Team Peugeot Total continued their fine end of season form in claiming the front row for themselves for Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The team are looking to add to their Intercontinental Le Mans Cup lead they built at Silverstone last month, and to the Petit Le Mans win they scored last year.
It was one of the Silverstone victors – Anthony Davidson – to claim pole position around the 2.54 mile track with a lap of 1:07.187 to claim pole, that despite the driver claiming his main aim to qualifying inside the top four. The Briton needed only three laps to set the time from being one of the first drivers on track to returning to the pits to sweat out the rest of the session.
However, while his closest rivals ran far more laps than Davidson's no.07 Peugeot 908 HDI FAP the nearest they could get was still 0.222 seconds adrift when Portuguese Pedro Lamy completed the sweep of the front row for Peugeot.
“Today is the first time I have been tasked with qualifying a car since 2008 and my first pole since 2001,” said Davidson. “I'm delighted, especially since we will have the no.08 car sitting alongside us on the front row tomorrow. It's clearly great to have qualified on pole, but we need to put the elation behind us very quickly and focus on the race.”
However, he warned. “I think the key word for tomorrow will be survival”
“To qualify first and second on the grid is an excellent result for Peugeot,” added Lamy. “The lap times of the two cars were very close, despite the fact that we were running different technical options.”
Both Peugeot's had completed relatively little running during the free practice sessions on Thursday and Friday, opting to stay off a mainly wet track when the forecast for qualifying and the race was dry. One of their few forays onto the track ending with Davidson off the track.
Marc Gene will be given the honour of leading the race to start – he and Davidson share with Alex Wurz. Franck Montagny will start the no.08 car.
Predictably Peugeot's rivals Audi will line up on the second row, Benoit Treluyer putting the no.9 third ahead of the traditional big names in the no.7 car.