Andre Lotterer insisted it was a 'cool feeling' after snaring pole position for the 2012 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The German posted a time of 3min 23.787secs shortly after the start of the third and final qualifying session at the Circuit de la Sarthe to place the #1 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro on the front of the grid – marking the first time that a hybrid car will have started the famous endurance race from pole position.
Lotterer will now hope to challenge for a second straight victory in the race alongside Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler although he admitted that Audi couldn't afford to relax against new boys Toyota after a closely-fought qualifying battle.
"Clinching pole at Le Mans is a cool feeling,” he said. “Of course a lot can happen in the race but our performance does show that we've got a strong car in our R18 e-tron quattro. So my thanks go to the squad that has been working hard for this for a year.
“I received only one set of new tyres and had only one free lap which I made good use of. It's good to know that the speed is there because the competition does not sleep. Toyota showed what they're capable of toward the end of qualifying. We've now got a good starting base and have given the mechanics a nice reward for their fantastic commitment in the past few days.”
The new R18 Ultra also impressed in the hands of Loic Duval to snare second on the grid, two-tenths of a second down on Lotterer's benchmark time.
"This was a good qualifying session,” he said. “We're pleased and feel well prepared for the race. Obviously, we'd have liked to have clinched the fastest time but the Audi R18 e-tron quattro is simply a bit better here at Le Mans.
“Considering this, the best time for car #1 is also well deserved because they've been fast since the test day. For us, it's good to start in second place. We've achieved good results over the distance as well.”