Aston Martin LMP1 driver Stefan Mucke remains optimistic about his prospects in this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours, in spite of his team-mate's crash in the second qualifying session.
Mucke set a time of 3m27.180s before Jan Charouz took over and crashed at the second chicane on the Mulsanne Straight. The #007 will start from eighth position.
"We weren't pushing for qualifying," Mucke told AUTOSPORT. "We had medium tyres on and our priority was to find a good race setup. We wanted to learn about what the tyres were doing, which was why we were on mediums. That's why the quicker lap times were coming, because the mediums were getting better and better.
"I lost a bit of time in traffic - maybe about a second a lap – so I'm happy with our time, considering it wasn't set on soft tires. We have a good speed, a nice balance and the car is easy to drive."
Mucke expects the Aston Martin Racing cars to get among the diesels in race conditions, but admitted that the leading Peugeots and Audis will be out of reach.
"We'll be able to run quicker than some of the diesel cars so it's really looking good for the race. There is a big difference between the slowest and the fastest diesels, but we're not in a position to fight against the fast diesels. We have to look out for the other petrol cars.
"What we have to do is aim for a clear race, without any problems, and then we will see where we are on Sunday morning. We have to make our own race and be ahead of all the other petrol cars.
"The Pescarolos will be fast for sure – we know from the past that they are never fast in qualifying but they are good in the race. The ORECAs are pretty fast too, and they have some good drivers."