Danny Watts has given the Strakka Racing team a dream start to life in the LMP1 class of the Le Mans Series after the Briton secure pole position for the opening round of the season at Catalunya.
Watts, called into the team this season to partner Strakka regulars Peter Hardman and Nick Leventis, posted a storming time of 1min 32.492secs at the wheel of the #23 Ginetta-Zytek, which proved to be a benchmark that his rivals were unable to match.
It saw Watts lead a British one-two on the timesheets as Darren Turner posted the second quickest time in the #009 Aston Martin Racing entered Lola Aston Martin, with the team's second car taking third on the timesheets in the hands of Stefan Mucke. Such was Watts' pace however, that he was some half a second clear of Turner while Mucke himself was more than a second away from pole position.
Pescarolo, fielding just its regular machines until the Le Mans 24 Hours, took fourth thanks to Jean-Christophe Boullion, while Andrea Belicchi in the Speedy Racing Team Sebah Lola and Christijan Albers in the first of the Audi R10 TDIs completed the top six. The team run by former Spyker F1 team boss Colin Kolles has thus far flattered to deceive in its first race weekend with the diesel-powered machines, with the sister car qualifying down in eleventh place.
In LMP2, the new Lola Coupe of Racing Box secured class pole and twelfth overall, with Giacomo Piccini posting a quickest time of 1min 36.156secs to edge out Olivier Pla, who had looked good to give Ginetta-Zytek double cause for celebration at the wheel of the Quifel-ASM entered car. The Speedy Racing Team Sebah car with Jonny Kane at the wheel was third quickest ahead of the second Racing Box Lola and the similar car of RML. The GAC Racing Team Zytek rounded out the top six and was second amongst the open-top machines.
GT1 honours went the way of the IPB Spartak Lamborghini and in dominant fashion, with Peter Kox turning a lap more than a second and half quickest than the Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette in the hand of Yann Clairy. Sebastien Dumez was third for the returning Larbre Competition team, with Sean Edwards fourth in the ageing ARC Bratislava Saleen.
In GT2, JMW Motorsport took pole position thanks to a stellar lap from Gianmaria Bruni, which saw his Ferrari 430 just outpace the similar machine of GT2 debutants Team Modena, who took second thanks to Antonio Garcia. IMSA Performance MATMUT qualified third and were the leading Porsche entrants thanks to Patrick Pilet.