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Audi hybrid on pole for Le Mans

2012-06-15 07:46

Andre Lotterer has put defending champion team Audi on pole for the Le Mans 24 Hours race for a second year in a row.

Lotterer, who won the event in 2011 with Marcel Faessler and Benoit Treluyer in the No.2 diesel Audi, put in a best lap of 3min 23.787 seconds in the No.1 R18 e-tron hybrid car.

Lotterer said: "I didn't get all the perfect sectors together, but I think we can still be happy."

FIRST FOR INDIA


Audi also took second place in qualifying for the 80th edition of the race at the high-speed Sarthe track with the R18-ultra driven by Romain Dumas and Loic Duval as well as Marc Gene.

Toyota qualified third on its return to Le Mans after a 13-year absence with Anthony Davidson at the wheel of their petrol hybrid for the final quick lap.

Eight-times Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen will be fourth on the grid in the No.2 Audi e-tron he's sharing with Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello.

Another former F1 driver, Karun Chandhok, was on course to become the first Indian to start the race after the JRM Honda qualified 11th with David Brabham and Peter Dumbreck.

The team had a difficult day, however, after damaging the car's gearbox on June 13.

Chandhok said: "Yesterday I hit some debris through Tertre Rouge and the car felt like it took off. We didn't know until we checked thoroughly overnight but the impact of coming back to ground cracked the gearbox.

"The team then decided to change the engine, which was pretty logical considering we were changing tomorrow anyway. Although I would have liked to drive tonight, I'm just looking forward to getting behind the wheel at my first Le Mans on Saturday," he said.

Reuters