I wasn’t able to get on the radio feed to listen in but sounds like some good racing was seen/heard. I knew from the earlier audio that Team Peugeot was having some reliability issues but by taking pole for now, I’d say they fixed those.
Peter Owen (Car No.19 CHAMBERLAIN – SYNERGY MOTORSPORT LM P1 LOLA AER B06-10) talked to us during the second session.
“We do this for for fun. We are driving faster this year than last year, in fact it’s the first time I’ve set 3:50s in the six years I have been here. I didn’t even start racing until I was 48. Changing to Michelin has been good. LM P2 is now very competitive and LM P1 is on its way up as well. I feel proud of the team and what we have achieved.” He finished, “We have qualified all the drivers now and we are going to practice a gearbox change, in case we have to do one during the race.”
With 25 minutes to go everything has suddenly speeded up. Peugeots are running 1st and 2nd. Their Michelin pre-heated qualifying tyres seem to be working well. One has to wonder if the Peugeot and Audi teams enjoy the same rubber from Michelin, or if the peculiarities of the closed top regulations give them specific tyre designs.
With six minutes still to go, Allan McNish went out in the No.2 Audi and set a 3:27.017 sec lap to snatch pole from the No.8 PEUGEOT 908 and then went faster again the following lap with a 3:26.916. This was still 0.209 sec off Bourdais’ time in testing, but enough to set the pit stands alight with anticipation.
The No.55 TEAM ORECA LM GT1 SALEEN S7R was fastest in LM GT1 for a minute or two until the No.008 Aston Martin took back the provisional pole with Christophe Bouchut at the wheel.
The No.8 TEAM PEUGEOT TOTAL LM P1 PEUGEOT 908 was clearly trying hard because it visited the gravel trap while on a hot lap with qualifying tyres.
On the final lap of the evening the No.8 TEAM PEUGEOT TOTAL LM P1 PEUGEOT 908 driven by Stephane Sarrazin snatched provisional pole back from the Audis. His 3:26.344 was 0.363 secs faster than Bourdais had done in testing. The team enjoyed a moment of pure enjoyment with applause for the return of the car and pats on each others’ backs. The display is well deserved after a period of such hard work in preparation for this event.