After Audi and Peugeot split the two daylight practice sessions for Petit Le Mans, Peugeot got the final say of the day in the two-hour night practice Thursday at Road Atlanta. Simon Pagenaud went to the top of the time sheets on his final lap, a 1:09.027 the fastest lap of the day.
Pagenaud's Peugeot eclipsed Romain Dumas' No. 1 Audi, at 1:09.107, with Stephane Sarrazin less than a tenth back at 1:09.186. Allan McNish, who led the afternoon session at 1:09.768, was unable to improve his time and clocked a 1:10.210 in the No. 2 Audi to time in fourth.
The No. 10 ORECA Peugeot 908 HDi FAP resumed in the evening session after changing an engine, and once again split the newest generation diesels from the gasoline-powered prototypes. The older Peugeot diesel clocked a best lap of 1:11.016 with Marc Gene driving.
Klaus Graf worked wonders in the afternoon in the Muscle Milk Lola Aston Martin to get within 2.1sec of the overall pacesetters, but the gap increased to 3.2 by the night. Graf still led the rest of the gasoline prototypes with the 1:12.278 sixth overall.
OAK Racing was able to rebuild its No. 24 Oak Pescarolo Judd following its accident with a GTC Porsche in the morning session, and Olivier Pla rebounded to ninth overall behind the aforementioned top six, the No. 007 Aston Martin and No. 20 Dyson Lola Mazda. OAK's sister P1 entry completed the top 10.
JK Vernay took the Signatech Oreca 03 Nissan to top of the time sheets in LMP2, 13th overall at 1:13.864, nearly a second quicker than Marino Franchitti in the second Level 5 HPD ARX-01g. Almost with as big a gap was Gunnar Jeannette ahead of Kyle Marcelli in the spec LMPC class, 1:17.982 and 1:18.573 good enough for 18th and 19th overall.
BMW maintained its form at the head of the GT class field for the second consecutive session, with No. 55 third driver Augusto Farfus registering a 1:19.747 to head the pack. That car had picked up more than one second since the morning session when Farfus' co-driver Bill Auberlen clocked only a 1:20.864, eighth in class.
Ferrari continued its strong form with Risi's F458 second again, Toni Vilander 0.280sec off the leading BMW. The ALMS GT-title winning No. 56 BMW timed in third, ahead of a pair of ILMC-entered Ferrari F458s (AF Corse No. 51 and Luxury No. 59).
The rest of the class top ten: No. 4 Corvette (Oliver Gavin), No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche (Jorg Bergmeister), Nos. 01 and 02 Extreme Speed Ferraris (Johannes van Overbeek and Guy Cosmo) and No. 3 Corvette.
Nic Jonsson put Krohn Racing's Ferrari F430 first in the GTE Am category with Spencer Pumpelly leading GTC, the first time TRG's No. 66 has led the class category.
Fifty-four cars took time in the two-hour session, and though calamity was feared with so many cars driving into darkness at the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta, only one red flag flew. The session went red immediately after starting when Tracy Krohn went off course in the Krohn Ferrari, but then resumed under green shortly thereafter for the rest of the session.