:06.266
3. #57 Krohn Racing, Ferrari F430 GT, 4:06.328

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