2012 24 Hours of Le Mans – The Grid Is Set With Audi On Top

Photos: Zerin Dube/Speed:Sport:Life

The grid is set for the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Audi is once again on pole position with their R18 e-tron quattro.  Audi claimed spots 1-2-4-6 with Lotterer leading the way with a lap time of 3:23.787 in the #1 R18 e-tron quattro which is nearly two seconds faster than last year’s pole time set by Benoît Tréluyer in an R18 TDI.  This marks the first time a hybrid car has been on pole at Le Mans.

While the Audi Hybrid took the pole, the also new #3 Audi R18 Ultra claimed the 2nd spot, putting two different types of Audi technology on the front row.  Anthony Davidson put up a strong fight in the #8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid with a laptime of 3:24.842, good enough for 3rd place on the grid.  The fastest petrol powered LMP1 car was the #21 Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03a Honda which managed a lap time of 3:29.622  with Danny Watts behind the wheel.  The #21 car will start 7th on the grid.

The Pescarolo team suffered some difficulty during the final qualifying session after an incident in the #16 Pescarolo 03 Judd during the early Thursday qualifying session.  The team worked to complete repairs and get the car out on track for the night qualifying session.  The #17 Pescarolo Dome Judd was quick during the final night qualifying session until Seiji Ara had an off at the Porsche Curves.  Ara walked away from the incident but the car suffered heavy frontal damage.  The #17 Pescarolo will start 10th on the grid.

In the very competitive LMP2 class, John Martin and the #25 ADR Delta team claimed pole with a lap time of 3:38.181, good for 14th spot overall.  The #24 Oak Racing Morgan Judd qualified 2nd in LMP2, shoehorning itself between several Oreca Nissan powered LMP2 entries.  The #26 Signatech Nissan and the #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing round out the top 4 in LMP2.  The non-classified Highcroft Racing DeltaWing Nissan finished just ahead of the bottom of the LMP2 with a lap time of 3:42.612, good for the 29th starting position.

Luxury Racing claimed the top spot in the manufacturer backed GTE Pro class with the #59 Ferrari 458 Italia of Frederic Makowiecki with a fast lap of 3:55.393, 0.477 seconds faster than the 2nd place #97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8.  Third place in GTE Pro went to the #74 Corvette Racing team with a time of 3:55.910 set by Oliver Gavin.  Makowiecki will start 34th on grid in the Luxury Racing Ferrari.  The AF Corse team got the #51 Ferrari out on track during the final hour of qualifying after having completely rebuilt the car due to a crash involving Giancarlo Fisichella.  Due to ACO rules, the #51 car will have to start at the rear of the grid because the chassis was changed before qualifying sessions.

The Flying Lizards sit atop the GTE Am class with the #79 911 RSR with a lap time of 3:57.594 set by Patrick Pilet.  The #41 911 RSR of Prospeed Competition and #43 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 round out the top 3 in GTE Am.

The 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans starts at 3:00pm central European time.  Viewers in the U.S. can watch the 24 Hours of Le Mans flag to flag on SPEED and SPEED2 starting at 8:30am EDT.

A full list of the qualifying results is below the photo gallery.

1. Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-Tron Quattro3mins 23.787secs LMP1 *
2. Bernhard/Dumas/Duval Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 Ultra 3mins 24.078secs LMP1
3. Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 HYBRID 3mins 24.842secs LMP1
4. McNish/Capello/Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-Tron Quattro 3mins 25.433secs LMP1 *
5. Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 HYBRID 3mins 25.488secs LMP1 *
6. Jarvis/Bonanomi/Rockenfeller Audi Sport North America Audi R18 Ultra3mins 26.420secs LMP1
7. Leventis/Watts/Kane Strakka Racing HPD ARX03a-Honda 3mins 29.622secsLMP1 *
8. Prost/Jani/Heidfeld Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60-Toyota 3mins 29.837secsLMP1 *
9. Belicchi/Primat/Bleekemolen Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60-Toyota 3mins 31.866secs LMP1 *
10. Minassian/Ara/Bourdais Pescarolo Team Dome-Judd 3mins 33.066secsLMP1
11. Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck JRM HPD ARX03a-Honda 3mins 35.421secs LMP1 *
12. Montagny/Baguette/Kraihamer OAK Racing OAK Pescarolo-Judd 3mins 35.584secs LMP1 *
13. Collard/Boullion/Hall Pescarolo Team Pescarolo 03-Judd 3mins 37.485secs LMP1 *
14. Martin/Charouz/Graves ADR-Delta Oreca 03-Nissan 3mins 38.181secsLMP2 *
15. Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla OAK Racing Morgan-Judd 3mins 38.598secs LMP2 *
16. Ragues/Panciatici/Rusinov Signatech Nissan Oreca 03-Nissan 3mins 39.152secs LMP2
17. Thiriet/Beche/Tinseau Thiriest by TDS Racing Oreca 03-Nissan 3mins 39.252secs LMP2
18. Perez-Companc/Kaffer/Ayari Pecom Racing Oreca 03-Nissan 3mins 39.711secs LMP2 *
19. Firth/Hartley/Hughes Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03-Nissan 3mins 39.877secs LMP2
20. Heinemeier Hansson/Leinders/Martin OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan 3mins 39.899secs LMP2
21. Sims/Buurman/Iannetta Status Grand Prix Lola-Judd 3mins 40.280secsLMP2
22. Potolicchio/Dalziel/Kimber-Smith Starworks Motorsport HPD ARX03b-Honda 3mins 40.471secs LMP2 *
23. Briere/Petersen/Nakano Boutsen Ginion Racing Oreca 03-Nissan 3mins 40.727secs LMP2
24. Brundle/Brundle/Ordonez Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN-Nissan 3mins 40.738secs LMP2
25. Hancock/Dolan/Kurosawa JOTA Zytek Z11SN-Nissan 3mins 41.287secsLMP2
26. Tresson/Maillieux/Lombard Signatech Nissan Oreca 03-Nissan 3mins 41.982secs LMP2 *
27. Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX03b-Honda 3mins 42.224secs LMP2
28. Zugel/Julian/Gonzalez Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN-Nissan 3mins 42.292secs LMP2 *
29. Franchitti/Krumm/Motoyama Highcroft Racing DeltaWing Nissan 3mins 42.612secs New Tech
30. Frey/Meichtry/Hirschi Race Performance Oreca 03-Judd 3mins 43.619secsLMP2
31. Holzer/Schultis/Moro Lotus Lola B12/80-Lotus 3mins 45.664secs LMP2 *
32. Giriox/Badey/Johansson Gulf Racing Middle East Lola B12/80-Nissan3mins 47.224secs LMP2 *
33. Rosier/Thirion/Haezebrouck Extreme Limite ARIC Norma MP200-Judd3mins 48.025secs LMP2
34. Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher Luxury Racing Ferrari 458 Italia 3mins 55.393secs GTE-Pro *
35. Mucke/Turner/Fernandez Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V83mins 55.870secs GTE-Pro *
36. Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6 3mins 55.910secs GTE-Pro
37. Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia 3mins 56.484secs GTE-Pro *
38. Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6 3mins 57.181secs GTE-Pro
39. Neiman/Pilet/Pumpelly Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 997 RSR 3mins 57.594secs GTE-Am
40. Lietz/Lieb/Henzler Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 997 RSR 3mins 57.606secsGTE-Pro *
41. Alfaisal/Curtis/Edwards Prospeed Competition Porsche 997 RSR 3mins 58.035secs GTE-Am
42. Bergmeister/Long/Holzer Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 997 RSR3mins 58.717secs GTE-Pro
43. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 3mins 58.725secs GTE-Am
44. Ehret/Montecalvo/Jeannette Luxury Racing Ferrari 458 Italia 3mins 58.800secs GTE-Am *
45. Ihara/Deletraz/Rostan Gulf Racing Middle East Lola B12/80-Nissan 3mins 58.895secs LMP2 *
46. Ried/Roda/Ruberti Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 997 RSR 3mins 59.181secsGTE-Am *
47. Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C6 3mins 59.192secs GTE-Am *
48. Cocker/Walker/Wills JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia 3mins 59.638secsGTE-Pro
49. Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia 4mins 00.025secsGTE-Pro *
50. Perazzini/Griffin/Cadei AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia 4mins 00.288secs GTE-Am
51. Pons/Narac/Armindo IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 997 RSR 4mins 00.332secs GTE-Am
52. Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers AF Corse-Waltrip Ferrari 458 Italia 4mins 00.691secs GTE-Am *
53. Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo Krohn Racing Ferrari 458 Italia 4mins 02.323secsGTE-Am *
54. Rodrigues/Illiano/Ferte JMB Racing Ferrari 458 Italia 4mins 02.461secsGTE-Am
55. Bourret/Gibon/Belloc Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C6 4mins 02.969secs GTE-Am *
56. Daniels/Palttala/Camathias JWA Avila Porsche 997 RSR 4mins 03.661secsGTE-Am *

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