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Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello believe there is no reason why their sister Audi cannot match the pace of its provisional pole-sitting sister e-tron in Thursday night's second Le Mans 24 Hours qualifying session.
In first qualifying on Wednesday evening Andre Lotterer put the No. 1 car on provisional pole by 1.083 seconds over the No. 2 Audi. Kristensen's shot at pole in that car had been disrupted by traffic, while on later longer runs teammate Allan McNish ran into grip issues.
"Allan did a stint, but unfortunately we started to struggle quite a lot with the grip," Capello told AUTOSPORT. "For some reason the track lost a lot of grip during the session, and the lap times increased by seconds.
"We were a little bit confused because we didn't know if it was a problem with our car or a general problem. Then we saw the lap times from other cars and immediately we realized that it was a problem with the track.
"But we were a little bit disappointed because our car was really difficult to drive. It was very easy to make some stupid mistakes, to lock up the front wheel at every braking point. But we have seen that our teammates changed tires and tried a qualifying run, and the car was back to a normal standard of performance. That's what made us a little bit more confident. But when we left the race track we were not so happy because the last feedback we got from the car was quite bad."
Kristensen believes that the No. 2 Audi just needs to get in the right set-up window to find performance in the cooler evening conditions.
"The car felt quite OK but you saw the whole field dropping on lap times and that was also the case for Allan and Dindo," he said. "They were complaining a bit about the way we could attack the corners after long straights.
"We tried to react a little bit to that, and of course when you have temperature issues and stop a bit more, that's not a good idea. With very long straights, the cooling from exiting a corner like Tertre Rouge to the first chicane is quite a temperature drop. We need to get this in the window. But that's normal."
Capello added that the No. 2 crew were not putting too much emphasis on pole beyond preferring to outpace their rivals whenever possible.
"We took the pole at Spa but the race was not a great race for us. We didn't get it at Sebring and we won the race," he said. "It's always nice to have a picture tomorrow in the local newspaper.
"What is important is the result on Sunday afternoon. But for sure we will try to improve our lap time. We do not like to be behind. If the car works like we think, then for sure I'm sure on a few occasions we will try to set some [pole] times."