Charlotte Thursday track notes

2000 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES GRAND PRIX OF CHARLOTTE March 30 - April 1 Thursday, March 30, 2000 Welcome to the inaugural running of the American Le Mans Series, Grand Prix of Charlotte at Lowe's Motor Speedway, March 30 - April 1, 2000, ...

2000 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES
GRAND PRIX OF CHARLOTTE
March 30 - April 1

Thursday, March 30, 2000

Welcome to the inaugural running of the American Le Mans Series, Grand Prix of Charlotte at Lowe's Motor Speedway, March 30 - April 1, 2000, the second event of the 2000 American Le Mans Series.

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Race Coverage:

Same day television coverage of the ALMS Grand Prix of Charlotte can be seen on NBC beginning on Saturday, April 1st at 4:00 pm EST. Check local listings for exact time and channel.

The live radio broadcast of the race can be found at www.americanlemans.com.

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Divina Galica has a new helmet for the second round of the Women's Global GT Series, a copy of the helmet worn by Formula One driver Pedro Diniz.

"It's a Bieffe," she said. "They sell these helmets and I wanted one for high-speed ovals, so I went for this particular helmet because of its aerodynamics. I'll probably go back to my black-and-gold design, but for this weekend, I'm Pedro Diniz."

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Driver Changes:

#77-P Alboreto/Capello/McNish Audi R8: ADD Alboreto, Capello, McNish

#78-P Biela/Pirro Audi R8: ADD Biela, Pirro

#30-GT Petersen/Wahl/Jeannette Porsche 911 GT3 R: ADD Wahl, Jeannette/DELETE White

#6-GT Stuck/van Overbeek/Said BMW E46 M3: ADD Boris Said

#71-GT Skea/Willingham Porsche 911 GT3 R: ADD Willingham, DELETE Hawkins

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This morning's Combined Practice(Prototype/GTS/GTS) has been delayed 2hrs. 45 min. due to repairs and reconstruction to the track's chicane and barriers in Turn 5 following the Trans Am practice. The practice session will begin at 1pm, with the length cut to 45 min. All other scheduled sessions will resume following this delay.

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Reynard Motorsport's Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Reynard, announced key appointments of Mark Smithson, Sales Director, to Managing Director of Reynard Motorsport Operations - UK. Bruce Ashmore, Technical Director, Reynard North America, becomes President of Reynard Motorsport's North American operations. This includes Reynard North America, US race car manufacturer Riley & Scott and the company's wind tunnel and research facility in Indianapolis, the Auto Research Center.

The company's commercial operations include sales of Champ Cars and Sports Cars. Reynard also undertakes specialist customer programs. In addition to his role as managing director of the UK operations, Bruce Ashmore will be the central figure in the direction of the US operations while continuing to lead the technical support for the USA programs.

Company founder Reynard, explains, "One of the most important factors in the success of any company is its people. We've been closely reviewing our management structure over the last few months and identified the need for more defined reporting and a strengthening within the team. "

"Two years ago Reynard North America was a satellite operation for Reynard's Champ Car program providing customer support and parts sales for the Series." Bruce Ashmore explains, "Since then we've seen a host of changes in the US with the purchase of Riley & Scott, the introduction of the 2KQ Sports racing car and the opening of the Auto Research Center. These changes have necessitated us reviewing our operations and the way in which they are managed. In my new role I'll be looking to integrate the different businesses to maximize our resources and share information to provide each operation with the tools, technology and people that they need to maintain the high standards that we set ourselves in producing winning cars."

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Combined Practice #1: Prototype/GTS/GT

1:05pm Cars on course

1:13pm Fast times: #43-P, #42-P, #1-P

1:20pm #77-P Audi R8: contact with T3 wall, continued on course

1:29pm Fast times: P-#43(1:06.353)/#42/#77, GTS-#91(1:11.651)/#92/#08, GT-#5(1:16.858)/#51/#10

1:42pm Fast times: P-#43(1:05.895)/#77/#78, GTS-#91(1:11.651)/#92/#08GT-#23(1:1:15.534)/#51/#5

Fast session times:

Prototype: #43(1:05.895), #77(1:06.080), #78(1:06.117)

GTS: #91(1:11.651), #92(1:12.898), #08(1:15.090)

GT: #23(1:15.534), #51(1:16.110), #5(1:16.858)

Women's Global GT - Car Changes:

#13 Sunny Hobbs to car #25(yellow)

Women's Global GT Practice Session #1

1:56pm Green Flag

1:57pm #16 Milka Duno, off course in chicane

1:57pm #24 Audrey Zavodsky, off course in chicane

1:57pm Black Flag all

2:06pm Green Flag

2:10pm End of Session, #17 Cindi Lux, off course in chicane

WGGT Session #1 fast times:

Will be available later today

Driver Quotes

#11, Divina Galica, "I'm five seconds slower than yesterday, but I went from 1:27 to 1:32 due to the reconfiguration of the chicane. I only did one hot lap because of everything going on out there(problems with the chicane and 15 min practice time). The chicane has gone from being rather fun to slightly dangerous. But if that's the way it's going to stay, you've got to drive appropriately - Brake early and drive it slow in second gear."

#2, Milka Duno, (When asked what happened in her chicane incident when she hit the tires) "The Chicane! They said it was a little dusty. I see a car slide in front of me, I try to avoid it, but I got on the dust and locked the front brakes up."

#17, Cindi Lux, (On her end of session incident) "I hit the chicane - I had no steering or braking - I was slow enough, but couldn't turn."

Car/Driver Update

#13 Sunny Hobbs - withdrawn from competition due to personal reasons

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Driver name and hometown clarification:

#0-P Team Rafanelli SRL, Mimmo Schiattarella/Monte Carlo, Monaco

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Qualifying Session #1 – GTS and GT

3:00 Green Flag

3:05 Black Flack, # stalled in T2-3

3:10 Green Flag

3:16 Qualifying Order: GTS-#91/ #92,/#40 , GT-#5/#23/51

3:20 #30-GT, Driver change, Jeannette in

Top Qualifiers - GTS

#91-GTS Wendlinger Dodge Viper GTS-R 1:12.057

#92-GTS Archer Dodge Viper GTS-R 1:12.187

#08-GTS Brown Porsche 911 Turbo 1:14.643

Top Qualifiers - GT

#5-GT Muller Porsche 911 GT3 R 1:14.699

#23-GT Pobst Porsche 911 GT3 R 1:14.858

#51-GT Maassen Porsche 911 GT3 R 1:15.780

Qualifying Session #1 – Prototype

#42-P BMW V12 LMR, Lehto, driver

#43-P BMW V12 LMR, Gounon, driver

#6-GT BMW E46 M3, Stuck driver

#10-GT BMW E36 M3, P. Cunningham, driver

3:33pm Green Flag

3:40pm #2-P, Katoh, Panoz LMP-1, light contact with the wall at the entrance to the chicane

Fast Qualifiers

#42-P Lehto, BMW V12 LMR 1:04.769

#78-P Pirro, Audi R8 1:04.901

#77-P McNish, Audi R8 1:05.028

Driver Quotes:

J.J. Lehto(#42 BMW) "Qualifying was good for us. We struggled with the set-up on the car at Sebring. We went back there Monday and Tuesday to test and made progress. But we do still have some work to do here. With the delay(to repair the chicane) we lost time on the track to continue the program. The infield is quite rough. There's no inside curb so there's sand in there. But it will be a place where you can gain time." (on the chicane) "Everybody needs the chicane, otherwise it would be wild going into 3 - everyone will have to accept it - brake a lot earlier and we'll have to find the right lane out of it to gain time."

Karl Wendlinger(#91-GTS Dodge Viper GTS-R) "The Viper is a very good car. Everything works well together. We finally found a very good setup for the race - from yesterday's open test. It's not easy to find a setup here." (on the chicane) "Everybody will be pushing there very hard. So we'll have to be very careful. It's not easy to slow the speed (on high banks) this chicane does not forgive you anything." (reason for only running a few laps in qualifying session) " We knew we had enough for the pole. We didn't want to go any further. Tomorrow morning we'll work on the long distance setup and tires. If all goes well we'll go for time tomorrow"

Hans Stuck(#6-GT BMW E46 M3)"This is the first time the new car beats the old car, that's good. The car was oversteering and we did some small modifications on the first practice, which worked. I'm fine, I did altogether 20 laps only, but I don't need much time to get used to it."

Peter Cunningham(#10-GT BMW E36 M3) "We've been pretty with how the weekend's going. Our car is handling really well. I don't think I did the best job maximizing the lap that I took. Since we have to start the race on these tires, I would have had to have done it [fastest time] on that lap. But I think we'll be okay. We've got another chance to try it and maybe we can improve tomorrow."

Dirk Muller(#5-GT Porsche 911 GT3 R) "It's exciting to be back on a speedway again. Charlotte is similar to Daytona. But it is strange to find the gear ratios since the chicane has changed four times. Its also quite bumpy to find the right set-ups, especially in turn one and the transition coming off and going on the oval. Everyone will be at the limit during the race - on the edge - also looking in their mirrors. We'll cross our fingers that nothing bad happens"

Mimmo Schiattarella(#0-P Lola B2K/10/Rafanelli V10)(on qualifying with a loose spark plug wire)"We improved a lot from the morning session. We gained 2 seconds since this morning. The problem with the plug wire cost us minimum, minimum 1 full second a lap this afternoon." Note: the team was initially pleased with their time and overall progress until they discovered the loose plug wire.

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WGGT Practice Session #2

4:05pm Green Flag

4:09pm #12 A. Ruman, black flag, spin in T3

4:10pm #4 T. Hundertmark, incident in chicane tires, black flag all

4:18pm Green Flag

4:22pm #6 S. Bayer, black flag, off in T3, end of session

WGGT Fast Practice Times:

#11 Divina Galica Aramark Uniform Services 1:27.312

#17 Cindi Lux Familyclick.com/Satellite Beach 1:27.428

#6 Sonja Bayer 1:28.082

WGGT Practice Session #2 Quotes:

#6, Sonja Bayer (on her near-spin in T3) "I almost spun in the infield. I was too fast in corners 3 and 4 and got into an oversteer, so I was off in the grass a little bit, then reentered the course.

#4,T. Hundertmark(on her encounter in the chicane) "I started to challenge the car to see how far I could push it, since we didn't have that many laps in the early session. The brakes were fine. I entered at the proper speed - '; I went to get on the gas and the car turned to the right. And I hit a couple sets of tires. Actually I may have helped the situation. The tires flew out of the way when I hit them and there were no incidents after that for the rest of the session, also in the Trans Am session after us."

Track Note:

The chicane was repositioned 80 ft. beyond the morning session location.

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About this article
Series ALMS , IMSA Others , PWC
Drivers Milka Duno , Dirk Müller , J.J. Lehto , Boris Said , Karl Wendlinger , Peter Cunningham , Bruce Ashmore , Mimmo Schiattarella , Audrey Zavodsky , Cindi Lux , Divina Galica , Pedro Diniz