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24 Heures Du Mans; The 'Shopper Preview

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On: Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 4:22PM | By: John Welch

24 Heures Du Mans; The 'Shopper Preview

It wasn't all that long ago you could time an Audi victory at Le Mans by the damn sun. Nowadays things have changed, drastically. The 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held this weekend, and an Audi R15 Plus occupies not one of the top four starting positions. Not one! To further rub salt in that gaping wound, all four of the top spots have been filled by Audi's arch nemesis, Peugeot. You read that correctly, the first four positions are all Peugeot 908 HPDi's, with the fastest Audi coming in fifth. FIFTH?! All that '2012' business must be true! The world really is coming to an end!

For American fans, there a number of Le Mans aspects that are especially interesting this year. 2010 is the first year that Patron-Highcroft, a decidedly American team, has been invited to La Sarthe. 2010 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Chevrolet (no more 'Chevy', right?) Corvette's first appearance at Le Mans. In 1960, the No. 3 Cunningham Corvette driven by John Fitch and Bob Grossman won the large displacement GT class and finished eighth overall. Sharing the GT2 class with the yellow and black Corvette Racing cars are ALMS regulars Rahal/BMW, with their M3 GT's, the Flying Lizard Porsche GT3 and, on provisional pole for GT2, the Risi Competitzione Ferrari F430 GT. Not in the 78-year history of Le Mans has our country entered so many strong teams. The BMW's, the Ferrari and the Porsche should all be able to stomp their European counterparts, and the Corvettes will rival their GT1 cousins in overall speed. Utilizing a significantly toned-down set of aerodynamic rules, it will be interesting to see if the modern GT2 machinery can keep up with the older GT1 Corvette C6.R's, as well as the other GT1 machinery.

I'm going to go ahead a swallow my tongue right now, so that it doesn't happen while I am hyperventilating at 6:00 a.m., Saturday morning. While I'm doing that, why don't you peruse the LMP results from the first Le Mans qualifying session, inside this post . . . GT1 and 2 qualifying results to come in a later post . . .

"Provisional Qualifying" is labled 'provisional" because the teams will have another chance at qualifying today, and a third tomorrow. There is rain forecast during both sessions, rendering 'provisional' qualifying as the most likely result. In other words, Peugeot might be knocked off of the pole position, but it is highly unlikely.

LMP1 Qualifying

1.) 3 LMP1 M Peugeot Sport Total - LAMY, Pedro / BOURDAIS, Sebastien / PAGENAUD, Simon Peugeot 908 HDi - FAP 3:19.711

2.) 1 LMP1 M Team Peugeot Total - GENE, Marc / WURZ, Alexander / DAVIDSON, Anthony Peugeot 908 HDi - FAP 3:20.317

3.) 2 LMP1 M Team Peugeot Total - MONTAGNY, Franck / SARRAZIN, Stephane / MINASSIAN, Nicolas Peugeot 908 HDi - FAP 3:20.325

4.) 4 LMP1 M Team Oreca Matmut - PANIS, Olivier / LAPIERRE, Nicolas / DUVAL, Loic Peugeot 908 HDi - FAP 3:21.192

5.) 9 LMP1 M Audi Sport North America - BERNHARD, Timo / DUMAS, Romain / ROCKENFELLER, Mike Audi R15 TDI 3:23.578

6.) 8 LMP1 M Audi Sport Team Joest - FAESSLER, Marcel / LOTTERER, Andre / TRELUYER, Benoit Audi R15 TDI 3:24.430

7.) 7 LMP1 M Audi Sport Team Joest - CAPELLO, Dindo / KRISTENSEN, Tom / McNISH, Allan Audi R15 TDI 3:24.688

8.) 007 LMP1 M Aston Martin Racing - FERNANDEZ, Adrian / MUCKE, Stefan / PRIMAT, Harold Lola Aston Martin 3:26.680

9.) 009 LMP1 M Aston Martin Racing - BARAZI, Juan / HANCOCK, Sam / TURNER, Darren Lola Aston Martin 3:26.747

10.) 008 LMP1 D Signature Plus - RAGUES, Pierre / MAILLEUX, Franck / ICKX, Vanina Lola Aston Martin 3:29.774

11.) 6 LMP1 D AIM Team Oreca Matmut - AYARI, Soheil / ANDRE, Didier / MEYRICK, Andy Oreca 01 - AIM 3:30.056

12.) 14 LMP1 M Kolles - BOUCHUT, Christophe / TUCKER, Scott / RODRIGUES, Manuel Audi R10 TDI 3:30.907

13.) 15 LMP1 M Kolles - ALBERS, Christjan / BAKKERUD, Christian / JARVIS, Oliver Audi R10 TDI 3:31.661

14.) 11 LMP1 M Drayson Racing - DRAYSON, Paul / COCKER, Jonny / PIRRO, Emanuele Lola Judd Coupe 3:36.634

15.) 5 LMP1 D Beechdean Mansell - MANSELL, Nigel / MANSELL, Leo / MANSELL, Greg Ginetta - Zytek 09S 3:36.897

16.) 13 LMP1 M Rebellion Racing - BELICCHI, Andrea / BOULLION, Jean-Christophe / SMITH, Guy Lola Rebellion Coupe 3:44.101

17.) 19 LMP1 D Autocon Motorsports - LEWIS, Michael / BURGESS, Tony / WILLMAN, Bryan Lola AER 4:00.646

LMP2 Qualifying

1.) 42 LMP2 M Strakka Racing - LEVENTIS, Nick / WATTS, Danny / KANE, Jonny HPD ARX.01 3:36.168

2.) 26 LMP2 M Highcroft Racing - BRABHAM, David / FRANCHITTI, Marino / WERNER, Marco HPD ARX.01 3:37.202

3.) 40 LMP2 M Quifel - Asm Team - AMARAL, Miguel / PLA, Olivier / HUGHES, Warren Ginetta - Zytek 09S 3:41.968

4.) 35 LMP2 D OAK Racing - LAHAYE, Matthieu / MOREAU, Guillaume / CHAROUZ, Jan Pescarolo - Judd 3:42.399

5.) 25 LMP2 D RML - ERDOS, Tommy / NEWTON, Mike / WALLACE, Andy Lola HPD Coupe 3:44.598

6.) 29 LMP2 P Racing Box - PIRRI, Luca / CIOCI, Marco / PERAZZINI, Piergiuseppe Lola Judd 3:51.065

7.) 24 LMP2 D OAK Racing - NICOLET, Jacques / HEIN, Richard / YVON, Jean-Francois Pescarolo - Judd 3:52.730

8.) 39 LMP2 D KSM - NODA, Hideki / de POURTALES, Jean / KENNARD, Johnathan Lola Judd 3:52.972

9.) 41 LMP2 D Team Bruichladdich - OJJEH, Karim / GREAVES, Tim / CHALANDON, Gary Ginetta - Zytek 09S 3:55.680

10.) 37 LMP2 D WR / Salini - SALINI, Philippe / SALINI, Stephane / GOMMENDY, Tristan WR Zytek 3:55.818

11.) 28 LMP2 D Race Performance AG - ROSTAN, Marc / MEICHTRY, Ralph / BRUNEAU, Pierre Radical SR9 - Judd 3:59.361

12.) 38 LMP2 D Pegasus Racing - SCHELL, Julien / DA ROCHA, Frederic / ZOLLINGER, David Norma Judd 4:03.784

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