Laguna Seca: Thursday test report

Lehto, Werner Lead Thursday's American Le Mans Test Session at Laguna Seca Monterey, CA - American Le Mans Series champions JJ Lehto and Marco Werner led the way Thursday as teams tested at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Saturday's...

Lehto, Werner Lead Thursday's American Le Mans Test Session at Laguna Seca

Monterey, CA - American Le Mans Series champions JJ Lehto and Marco Werner led the way Thursday as teams tested at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Saturday's season-ending Audi Sports Car Championships.

The ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 driven by Lehto and Werner turned a lap of 1:16.461 on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road racing circuit, fastest of the cars that participated in the 90-minute unofficial test session. Overall winners of six of the eight ALMS races held this season, the duo is seeking to set a series record for the most overall race wins in a single season by winning on Saturday.

The four-hour timed event, which begins at 4 p.m. (PDT), will mark the first time in the long history of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca that a race has run into darkness. Race teams were scheduled to have one hour of night practice Thursday evening.

The Creation Autosportif DBA-Zytek of Nicolas Minassian and Jamie Campbell-Walter was second-fastest overall and in the LMP1 class in the test session at 1:17.446, followed by the Dyson Racing Lola B01/60-AER of Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace at 1:17.788.

The chase for driving and team championships in the LMP2 class for smaller Prototypes is still going strong. Current leader Ian James set the test session's fastest time at 1:21.817 in the Miracle Motorsports Courage C65-AER that he will share with James Gue and John Macaluso, but just behind at 1:21.865 was the championship-challenging Intersport Racing Lola B2K/40-Judd of Clint Field, Robin Liddell and Rick Sutherland.

Third in the P2 class was the Van Der Steur Racing Lola B2K/40-Nissan of Gunnar Van der Steur, Erik Van der Steur and Ben Devlin at 1:33.590.

Corvette Racing was 1-2 in the GTS class, with the #4 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R of Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin fastest at 1:23.232. The #3 factory Vette of GTS driving champions Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell was second at 1:23.317, followed by the ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R of Johnny Mowlem and Terry Borcheller at 1:24.241.

Timo Bernhard, who can win the GT class driving title by finishing sixth or better in the race, and co-driver Jorg Bergmeister led the test session in their class with a time of 1:27.218 in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Second-fastest was the Job team car of Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas at 1:27.851, followed by the Risi Competizione Ferrari 360 Modena of Ralf Kelleners, Anthony Lazzaro and Fabrizio De Simone at 1:27.880.

Friday's schedule will include official practice and qualifying.

EVENT INFORMATION

The Audi Sports Car Championships event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will get the green flag at 4 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, October 16. The American Le Mans Series Radio Network will have live coverage that can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com, and MotorsTV will have live flag-to-flag coverage that can be seen in Europe beginning at 24:00 (UK) and 01:00 (Paris).

In North America, NBC Sports will have coverage of the event on a one-day tape delay beginning at 2 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, October 17.

Event ticket information is available online at www.americanlemans.com or by calling the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca ticket office at 800-327-7322.

-alms-

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