Road Atlanta: Peugeot qualifying report
Team Peugeot Total got its bid to claim a second straight Petit Le Mans win off to a flying start when Anthony Davidson qualified the No.07908 HDi FAP on pole position for the start of the second Intercontinental Le Mans Cup round at Road ...
Team Peugeot Total got its bid to claim a second straight Petit Le Mans win off to a flying start when Anthony Davidson qualified the No.07908 HDi FAP on pole position for the start of the second Intercontinental Le Mans Cup round at Road Atlanta.
Team-mate Pedro Lamy posted the afternoon's second best effort in the No.08908 HDi FAP (Lamy-Montagny-Sarrazin) to put the two factory cars on the front row of the grid. However, the close gaps at the top of this afternoon's time sheets suggest that the battle for Saturday evening's win promises to be as close as ever, especially since Road Atlanta is one of the international endurance racing calendar's most demanding venues.
Pole position for Anthony Davidson
Davison was one of the first drivers to take to the track, immediately posting a benchmark time of 1mn09s433 on his first flyer, before recording the session's fastest run two laps later (1mn07s187): "My aim today is to qualify inside the top-four because it promises to be a crazy race tomorrow. The session isn't over yet. Let's wait before celebrating..." The best effort of what turned out to be the only run of team-mate Pedro Lamy fell slightly short of the British driver's provisional pole (1mn07s409). However, it soon became evident that the two Peugeot drivers would not be toppled from the front row and neither went out for a second run.
Anthony Davidson (No.07 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP): "Today is the first time I have been tasked with qualifying a car since 2008 and my first pole since 2001. I'm delighted, especially since we will have the No.08 car sitting alongside us on the front row tomorrow. It's clearly great to have qualified on pole, but we need to put the elation behind us very quickly and focus on the race. I think the key word for tomorrow will be survival..."
Like many of the front-runners, none of the Peugeot Sport drivers got in much running during the different free practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.
Bruno Famin (Technical Director): "The conditions were predominantly damp or wet and we didn't want to take any unnecessary risks given that the forecast for qualifying and the race was clear, dry weather. It was the three drivers in the No.07908 HDi FAP (Wurz-Gene-Davidson) who were mostly in need of track time to learn the circuit, although that process came to an end when Anthony went off during Thursday evening's night-time session. Happily, the car wasn't too badly damaged and the mechanics were able to repair it during the night. They clearly did a good job! But qualifying is only a tiny part of our mission here at Road Atlanta. We now need to prepare thoroughly for Saturday's race which promises to be extremely demanding. We need to be there at the finish to score as many Intercontinental Le Mans Cup points as possible."
Pedro Lamy (No.08 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP): "To qualify first and second on the grid is an excellent result for Peugeot. The lap times of the two cars were very close, despite the fact that we were running different technical options. Anthony did a great job."
The 2010 Petit Le Mans begins at 11.30am (EST) on Saturday morning. Marc Gene will start from pole position in the No.07 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, while Frenchman Franck Montagny will line up beside the Spaniard in the No.08 sister car.
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