Historic pole for R18 Hybrid as Audi claim front row

Another slice of history was made at Le Mans, with a hybrid car claiming pole position for the first time. 2011 winners André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoit Treluyer (nr1 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro) will start the defence of their Le Mans crown from pole at 3pm on Saturday, lining up on the front row of the grid with the nr3 Audi R18 Ultra of Marc Gené, Romain Dumas and Loic Duval.

Toyota Racing had a good qualifying and will start 3rd and 5th, with the nr8 TS030 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin heading the second row alongside the nr2 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro of Allan McNish, Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen.

Andre Lotterer’s lap of 3:23.787 was just under two seconds quicker than last year’s pole lap set by Benoit Treluyer, with the top 5 cars covered by 1.7 seconds.

The nr21 Strakka Racing HPD-Honda continued to be the fastest LMP1 privately entered car, with Danny Watts posting a 3:29.622 lap, and will start in P7 ahead of the two Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyotas, with the nr 12 Lola just ahead of the sister car.

The nr25 ADR-Delta Oreca-Nissan of Jan Charouz, John Martin and Tor Graves claimed another LMP2 pole to add to the one the team claimed at Spa last month. John Martin posted a 3m28.181 to head the P2 class with the nr24 Oak Racing Morgan Judd of Jacques Nicolet, Matthieu Lahaye and Olivier Pla just 0.4 seconds behind.

The LMGTE Pro pole position was claimed by the nr59 Luxury Racing Ferrari 458 with Frederic Makowiecki posting a 3:55.393 lap to be the fastest GT car at Le Mans. Makowiecki was 0.4 seconds ahead of the nr97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Darren Turner. The fastest FIA WEC car in the LMGTE Am class was the nr99 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Allan Simonsen but the Dane was only third fastest in the class after the nr79 Flying Lizards Porsche and the Nr75 Prospeed Competition Porsche were quicker.

(Image: Gerlach Delissen)

10 Comments on Historic pole for R18 Hybrid as Audi claim front row

  1. Do you guys happen to have any more fotos of the etron and tso from this past several days?

  2. At least this proves that Audi aren’t sandbagging. 2 seconds faster than last year, with more drag from fender holes. Toyota is fast, but will they make the distance?

  3. Wow! I am surprised Audi #2 all stars didn’t get in2 2nd place qualifying! Lets hope it can keep up with Audi #1 and dominate and win the race! Go Audi R18i e-tron quattro #2 , win the race!

  4. I wonder how the Audi e-tron quattro will do against the Audi Ultra’s with their fuel load differences…It seems as though the Audi e-tron will have 2 ease up on the gas a bit 2 maybe keep up with the same # of laps. If Audi e-tron quattro can do the same # of laps as the Audi Ultra’s (hopefully 12-13 laps, but will only probably do 11 like last year if running at full speed) lets hope both Audi e-tron quattro and the Audi Ultra’s can at least do the same laps with the Audi e-tron quattro pulling away from the Audi Ultra’s and hopefully doing at least 1-2 laps more than the Toyota Hybrid racecar. What do u guys think!?

  5. Can somebody please explain to me why there are no — repeat, NO — BMWs in GTE? Not that I’m complaining: I’m a Flying Lizard supporter, and am very happy they look fast in GTE Am. But the Beemers have been fighting the Corvettes for domination in ALMS. Was it the suspension-rules issues BMW had last year?

  6. Hey K.Hayes could you please stop advocating your ACO’s master, Audi? Very disgusting, thanks.

    To be frank, LMP1 is surely in crisis, it is almost LMPAudi and WEC is inevitably World Audi Prototype Championship.In this case I suspect why ACO does not “nerf” Audi like Formula One in 2003 or 2005, against Ferrari. In contrary they still allow diesel engine, you have to know the gap between diesel and petrol cannot be eased at all. The only way to let petrol team and factory feel “fair” is to ban diesel completely

  7. @kimiaimar

    I think your approach denies the whole point of sports car racing: innovation that carries into production cars.You can’t hate Audi for developing technologies no other manufacture (besides Puegot) had the audacity to do so. Most notably, it’s not whether an engine is diesel or petrol, as lap times are relatively close. It’s reliability that wins races, as Audi can attest to.

    And yes, diesel engines can be regulated. Added weight, bigger restrictors, less fuel capacity and so forth but that takes time to make it fair across the board once they figure out the competitors’ performance levels.

  8. @J Hunter:
    The reason is simply the change of the BMW motorsports program to do DTM plus GT3 (with the Z4), but no more GTE. The M3’s in ALMS are only continuing as long as they are still homologated, but there is no further M3 GT development.
    @ kimiaimar:
    LMP1 is not in a crisis, but in a period of change before the 2014 regulations which have been announced during the Le Mans week will come into effect. This will also end the useless debates about diesel or petrol engine advantage, as the only engine rule applied will be a certain amount of energy you are allowed to use for an endurance race, no matter if it’s diesel, petrol or electric energy.

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