Fr?d?ric Makowiecki says pole position is just the first step toward winning the LeMans GTE class this weekend.

The Frenchman qualified first in a closely contested battle with his Aston Martin team-mate Stefan M?cke, posting a 3:54.635 to top the timesheets on Thursday.

Makowiecki says it was a pleasure to get the result for the team, but has kept his feet on the ground ahead of the race: "It's a nice feeling because I waited a long time to work with Aston Martin Racing," he said.

"For me it's a great pleasure to get a good result for the team. It's the first step towards winning the race this weekend."

Aston Martin also claimed pole in the GTE Am class, where Allan Simonsen qualified in pole position. Simonsen was fastest in qualifying one, and held position until the end of session three when he bettered his time to a 3:57.776.

Simonsen said pole was difficult in the wet conditions, but was pleased with the result: "It was tricky at the start with the changing conditions and it was a typical Le Mans last lap dash," he said.

"To start the 24 Hours of Le Mans on pole is fantastic. We're all looking forward to the race."

Aston Martin team principal, John Gaw, says pole position in both classes was not achieved easily, but that it was the target for the team on Thursday: "We came here with the aim of qualifying on pole in both classes, so we are pleased to have started off our 24 Hours of Le Mans campaign so positively," he said.

"The qualifying sessions were a little frustrating because of the rain and red flags meaning little changed position-wise until the final 15 minutes. We did well to firmly secure both pole positions in the dying minutes."


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