Houston: Thursday morning practice report

AUDI R8 FASTEST IN FIRST SESSION AT HOUSTON HOUSTON (May 11, 2006) - No one believed the Audi R8 would slip into retirement quietly. But just in case there were any doubts, Dindo Capello has put them to rest. The Italian...

AUDI R8 FASTEST IN FIRST SESSION AT HOUSTON

HOUSTON (May 11, 2006) - No one believed the Audi R8 would slip into retirement quietly. But just in case there were any doubts, Dindo Capello has put them to rest.

The Italian posted the quickest time during Thursday morning's initial practice for the Lone Star Grand Prix at Houston's Reliant Park. Capello, teaming with Allan McNish in the No. 2 Audi R8, toured the 1.69-mile street course in 1:07.102. His time was 0.901 seconds better than Penske Racing's No. 6 RS Spyder of Lucas Luhr.

In LMP1, Dyson Racing's No. 16 AER-powered Lola was second fastest in class at 1:09.664. The time, posted by Butch Leitzinger, was third overall.

It was quite a busy session with 53 different fast laps set among the four classes during the 50-minute session.

The Porsche of Luhr and Sascha Maassen was the quickest LMP2 entry and was 0.220 seconds better than the team car of Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas. Intersport Racing, class winner at Sebring, was third in class at 1:12.584.

Corvette Racing's pair of Corvette C6.Rs led the way in GT1. Oliver Gavin led the way at 1:10.910 in the No. 4 entry, followed by Ron Fellows at 1:11. Aston Martin Racing's two Aston Martin DBR9s were within 0.3 seconds of the two 'Vettes.

Formula One veteran Mika Salo paced the GT2 field in the Houston-based Risi Competizione Ferrari F430GT at 1:13.468. Patrick Long, in the No. 31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, was second fastest in class at 1:13.828. The No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche was another half-second back.

The track configuration was modified slightly earlier Thursday morning with the addition of a chicane prior to Turn 2.

The Lone Star Grand Prix is scheduled for 8 p.m. CDT Friday at Houston's Reliant Park. It will be broadcast at 1 p.m. EDT Saturday on CBS Sports, the first of five straight Series events on network television. Qualifying is set for 6:15 p.m. CDT tonight. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage at www.americanlemans.com, which also will have IMSA Live Timing & Scoring.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Allan McNish , Butch Leitzinger , Mika Salo , Ron Fellows , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Oliver Gavin , Timo Bernhard , Patrick Long , Romain Dumas , Alex Job , Dindo Capello
Teams Team Penske , Aston Martin Racing , Corvette Racing , Dyson Racing , Alex Job Racing