The title chasing 007 Aston Martin Racing team will start second for Sunday's Autosport 1000km at Silverstone.
The Lola-Aston Martin of Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke will line up second for the final round of the Le Mans Series thanks to Mucke's flying lap of 1m33:714, ahead of their stablemates, the 008, where Darren Turner qualified the car he will share with Harold Primat for the race.
The third team car, that of Chris Buncombe, Stuart Hall and Miguel Ramos qualified seventh out of the ten LMP1 class cars, with Hall at the wheel in his first qualifying session in three years.
The pole position was won by the ORECA 01 of Nicolas Lapierre, and although it was nearly a second faster (1m32.798) than the lead Gulf liveried car the team were optimistic for their chances of race victory, and maybe a championship.
“It wasn't a perfect qualifying session,” explained Mucke. “The lead car was one second ahead of us…but I am happy to be on the front row.” “On [my] first lap,” continued the German. “I had a lot of traffic, the second lap was clear but it wasn't a perfect performance from me and the third lap, where the Michelin tyres were really at their best, there was a lot of dirt and gravel on the track and yellow flags.”
Former British Touring Car driver Turner complained of being frustrated by a similar cocktail of problems – yellow flags and gravel on track – along with the problems traffic posed with 40 cars across four classes due to take the green flag.
AMR principal George Howard-Chappell, however, had his eyes on the big prize. “Qualifying went pretty well for us with regard to our Championship aspirations,” he said.
However, much of their optimism may be down to the problems suffered by their closest rivals, the Pescarolo pairing of Jean-Christophe Boullion and Christophe Tinseau who will start the race in 38th after Boullion damaged the car before being able to set a flying lap.
Elsewhere in the field the ASM Ginetta-Zytek took LMP2 pole and the Larbre Saleen at Felbermayr-Proton Porsche took the honours in the GT1 and 2 respectively.
The Autosport 1000km starts at 11:35am, with live timing online at www.lemans-series.com and live commentary online at www.radiolemans.com.