The ORECA Peugeot team beat the factory Audi to pole position for tomorrow's Paul Ricard 8 Hours.
Nicolas Lapierre set a best time of 1m41.195sec in the factory-assisted Peugeot 908 HDi, which was just under half a second quicker than Dindo Capello aboard the new Audi R15 plus. Third fastest was Stefan Mucke in the Aston Martin Racing coupe, on a 1m42.354sec.
Lapierre said: "It was a bit tricky because I had a bit of traffic on my first lap, but the second lap was good enough. It's a good start, but the main job is tomorrow."
Briton Danny Watts easily claimed LMP2 pole on the European debut of the Acura/HPD. The Strakka driver's lap of 1m44.989sec was more than two seconds faster than the Olivier Pla in the ASM Zytek.
"We know how good this car is from what it has achieved in America, but to be honest it's still a little bit too good for us at the moment," said Watts. "We still need to get a bit more comfortable in the car."
AF Corse Ferrari driver Gianmaria Bruni came out on top in the ultra-competitive GT2 class. The Italian ended up nearly four tenths of a second ahead of Richard Lietz in the Felbermayr Porsche.
Gabriele Gardel set the time in the only GT1 car on the grid, the Larbre Competition Saleen S7R. Eduardo Piscopo ended up fastest of the seven Formula Le Mans one-make ORECA prototypes.
Pos Driver Class/Team/Car Time
1. Panis/Lapierre/Sarrazin P1 ORECA Peugeot 1m41.195s
2. Capello/McNish P1 Audi 1m41.632s
3. Fernandez/Primat/Mucke P1 Aston Martin 1m42.354s
4. Ayari/Andre/Duval P1 ORECA 1m42.685s
5. Belicchi/Boullion/Smith P1 Rebellion Lola 1m43.435s
6. Prost/Jani P1 Rebellion Lola 1m44.032s
7. Mansell/Mansell/Mansell P1 Beechdean Ginetta 1m44.475s
8. Ragues/Mailleux/Ickx P1 Signature Aston 1m44.914s
9. Leventis/Watts/Kane P2 Strakka HPD 1m44.989s
10. Amaral/Pla/Hughes P2 ASM Ginetta 1m47.112s
11. Lahaye/Nicolet P2 Oak Pescarolo 1m47.474s
12. Erdos/Newton/Wallace P2 RML Lola 1m47.491s
13. Ojjeh/Greaves/Ebbesvik P2 Bruich. Ginetta 1m48.439s
14. Geri/Piccini/Piccini P2 Racing Box Lola 1m48.635s
15. Salini/Salini/Gommendy P2 WR-Zytek 1m49.567s
16. Cioci/Perazzini/Pirri P2 Racing Box Lola 1m49.931s
17. Pourtales/Noda/Kennard P2 KSM Lola 1m50.913s
18. Frey/Meichtry/Dueck P2 Race Perf. Radical 1m52.612s
19. Stirling/Hines/Piscopo LC Formula Le Mans 1m52.936s
20. Beche/Pillon/Capillaire LC Formula Le Mans 1m53.090s
21. Schell/Metz/da Rocha P2 Pegasus Courage 1m53.418s
22. Toulemonde/Zollinger/Zampatti LC Formula Le Mans 1m53.447s
23. Kraihamer/de Crem/Delhez LC Formula Le Mans 1m53.850s
24. Barlesi/Cicognani/Chalandon LC Formula Le Mans 1m54.187s
25. Zacchia/Moro/Kaufmann LC Formula Le Mans 1m54.305s
26. Gardel/Goueslard/Canal GT1 Larbre Saleen 1m57.085s
27. Bruni/Melo GT2 AF Cornse Ferrari 1m57.850s
28. Lieb/Lietz GT2 Felbermayr Porsche 1m58.216s
29. Kirkaldy/Mullen GT2 CRS Ferrari 1m58.475s
30. Fisichella/Vilander/Alesi GT2 AF Corse Ferrari 1m58.545s
31. Bell/Turner GT2 JMW Aston Martin 1m58.549s
32. Companc/Russo GT2 AF Corse Ferrari 1m58.707s
33. Ehret/Quaife/Kaffer GT2 CRS Ferrari 1m59.021s
34. Narac/Pilet GT2 IMSA Porsche 1m59.035s
35. Dumbreck/Coronel/Bleekemolen GT2 Spyker 1m59.177s
36. Ragginger/Ried/Long GT2 Felbermayr Porsche 1m59.447s
37. Farnbacher/Simonsen GT2 Farnbacher Ferrari 1m59.480s
38. Holzer/Westbrook GT2 Prospeed Porsche 1m59.539s
39. Muller/Werner GT2 BMW 1m59.593s
40. Kutemann/Basso/Hartshorne LC Formula Le Mans 2m00.775s
41. Hein/Moreau P2 Oak Pescarolo no time