Laguna Seca: Champion Racing qualifying report

Johnny Herbert (39). Born: Brentwood, Essex, UK. Lives: Monte Carlo: ALMS stats: 22 starts, 3 wins, 14 top-3s, 17 top-5s, 19 top-10s. "I was on provisional pole for each of my three flying laps but Frank [Biela] ultimately bettered my times.

Johnny Herbert (39). Born: Brentwood, Essex, UK. Lives: Monte Carlo:
ALMS stats: 22 starts, 3 wins, 14 top-3s, 17 top-5s, 19 top-10s.

"I was on provisional pole for each of my three flying laps but Frank [Biela] ultimately bettered my times. The front tires were starting to grip nicely on my fourth flier but I had to back off when the red flag appeared. It was decided to 'save' the tires [for the race] which is why I didn't go back out when qualifying resumed. Unfortunately in those final five minutes, we were bumped off the front row. I've finished second here for the past two years so I would dearly like to think we can go one better in my third Laguna race and score a win. The team has worked hard to give us a competitive car and it would be good to reward them."

JJ Lehto (37). Born: Espoo, Finland. Lives: Monte Carlo:
ALMS stats: 36 starts, 12 wins (7 overall), 28 top-3s, 31 top-5s, 33 top-10s.

"We have made definite progress over the past two days in getting a good set-up on the R8 - it was a major struggle on Friday with massive understeer [push]. It's extremely important to finish ahead of the Joest Audi in the race in terms of the ALMS championship. I'm third in the Driver's standings and Champion Racing is placed second in the Team's category. With only two races remaining after Laguna, it is mathematically possible to win both titles by winning the last three races even if Joest finish second in all three so the last three races are going to be very, very interesting."

SPEED GT WORLD CHALLENGE -- Rd 8 (2003 Audi RS 6 Competition)

Randy Pobst - Qualified: 1st, 1:32.662, (86.948mph). Michael Galati - Qualified: 2nd, 1:33.143, (86.499mph)

Pobst's second 2003 pole (Randy's sixth front row start from 8 races in 2003)

Audi's third pole and third all-Audi front row this season (Champion Racing's ninth front row start)

Michael Galati (43). Born: Alcaralifusi, Messina, Sicily. Lives: N. Olmsted, Ohio:

Speed World Challenge stats: 76 starts, 16 wins, 38 top-3s, 53 top-5s, 65 top-10s.

"It's fantastic for both Audis to be on the front row of grid but the race will be another story. Laguna is a very technical track with many elevation changes which, over a 50-minute race duration, will work the Audi's brakes very hard due the weight of the RS 6. Although I've won the Speed GT title for the past two years, I've never won here for Audi in three attempts. I started from the front row in 2000 while my best finish was a fourth last year - despite leading both of those races in the Audi S4 Competition. Perhaps this is the year when Audi breaks its Laguna duck."

Randy Pobst (46). Born: Dayton, Ohio. Lives: Gainesville, Georgia:

Speed World Challenge stats: 21 starts, 6 wins, 16 top-3s, 17 top-5s, 17 top-10s.

"I'm thrilled at taking pole-position - I like being No.1 - and I'm hoping I can repeat last year's Laguna Seca Speed GT victory I scored. Champion Racing has made real progress with the RS 6's handling and front end grip due to on-going shock development and a new front aero package. The Audi RS 6 Competition invariably qualifies well - this is my sixth front row start of the season. But I'm under no illusion that the race is going to be very tough especially when our main rivals will have to show what they are really capable of as opposed to their sudden, mysterious lack of speed in qualifying."

2003 America Le Mans Series -- Driver's Standings (after 6 races)

1  Frank Biela/Marco Werner, 115

3 JJ Lehto, 104
4 Johnny Herbert, 101

2003 Speed GT World Challenge -- Driver's Standings (after 7 races)

1 Bill Auberlen (BMW M3), 181-points
2 Phil McClure (Corvette Z06), 163
3 Randy Pobst (Audi RS 6 Competition), 160
9Michael Galati (Audi RS 6 Competition), 94

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Frank Biela , Bill Auberlen , Randy Pobst , Michael Galati , Marco Werner , Phil McClure , JJ Lehto