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Crash.Net Le Mans News
Peugeot on top as Le Mans kicks off
9 June 2010
Peugeot has made the perfect start to the defence of its Le Mans 24 Hours title after leading the way in practice for the 2010 edition of the famous French classic.
The four hour session saw the team lock-out the first four places on the times thanks to the three factory cars and the impressive ORECA entered machine.
The quickest time of the session went to the #2 Peugeot with Franck Montagny producing a fine lap of 3min 20.034secs to beat countryman Sebastien Bourdais by more than a second in the sister #3 car. Having run strongly throughout, the ORECA Peugeot rounded out the top three thanks to Loic Duval's best time with defending champions Alex Wurz and Marc Gene onboard the #1 Peugeot in fourth.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the #7 Audi of Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish was quickest of the Ingolstadt brigade in fifth place although the R15 Plus was nearly four seconds slower than the pace setter. However, the team will be confident of lowering that gap ahead of the first qualifying session at 10pm local time.
Of the petrol runners, the #009 Lola-Aston Martin was quickest, nearly a second ahead of the sister car. Autocon was the only team to encounter major issues, with its car consigned to the bottom of the times after stopping on track.
As expected LMP2 turned out to be a battle between the two HPD teams, with ALMS title winners Highcroft taking first blood in 18th place overall. David Brabham posted the cars quickest time to leave Strakka Racing with the second best time. Both however would have finished behind the HPD-powered RML Lola Coupe had Tommy Erdos not been baulked on a quick lap late on.
GT1 saw the Young Driver AMR Aston Martin comfortable quickest in the hands of Tomas Enge, despite a scare for the team earlier in the session with Christoffer Nygaard was forced to return slower to the pits with a puncture. The Marc VDS Ford was third despite stopping on more than one occasion on track.
The leading Matech car in the hands of ex-F1 racer Romain Grosjean was fourth, although the car caused the session to be red-flagged mid-way through when the Swiss racer went off backwards into the barriers at the Porsche Curve.
Olivier Beretta was fastest in GT2 for Corvette, with the #77 Porsche splitting the two factory cars on the times.
Top ten – LMP1:
#009 Lola-Aston Martin
#007 Lola-Aston Martin
Top five – LMP2:
#26 HPD ARX.01
#42 HPD ARX.01
Top five – GT1:
#52 Aston Martin
#70 Ford GT
#60 Ford GT
Top five – GT2:
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