LMP – Davidson Avenges Accident, Takes Petit Pole

October 1, 2010

LMP – Davidson Avenges Accident, Takes Petit Pole

October 1, 2010

Anthony Davidson is congratulated on pole position for Peugeot at Petit Le Mans. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

Anthony Davidson redeemed himself in Friday’s qualifying for the final round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series season, Petit Le Mans. The Englishman, driving the No. 07 Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, was entrusted with qualifying the turbo diesel rocketship that is one of the two fastest cars at the track this weekend.

No small responsibility after his accident at the end of Thursday night’s practice session which sent the Peugeot mechanics to work overnight.

“This is so nice after what happened yesterday, crashing hard last night,” Davidson said. “I still relied too much on vision and not on the rhythm of the track. I sped across the track into the barriers, it was about five lateral G’s. The boys were up until 4 a.m., so my thanks to them.”

The No. 07 Peugeot was rebuilt following an accident on Thursday. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

Davidson’s rebuilt 908 lapped the Road Atlanta circuit in 1:07.187, the first of three cars in that second. The second Peugeot, driven by Pedro Lamy, was next up at 1:07.409 with Benoit Treluyer in the first of the Audis, the No. 9 R15 Plus TDI, at 1:07.610.

Peugeot wasn’t the only one with rebuilding to do. Audi had to rebuild its tub on the No. 7 car after an off by Rinaldo “Dindo” Capello in the morning practice.

Capello’s nose dug in and teammate Tom Kristensen said this afternoon that an ordinarily small incident turned much larger because it destroyed the nose and underside of the car. That said, Audi got the No. 7 back out for qualifying with Capello posting a 1:08.112 lap to start fourth.

In a race that lasts 1,000 miles or 10 hours, whichever comes first, starting position is not necessarily as important as in a regular two hour, 45-minute ALMS race.

There are two other prototype classes in the race as opposed to the usual one extra. Michelin technical partner teams Peugeot and Audi should contend for the overall win but the P2 and LMPC class wins are still largely up for grabs.

Pole in P2 went to Guy Smith in the Dyson Lola Mazda – fitting as the race’s presenting sponsor is the Mazda 2 – ahead of the Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder and Highcroft HPD ARX 01-c. The latter two still have a shot at the combined LMP championships, Dyson does not.

In LMPC, the one-make class of Oreca FLM09 prototypes on non-proprietary Michelin tires, Luis Diaz recorded his third straight pole for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports. Diaz, driving with Ricardo Gonzalez and Ryan Lewis this weekend, look to turn that qualifying effort into the team’s first win of the season. They have four podium finishes, three runners-up. The championship battle is between Green Earth Team Gunnar and Level 5 Motorsports in the class.

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