The Audi R15 will start from positions two and four in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) season opener at Sebring this weekend. Yet with Temperatures of 86˚F in the shade, and with 56 cars on the 3.7-mile race track, the conditions couldn’t be more difficult.
In its tenth and last race, the Audi R15 TDI has to run with significantly reduced engine power due to the new 2011 technical regulations. Nevertheless, Frenchman Romain Dumas, in his first-ever qualifying session for Audi, was able to split the two new Peugeot 908 prototypes and grab an unexpected place on the front row of the grid for Audi Sport Team Joest in the 2010 R15 TDI.
During the 15-minute qualifying session, Tom Kristensen was on a similarly fast lap as his team-mate, before losing time in the final corner behind a slower car. Thus, the second Audi R15 TDI will start the race from grid position four on Saturday at 10:30 am local time. Due to the high temperatures and an extremely large field of 56 cars in six classes, the Audi team focused on making their cars as comfortable as possible for the drivers. Reliability will also play a decisive role over the 12-hour distance on the extremely tough track.
1 Montagny/Sarrazin/Lamy (Peugeot) 1m 46.571s
2 Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller (Audi R15 TDI) 1m 47.680s
3 Wurz/Gené/Davidson (Peugeot) 1m 48.020s
4 Capello/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R15 TDI) 1m 48.173s
5 Lapierre/Duval/Panis (Peugeot) 1m 48.569s
6 Pickett/Graf/Luhr (Lola-Aston Martin) 1m 49.679s
7 Brabham/Franchitti/Pagenaud (Acura/Honda) 1m 49.802s
8 Prost/Jani/Bleekemolen (Lola-Toyota) 1m 50.756s
9 Lahaye/Moreau/Ragues (OAK-Pescarolo) 1m 51.781s
10 Dyson/Smith/Cochran (Lola-Mazda) 1m 52.233s