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Jun 13, 2014 - 06:23 AM
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2014 Le Mans 24: Brundle To Start Third At Le Mans Despite Frustrating Qualifying Session
Posted by: newsla on Jun 13, 2014 - 06:22 AM
Le Mans News
2014 Le Mans 24: Brundle To Start Third At Le Mans Despite Frustrating Qualifying Session


Alex Brundle will line up third for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours after a late caution period scuppered the Briton’s chances of setting pole position during tonight’s final qualifying session (June 12).

 

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The King’s Lynn resident was mid-way through a lap that looked like contending for class pole when an accident further ahead necessitated yellow flags and the need to slow down at Indianapolis Corner, a key section of Circuit de la Sarthe.

Brundle had already spent relatively little time behind the wheel of his G-Drive Racing by OAK Racing #35 Morgan JS P2 Nissan throughout Wednesday and Thursday due to a large number of stoppages and ‘Slow Zone’ periods, which prevented him from recording representative lap times.

Indeed, Wednesday afternoon’s red flag-interrupted practice session seemed to set the tone for that evening’s two-hour qualifying run, which was halted prematurely following another on-track incident. Nevertheless, Brundle was still able to provisionally qualify the car he’ll share with Jann Mardenborough and Mark Shulzhitskiy fourth in the 17-strong LMP2 category, despite only completing three laps of the daunting 8.4-mile circuit.

He’d be back in the Ligier for the start of Thursday evening’s first qualifying session, but was once again denied precious running due to a lengthy red flag period that afforded the team less time to complete all three drivers’ mandatory night laps.

With those achieved, Brundle climbed back aboard for the final 50 minutes of the second session, only to be hampered by two more accidents and the resulting caution period that ended his hopes of challenging for pole position.

But despite his obvious frustration at missing out on a shot at top spot, the 23-year-old was still delighted with the car’s pace and potential ahead of Saturday’s race.

“I won’t deny that I’m feeling frustrated tonight,” said Brundle. “The car had the pace for pole and my first two sectors at the end suggested we would have been there or there abouts with a clean run. I’ve been involved with the new Ligier JS P2’s development work and would have loved to put it on pole first time out, especially as it’s Le Mans.

“But we’ve got to focus on the bigger picture, and that looks very promising indeed. We were only three tenths from pole, know there’s more time in the car and will start at the sharp end of the class on Saturday. The Ligier is undoubtedly very fast here and with Jann, Mark and myself we have a driver crew that can make an impression. Of course, we’re not getting ahead of ourselves – we’ve seen over the last couple of days what can happen if you make even a small mistake here – but I really can’t wait for Saturday now.”

With no track action scheduled tomorrow, Brundle travels to downtown Le Mans for the traditional Drivers’ Parade through the city centre, ahead of the race’s 82nd running at 15:00 local time on Saturday.

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