Peugeot's Sebastien Bourdais broke the 3m20s barrier to dominate a frantic qualifying session in which 40 minutes of the two hours were lost to stoppages.
The Peugeots went all-out to dominate the front of the grid from the very beginning of the qualifying session. Nicolas Lapierre went quickest in the ORECA Peugeot (3m21.192s) but was so light on fuel that he encountered fuel pick-up problems on his in-lap and stopped at Arnage.
Sarrazin got airborne in the No. 2 908 at Tertre Rouge, spoiling his attempt to match Lapierre's time, and Bourdais also missed it by a tenth of a second. The session then came to a halt because the No. 88 Felbermayr Porsche had spun and obstructed the track on the run up to Indianapolis.
The ORECA car remained marooned out on the circuit for the rest of the session, although Lapierre's time stood for another hour. When the session restarted after a second stoppage, the remaining Peugeots began a charge, running almost in formation and followed by the factory Audis. All three works Peugeots beat the ORECA's time - Bourdais led with a 3m19.711s, then turned down the wick, repeatedly setting fastest times in the first sector and then backing off.
"I had a scary moment at the Ford chicane on my fast lap," said Bourdais. "It was very quick."
Alexander Wurz aborted a hot lap at the end of the session and was second fastest in the No. 1 908, followed by Sarrazin in the No. 2 car.
Audi had no answer to Peugeot's pace. The No. 9 Rockenfeller/Dumas/Bernhard R15 Plus was the fastest, but its time of 3m23.578s was 3.867s off the quickest Peugeot, good enough for fifth ahead of the No. 8 (Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer) and No. 7 (McNish/Kristensen/Capello).
"With that sort of a gap, we're not in a position to fight for pole," said McNish.
The No. 007, No. 009 and No. 008 Aston Martins were the fastest gasoline-powered LMP1s, ending the session eighth, ninth and 10th, ahead of the No. 6 ORECA.
After some impressive laps in practice, Rebellion Racing had a more muted showing. The No. 12 Lola missed qualifying while the team examined the extent of some cracks in the front suspension mounts, though none of the drivers confessed to causing the damage.
HPD chassis continued to dominate LMP2. Jonny Kane set the first benchmark time (3m36.168s) for Strakka Racing, just ahead of David Brabham in the Highcroft entry (3m37.202s). Brabham emerged in the final 15 minutes of the session, hotly pursued by Danny Watts in the Strakka car, but neither driver improved their car's qualifying time.
The trio of Tomas Enge, Cristoffer Nygaard and Peter Kox maintained a comfortable margin ahead of their GT1 rivals in the No. 52 Aston Martin DBR9, setting a time of 3m55.025s early in the session. It was good enough to stand throughout, ending 2.271s ahead of the repaired No. 60 Ford GT of Mutsch/Grosjean/Hirschi.
In GT2, Gianmaria Bruni made the early running in the No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 (3m59.233s) but a transmission glitch caused the car to start crabbing and it was sidelined for much of the session while mechanics investigated. Another Ferrari frontrunner, AF Corse, also hit trouble when Matias Russo crashed the No. 96 car at the Porsche Curves, causing the second red flag.
A banzai final effort by Antonio Garcia in the No. 63 Corvette failed to better the car's earlier time and it ended 0.864sec behind the No. 82 Risi Ferrari. The No. 64 Corvette was third fastest.
Pos Driver Cls Car Time Gap
1. Lamy/Bourdais/Pagenaud P1 Peugeot 908 3:19.711
2. Wurz/Davidson/Gene P1 Peugeot 908 3:20.317 +0.606
3. Montagny/Sarrazin/Minassian P1 Peugeot 908 3:20.325 +0.614
4. Panis/Lapierre/Duval P1 ORECA Peugeot 908 3:21.192 +1.481
5. Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller P1 Audi R15 3:23.578 +3.867
6. Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer P1 Audi R15 3:24.430 +4.719
7. Kristensen/McNish/Capello P1 Audi R15 3:24.688 +4.977
8. Mucke/Fernandez/Primat P1 Lola-Aston Martin 3:26.680 +6.969
9. Turner/Hancock/Barazi P1 Lola-Aston Martin 3:26.747 +7.036
10. Mailleux/Ragues/Ickx P1 Signature Aston 3:29.774 +10.063
11. Ayari/Andre/Meyrick P1 ORECA 01-AIM 3:30.056 +10.345
12. Bouchut/Tucker/Rodrigues P1 Kolles Audi R10 3:30.907 +11.196
13. Jarvis/Albers/Bakkerud P1 Kolles Audi R10 3:31.661 +11.950
14. Watts/Kane/Leventis P2 Strakka HPD ARX-01 3:36.168 +16.457
15. Pirro/Cocker/Drayson P1 Drayson Lola 3:36.634 +16.923
16. Mansell/Mansell/Mansell P1 Beechdean Ginetta 3:36.897 +17.186
17. Brabham/Franchitti/Werner P2 Highcroft HPD 3:37.202 +17.491
18. Hughes/Amaral/Pla P2 ASM Ginetta-Zytek 3:41.968 +22.257
19. Moreau/Charouz/Lahaye P2 Oak Pescarolo 3:42.399 +22.688
20. Belicchi/Boullion/Smith P1 Rebellion Lola 3:44.101 +24.390
21. Erdos/Newton/Wallace P2 RML Lola HPD 3:44.598 +24.887
22. Pirri/Cioci/Perrazzini P2 Racing Box Lola 3:51.065 +31.354
23. Hein/Nicolet/Yvon P2 Oak Pescarolo 3:52.730 +33.019
24. Noda/Pourtales/Kennard P2 KSM Lola-Judd 3:52.972 +33.261
25. Enge/Nygaard/Kox GT1 YD Aston 3:55.025 +35.314
26. Greaves/Ojjeh/Chalandon P2 Bruichladdich 3:55.680 +35.969
27. Salini/Salini/Gommendy P2 WR/Salini WR 3:55.818 +36.107
28. Grosjean/Mutsch/Hirschi GT1 Matech Ford GT 3:57.296 +37.585
29. Jousse/Gouselard/Massen GT1 Alphand Corvette 3:58.810 +39.099
30. Policand/Gregoire/Hart GT1 Alphand Corvette 3:58.906 +39.195
31. Bruni/Melo/Kaffer GT2 Risi Ferrari 3:59.233 +39.522
32. Rostan/Meichtry/Bruneau P2 Race Perf Radical 3:59.361 +39.650
33. O'Connell/Magnussen/Garcia GT2 Corvette 4:00.097 +40.386
34. Leinders/Palttala/de Doncker GT1 Marc VDS Ford GT 4:00.325 +40.614
35. Lewis/Burgess/Willman P1 Autocon Lola-AER 4:00.646 +40.935
36. Gavin/Beretta/Collard GT2 Corvette 4:01.012 +41.301
37. Pilet/Narac/Long GT2 IMSA Porsche 4:01.755 +42.044
38. Lieb/Lietz/Henzler GT2 Felbermayr Porsche 4:02.001 +42.290
39. Alesi/Fisichella/Vilander GT2 AF Corse Ferrari 4:02.492 +42.781
40. Salo/Russo/Companc GT2 AF Corse Ferrari 4:02.615 +42.904
41. Gardel/Berville/Canal GT1 Larbre Saleen 4:03.175 +43.464
42. Schell/da Rocha/Zollinger P2 Pegasus Norma 4:03.784 +44.073
43. Farnbacher/Simonsen/Keen GT2 Hankook Ferrari 4:03.886 +44.175
44. Krohn/Jonsson/van de Poele GT2 Risi Ferrari 4:03.959 +44.248
45. Farfus/J Muller/Alzen GT2 BMW M3 4:04.986 +45.275
46. Priaulx/D Muller/Werner GT2 BMW M3 4:05.851 +46.140
47. Westbrook/Scheider/Holzer GT2 BMS Porsche 4:06.278 +46.567
48. Bell/Sugden/Miller GT2 JMW Aston Martin 4:06.391 +46.680
49. Coronel/Dumbreck/Bleekemolen GT2 Spyker 4:06.997 +47.286
50. Bergmeister/Law/Neiman GT2 Fl. Lizard Porsche 4:08.315 +48.604
51. Felbermayr/Felbermayr/Konopka GT2 Felbermayr Porsche 4:10.054 +50.343
52. Allemann/Gachnang/Frey GT1 Matech Ford GT 4:11.566 +51.855
53. Yogo/Iiri/Yamanishi GT1 JLOC Lamborghini 4:13.368 +53.657
54. Goossens/Dalziel/Gentilozzi GT2 Jaguar XKR 4:13.537 +53.826
55. v.Splunteren/Hommerson/MachielGT2 Prospeed Porsche 4:14.578 +54.867
56. Jani/Andretti/Prost P1 Rebellion Lola no time