Photo : Pascal SAIVET - Vision Sport Cars
Audi dominated both practice sessions on Thursday at Spa-Francorchamps. The second session was stopped early, after a collision between a Peugeot and Honda. The second round of the 2011 ILMC will be held on Saturday from 14:05.
For its first race on the beautiful Belgian circuit, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup is fortunate with the weather, which is particularly mild and rain is not expected until the end of the race on Saturday night.
It was to the delight of drivers who expressed their pleasure of being in Belgium, like Sebastien Bourdais who said at a press conference: "I won here last year, it's a circuit that I love racing on but Le Mans is even more special. "
The first practice session began in sunshine on the morning of Thursday, 5th May. A session disrupted by the incident of the Audi R18 #2 being driven by Benoit Treluyer. The Frenchman left the track in the 'virage de Fagnes' but without serious damage to the car. That did not stop Audi dominating practice with the two fastest times achieved by Dindo Capello at the wheel of the #3 iin 2'03''844 and #1 (Bernhard / Dumas / Rockenfeller) with 2 '04''054. The first Peugeot was that of Lamy / Bourdais / Pagenaud three-tenths off the best German time. "We have the two best of the session," Romain Dumas recounted at noon, "but that does not mean much because the gap to Peugeot is very small". In GTE category this morning saw complete domination of Ferrari F458 Italia with six cars in the first eight places, the fastest machine being that Gianmaria Bruni and Giancarolo Fisichella.
The contest resumed without delay during the second free practice session in the afternoon. At half-time Andre Lotterer (Audi #2) posted the best time of the day (2'03''124). Although of German nationality, he is very attached to Belgium where he spent his childhood. A little revenge for a boy who made his debut for Audi at the 1000km 2010 where he spun in the warm up lap. Shortly after this performance, the practice session was disrupted twice: first because of the incident of the Lola-Toyota and Jean-Christophe Boullion in Raidillon then, after only a few minutes, following the contact between the Peugeot 908 of Pedro Lamy and Mike Newton's Honda LM P2. An accident that caused the abadonment of the rest of the session. No improvement in GTE during the afternoon, Rob Bell (Ferrari F458 Italia) producing the fastest time (2'21''446). The competitors of 1000 Km of Spa-Francoirchamps resume the track Friday, 6thMay for a third free practice session (11:50-12:50) and qualification (15:50-16:40).
Eurosport goes all out!
The 1000 Km of Spa-Francorchamps will benefit from an exceptional television coverage. Eurosport has decided to aler its schedule to broadcast the event in its entirety. The early hours will be seen live on Eurosport 2 from 14h00 (starting at 14h05) at 17 h after 30 and will be broadcast on Eurosport and until the end of this race will be judged at 20 h 05 very precisely .
Photo: CIRCUIT SPA-Francorchamps (Belgium), 1000 KM OF SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, 5th May, 2011. With Andre Lotterer driving, the Audi #3 was the fastest of the first day of testing.