Montagny Masters Le Mans Wednesday Practice

June 9, 2010

Montagny Masters Le Mans Wednesday Practice

June 9, 2010

Franck Montagny, No. 2 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

Wednesday afternoon into evening marked the first time the 56 cars in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans took to the Circuit de la Sarthe. The four-hour practice session times are not counted into qualifying times. Tonight’s qualifying session at 4 p.m. ET (10:00 p.m. local time in France) should be intense as there is a strong chance of rain for tomorrow’s sessions.

Prototypes that run on diesel power swept the top seven positions and in the LMP1 class. Peugeot scored positions 1-4 in the four-year-old 908 HDi FAP, while Audi was 5-7 with the highly revised R15 Plus TDI.

As evidence of the development of both the Peugeot 908 and MICHELIN® tires, Franck Montagny set a blistering fast time of 3:20.034 around the 8.4-mile circuit. Montagny, in the all-French driver lineup No.2 Peugeot, set the time toward the end of his third stint. The time is more than two full seconds quicker than the pole sitting lap ran by his co-driver Stephane Sarrazin last year.

“The car is super fast,” Montagny told Radio Le Mans’ radio coverage. “It is just so good to drive this car and the new tarmac through Porsche Curves is also very fast.”

In the P1 subcategory of cars that run on gasoline, the two Aston Martin Racing Lola Aston Martins were quickest but only eighth and ninth overall. ALMS regulars Drayson Racing were 17th with their Lola Judd Coupe and drivers Paul Drayson, Jonny Cocker and Emanuele Pirro.

Highcroft Racing paced the LMP2 category in the HPD ARX 01-c, with David Brabham setting the quickest time in class at a 3:38.691, 18th overall. Brabham co-drives with Marino Franchitti and Marco Werner.

Corvette Racing’s first session at Le Mans in the GT2 category ended on top, the No. 64 C6 ZR1 with a time of 4:00.888. The No. 77 Porsche was second with the No. 63 Corvette third in class. Other ALMS teams Risi Competizione finished fourth and 16th in class with their No. 82 and No. 83 Ferrari F430 GTs, and the Flying Lizard Porsche was 13th in class.

Top 3 Times in Class

1. #2 Team Peugeot Total, Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, 3:20.034
2. #3 Peugeot Sport Total, Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, 3:21.266
3. #4 Team Oreca Matmut, Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, 3:21.514

1. #26 Highcroft Racing, HPD ARX 01-c, 3:38.691
2. #42 Strakka Racing, HPD ARX 01-c, 3:38.825
3. #25 RML, Lola HPD Coupe, 3:40.119

1. #52 Young Driver AMR, Aston Martin DBR9, 3:56.839
2. #72 Luc Alphand Adventures, Corvette C6.R, 3:59.752
3. #70 Marc VDS Racing, Ford GT, 4:01.665

1. #64 Corvette Racing, Corvette C6 ZR1, 4:00.888
2. #77 Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:02.101
3. #63 Corvette Racing, Corvette C6 ZR1, 4:02.187

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