The grid has been set for tomorrow’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with two Audi R18 TDIs occupying the front row. The #2 Audi R18 TDI (Tréluyer / Lotterer / Fassler) sits on pole position with a time of 3:25.738 set by Benoit Tréluyer in the last minutes of the final qualifying session. Next to them in P2 is the #1 Audi R18 TDI (Bernhard / Dumas / Rockenfeller) with a time of 3:25.799.
The Peugeot Sport 908s had a strong showing as well and sit just behind the leading Audis with the #9 Team Peugeot Total 908 ( Bourdais / Pagenaud / Lamy) in P3 with a 3:26.010 and the #8 Peugeot Sport Total 908 ( Sarrazin / Montagny/ Minassian ) in P4 with a 3:26.156. The #3 Audi R18 TDI (Kristensen / Capello / McNish) and #7 Peugeot 908 (Davidson / Gene / Wurz) round out the 3rd row. Only a mere .534 second separate the P1 and the P6 qualifying times.
The #26 Signatech Oreca-Nissan (Mailleux / Ayari / Ordonez) put their car on the LMP2 pole with a time of 3:41.458, ahead of the #42 Strakka Racing Honda Performance Development car (Leventis / Watts / Kane) by more than a second and the #48 Team Oreca Matmut Nissan (Premat / Hallyday / Kraihamer) rounding out the top 3.
In GTEPro, the #55 BMW Motorsport M3 GT ( Farfus / Muller / Werner) dominated all three qualifying sessions and sits on the pole with a time of 3.57.592 ahead of the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia (Fisichella / Bruni / Vilander) which was .448 seconds behind. In the GTEAm class, The #61 AF Corse SRL Ferrari F430 (Perazzini / Cioci / Breslin) sits ahead of the #63 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR (Felbermayr Jr. / Felbermayr Sr./ Ried) and the #81 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 RSR (Law/Neiman/Pumpelly).
With a full field of 56 cars, the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans looks to be one of the best races we’ve seen in years with the feverish battle between the Audi and Peugeots in LMP1 and the paint swapping going on between the BMWs and Ferraris in GTEPro.
24 Hours of Le Mans Coverage
We will be doing real-time flag to flag coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Twitter under our new live motorsports coverage account, @SpeedSportLive . If you follow our normal @SpeedSportLife account, we will be doing updates every 1/2 hour. We will also be adding a CoverItLive widget on the front page tomorrow that will follow the hashtags #lm24 and #lemans so you don’t have to miss any of the action from the various social feeds covering the race.
In our opinion the best place to listen to the broadcast of the race is RadioLemans which offers a live stream worldwide, flag to flag. These guys are the best motorsport commentators out there and do an incredible job covering the race year after year. Live timing of the race can be found on the Lemans.org website at http://www.lemans.org/en/races/24h-du-mans/live-2011/live-timing.html
For those of you who are in the U.S., the race will be aired on SPEED. While SPEED is doing flag to flag coverage, they will be alternating between a live TV broadcast and streaming video on their website for the hours they go off-air on TV. Their schedule is as follows:
STREAMING: Click Here To Watch (SPEED.com: Saturday 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ET; 8-11 p.m. ET)
TELEVISION: SPEED: Saturday 8:30-11:30 a.m. ET; 3:30-8 p.m. ET; 11 p.m.-9:30 a.m. ET (Saturday p.m. through Sunday a.m.).
AudiSport also has announced that they will be delivering a full live stream of the entire 24 Hours of Le Mans via the internet, complete with in-car telemetry. The Audi Live Racing site will also offer a summary of the race every two hours, as well as commentary by former Audi Sport driver Emanuele Pirro. The live feed can be found at http://www.audi-microsites.com/lemans
We like to be social and interactive during the race so please drop us a line in the comments or via twitter. Let us know who you are cheering for and feel free to make jokes at our expense while watching.