Audi R15 TDI Tops First Practice at Le Mans

Audi started off this year's Le Mans 24 Hours Race in style, as the two R15 TDIs posted the quickest times during the 6-hour practice session on Wednesday. Last year's winning crew of Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello topped the time charts ahead of their Audi teammates Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Werner, while Peugeot's highest placed 908 HDi FAP came in 3rd, driven by Marc Gene, David Brabham and Alexander Wurz.

The cars competing in the 77th running edition of the famous endurance race only had 60 minutes to test their dry setups, as rain started pouring down the Le Mans circuit soon after the one hour mark. In wet conditions, the French manufacturer was untouchable on Wednesday, as the No. 8 car driven by Formula One driver Sebastien Bourdais lapped the Le mans circuit more than 5 seconds ahead of nearest rivals.

Nevertheless, the crew led by Bourdais (alongside Stephane Sarrazin and Franck Montagny) only scored the 5th best time of day, as Pescarolo Sport's Jean-Christophe Boullion, Simon Pagenaud and Benoit Treluyer managed to get between the two factory Peugeot 908 HDIs by the finish line.

Audi Sport Team Joest's second crew at this year's Le Mans race – Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Alexandre Dumas – came on a distant 6th place on Wednesday, more than 4 seconds behind their leading teammates, while followed by Pescarolo Sports' 01-Judd (Christophe Tinseau/Joao Barbosa/Bruce Jouanny).

The highest placed Lola-Aston Martin on Wednesday was the B09/60 driven by Darren Turner, Anthony Davidson and Jos Verstappen, who also had no chance to challenge for a Top 3 position throughout the one hour of dry practice (being more than 5 seconds off pace from the leading Audis).

The LMP2 class was topped by Team Essex prepared Porsche RS Spyder, driven by Casper Elgaard, Kristian Poulsen and Emmanuel Collard, who lapped the Le Mans circuit more than 1.5 seconds faster that their nearest LMP2 rivals, NAVI Team Goh.

The Corvette Racing prepared C6.R (Jan Magnussen, Johnny O'Connell and Antonio Garcia) topped the GT1 practice, while ahead of factory teammates Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Marcel Fassler.
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