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Christopher Bruce2013-06-20 13:29:56

Audi Beats Last Year's Time in First Qualifying Session

There are still two sessions to go

 
 
Slideshow
Audi has already beat its qualifying time from last year

AudiAudiAudiGermany, 1909 > present83 models
8301 photos
27 videos
is poised to have another very successful year at Le Mans. The #2 Audi R18 e-tron QuattroR18 e-tron quattroAudi R18 e-tron quattroGermany, 2012 > present8 photos
2 videos
driven by Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish set a qualifying time of 3:22.349 with Duval behind the wheel. That is nearly 1.5 seconds faster than Audi's 3:23.787 top qualifying time last year. 

“Our plan was to reel off a real qualifying lap on a dry track as well – you never know what the weather will be like tomorrow. I caught a lap without traffic. But our car isn’t perfect yet simply because the track conditions aren’t so conclusive yet. At this point in time, the outcome after the final qualifying session on Thursday is still completely open," said Duval.

To make the feat even more impressive, Audi set the time in the first of three qualifying sessions and still have the chance to set an even faster time. Le Mans qualifying is broken into three, two-hour sessions with one on Thursday and two on Friday. Unlike qualifying for the rest of the WEC races, the order is decided by the fastest laps in any of the sessions. In the rest of the championship, the order is based on an average time set by all of the drivers of the car. 

The #3 Audi set the second fastest lap of the day at 3:24.341, and the #2 Audi was third fastest with a 3:25.474.

ToyotaToyotaToyotaJapan, 1937 > present155 models
4668 photos
10 videos
has continued with its lackluster performance this season. The #7 TS030TS030 HYBRIDToyota TS030 HYBRIDJapan, 2012 > present5 photos
2 videos
driven by Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima was fourth fastest at 3:26.676. The privateer Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota was fifth fastest at 3:30.423, and finally the second factory-backed #8 Toyota was sixth-fastest with a 3:30.841 lap time and had to finish the session early due to a failing gearbox. 

It has to be unnerving that the factory Toyota team has been split by a privateer using a Toyota engine. 

In the GTE class, Aston MartinAston MartinAston MartinUnited Kingdom, 1914 > present62 models
1938 photos
24 videos
continues to dominate with the fastest times in both the Pro and Am classes.

The next qualifying session runs from 7pm-9pm local time on Friday, and the final session runs from 10pm-12am. 

Encyclopedia
AudiAudi
R18R18
R18 e-tron quattroR18 e-tron quattro
Engine
V 6 (120º vee)
Displacement
226 cu in
Top Speed
202 mph
Transmission
6, sequential manual
Maximum power
510 hp
Type
--
Fuel
Diesel / Electric
Fuel consumption (combined)
--
price
--
annual ownership cost
--

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