Audi led the way during Sunday's annual test day in preparartion for the 2013 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours, locking out the top three spots on the times at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
Loic Duval ensured that the #2 R18 e-tron Quattro would secure bragging rights left it late in the day to post what would prove to be the benchmark time, powering round the circuit in a time of 3mins 22.583secs – putting him more than 2.7secs clear of anyone else.
“We wanted a qualifying type run to see what the Audi has in the tank,” Duval said following the rain-affected eight hours of running. “I went with some low fuel and I enjoyed a ride without traffic, and some luck that I will perhaps not have in qualifying. I had a lot of fun.
“We had very specific requirements today. We tried to undertake some long runs to store up a lot of information, despite the changing track conditions. Now I'll rest up before attacking the big Le Mans week starting in seven days."
Duval had earlier crashed the car he will share with Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen during the morning session, when he went into the barriers at Tetre Rouge.
Capping a solid day for Audi, Lucas di Grassi put the #3 car into second spot in the times, with Andre Lotterer leading the challenge for the defending champions in the #1 car in third. The fourth Audi, driven by test driver Marco Bonanomi and working through a programme focused on testing Michelin's 2014 tyres, was fifth.
The fastest of the two Toyotas was fourth quickest, with Stephane Sarrazin in the #8 car setting a time of 3mins 27.581secs as the team focused on its race preparations as opposed to making a glory run on the times.
“It was quite a good day and the car ran very reliably,” he said. “We ran in the wet, we ran in the dry and we completed our programme. So far everything has gone okay and we could do a lot of laps. This morning, when we started on wet track I was not so happy with the car balance but we improved it and in dry conditions it was much better. I am happy to be here with Toyota Racing feeling good. Now I am ready for the race.”
Alex Wurz posted the fastest time in the sister car to end the day sixth ahead of Neel Jani who took top privateer honours in the first of the two Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyotas.