Ex-F1 racer Sebastien Bourdais sets the fastest time
11 June 2010

Peugeot stamped its authority on this year's Le Mans 24 Hours by cementing the first two rows of the grid in final qualifying.

Ex-F1 racer Sebastien Bourdais set the fastest time, with his 3m19.711s effort from Wednesday proving good enough to grasp the top spot.

See Le Mans qualifying pictures

During second qualifying Audi closed the gap to the Peugeots, with first Allan McNish moving into the 3m22s and then Mike Rockenfeller launching one into the 3m21s - less than eight-tenths slower than the fourth-placed ORECA Peugeot.

"It was a really, really strong effort," said Bourdais. "Everyone is really happy with the performance of the car and how comfortable it is to drive it. I am very proud to put the #3 car on pole, but this is only the start.

"Obviously we are happy that they [Audi] didn't put on a great show, or display a great amount of speed, but honestly we just focused on our own things - to make our car the fastest one and to be in a good position for the race. Then the tough job is still ahead of us, so we're not going to get carried away. We will just stay smart and be conservative when we have to.

"I'm impressed with the margin of progress we displayed [over last year]. The way the car drives now compared to last year is very much appreaciated. I couldn't really throw it all before, but now I really feel like I can."

Le Mans qualifying results

1. Lamy/Bourdais/Pagenaud (Peugeot 908) 3:19.7112. Wurz/Davidson/Gene (Peugeot 908) +0.6063. Montagny/Sarrazin/Minassian (Peugeot 908) +0.6144. Panis/Lapierre/Duval (ORECA Peugeot 908) +1.4815. Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller (Audi R15) +3.8676. Kristensen/McNish/Capello (Audi R15) +2.4657. Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer (Audi R15) +3.8948. Mucke/Fernandez/Primat (Lola-Aston Martin) +6.9699. Turner/Hancock/Barazi (Lola-Aston Martin) +7.03610. Ayari/Andre/Meyrick (ORECA 01-AIM) +9.795

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11 June 2010

I was watching a live stream of qualifying, there was an awful lot of celebrating in the Peugeot camp, and they acted like the race was over. Now I know Audi was pressing hard to make up a 4 second gap in pace and it is unlikely they have much left, unless of course they are sandbagging a bit, but 24 hours of racing is a long time for things to go wrong and it could come back to bite the Pugs. I was glad to hear the ACO will be equalizing the cars next year; the current regs are just not favorable to the petrol P1 entries as shown by the Aston’s pace which was another couple seconds behind the R15s. The Astons are the best sounding P1s by a mile though.

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