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.
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.