Sun shines on Audi in 1st practice session

LE MANS, France — The sun danced around the Circuit du La Sarthe this afternoon brightening a day that at time was threatened by showers. It shined brightest on the Audi team as it posted the top four times again — it did the same thing at the test day last Sunday.

This time is was the No. 1 Audi of Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, and Benoit Treluyer that took top time. Lotterer did the honors on lap 14 of his 15 laps young the course in 3:25.163 in the Audi R18 e-tron. The second e-tron car had the number two time with Tom Kristensen doing the honors with a lap that was 1331 second slower. The two e-tron cars were followed closely by the two Audi R18 Ultras to sweep qualifying. The No 3 Audi was their and the No 4 was fourth.

However, the Toyota team was not that far off the pace in fifth and sixth place with the best time of the two entries  from Toyota 3.258 seconds off the pace. However, it was Toyota that showed its pedigree in turning the fastest speed in the first session of 332.1 kph. That was three kph faster than Audi’s best effort that was turned in by the No. 4 R18 Ultra with Marco Bonanomi dialing up the fast Audi time.

The Batmobile Delta Car, which is entered as an experimental car had a time that is competitive with the LMP2 cars. Top time for the LMP2 cars went to the Starworks Motorsport Honda-powered team driven by Thomas Kimber-Smith with a time 3:39.656. The Delta Wing, with the same power plant toured the course with a best time of 3:43.576.

In the GT classes the Aston Martin Advantage turned turned the tables on the LM GTEPro field with top time. the first session. Darren Turner did the honors for the  Vantage team and pitched a time of 3.57.036. The Ferarri 458 Italia of Luxury  Racing had the second fastest time by a little more that four tenths of a second while the Vette of Corvette Racing turned the third fastest time, another two tenths behind. In LM GTEAm the Vantage again proved itself with a top time that was also faster than several of the GTPro cars. Allan Simonsen turned a 3:57.753 for top honors, a time that was faster than the majority of Pro cars.

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