Anthony Davidson put Peugeot on pole position for the final race of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. On the Zhuhai International Circuit the #7 Peugeot 908 was just a fraction of a second quicker than its sister-car.
On the 4,300 km long Zhuhai track Anthony Davidson completed a total of 6 laps in Qualifying. On his fourth lap the Brit posted a 1:21.769. Team-mate Stéphane Sarrazin completed an all-Peugeot front row after setting a 1:21.844.
Anthony Davidson: “This is my third qualifying session in a Peugeot this season, and this is my third pole. It was really very close today, because Stéphane Sarrazin did a great lap. I had to push really hard to better his time. We have been on the pace right since we got here. The battle has been intense since the start of the year, so I see no reason why it won’t be the same tomorrow.”
Lining up behind the two Peugeots will be the two Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI. Tom Kristensen was 0.269 seconds slower on his fastest lap, with team-mate Marcel Fässler exactly half a second further behind in fourth place.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “We continually improved up to qualifying. The first four cars are close together. Zhuhai is very special because it’s a kind of stop-and-go track and there’s actually just one fast corner where aerodynamics is crucial. I believe that we’ve got both cars on a good race set-up. Tomorrow we’ll try and close the season with a very good result.”
First of the non-diesel cars was the #12 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota of Neel Jani. The Swiss driver was however 2.162 seconds slower than Davidson’s fastest lap time. OAK Racing’s #24 OAK Pescarolo Judd and the #007 Aston Martin Racing Lola-Aston Martin finished in sixth and seventh in qualifying.
Neel Jani: “I’m really happy to get another « pole position » of petrol LMPs in front of the Oak Racing cars and the factory Aston Martin. I’m pleased for all the Rebellion Racing team who worked very hard for that. With Nico we will do our best to get a strong result tomorrow at the end of the race and hopefully secure third place in the ILMC LMP1 Teams’ championship for REBELLION Racing.”
In ninth overall and taking the LMP2 pole position was the Signatech Nissan, which qualified 2.285 seconds quicker than the second LMP2 car, the #35 OAK Racing OAK-Pescarolo.
The Formula Le Mans Oreca 09 FLM of PTRS Racing was 12th fastest, just a few tenths of a second quicker than the LM GTE Pro pole-sitting BMW M3 of Jörg Muller. Müller’s pole position also gave BMW another point in the Manufacturers’ Championship, in which the German manufacturer still fights with Ferrari.
Right behind Müller were two Audi R8 LMS, the #98 Audi Sport C Racing of Edoardo Mortara and the #94 Hitotsuyama Racing of Carlo van Dam. Both GTC cars beat the rest of the GTE and GTC field. AF Corse was second quickest in GTE Pro, with the second BMW M3 taking third in class.
The LM GTE Am pole was for the CRS Racing Ferrari F430 of Tim Mullen. In the final qualifying session ever for CRS Racing the British driver was just 0.050 seconds quicker than the Proton Competition Porsche.
The start of the Zhuhai 6 Hours will be given tomorrow, Sunday, at 11 a.m. local time (4 a.m. CET).