Lime Rock: Friday test day report

LEHTO, WERNER SET PACE IN TESTING FOR NEW ENGLAND GRAND PRIX AT LIME ROCK PARK Lakeville, Conn. - The cars of the American Le Mans Series hit the track Friday in the first testing session for the New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park. And if...

LEHTO, WERNER SET PACE IN TESTING FOR NEW ENGLAND GRAND PRIX AT LIME ROCK PARK

Lakeville, Conn. - The cars of the American Le Mans Series hit the track Friday in the first testing session for the New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park. And if the times are any indication, Round 4 of the American Le Mans Series could be another tight, closely contested event.

The No. 1 Champion Racing Audi R8 of JJ Lehto and Marco Werner posted the fastest time of the day at Lime Rock Park, a 47.802 lap around the 1.54-mile, eight-turn circuit. The reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans champions were about 0.1 seconds quicker than last year's pole-winning time of James Weaver. Lehto and Werner have won two ALMS races so far this season and are the defending LMP1 driving champions.

Dyson Racing's two Lola EX257s were second and third. Weaver and Butch Leitzinger, in the No. 16 entry, were 0.103 seconds behind, followed by Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson in the No. 20 Lola.

In LMP2, the No. 8 Mazda rotary-powered B-K Motorsports Courage C65 of Jamie Bach and Guy Cosmo were fastest in class at 55.232. It was less than a second faster than the No. 19 Van der Steur Racing Lola, the next quickest car in class.

Two Corvette Racing C6-Rs were 1-2 in GT1. At 51.513, the No. 4 entry of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta was 0.09 seconds quicker than the No. 3 sister car of Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell. The No. 63 ACEMCO Saleen S7R of Terry Borcheller and Johnny Mowlem were less than a second behind Beretta and Gavin.

Michele Rugolo encountered a minor problem when his No. 71 Carsport America Dodge Viper produced a puff of white smoke coming out of Big Bend, the first turn on the course After pulling the car to the side, fuel ignited briefly before IMSA safety crew extinguished the flames. The problem was credited to a loose screw on the fuel rail. Rugolo was uninjured.

Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, in the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche, set the fastest time in GT2 at 54.574. That was just a touch faster than Dumas' class pole speed in last year's event.

The No. 79 J3 Racing Porsche of Justin Jackson and Tim Sugden was second in GT2, 0.4 seconds behind Bernhard and Dumas. The No. 31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Porsche of Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister was third, about half a second behind the No. 23 Porsche.

There are two practice sessions for the New England Grand Prix scheduled for Saturday: from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Qualifying is scheduled for 2:55 to 3:45 p.m. Saturday. The New England Grand Prix will get the green flag at 3 p.m. Monday. Live coverage will be available on SPEED Channel and on American Le Mans Series Radio at www.americanlemans.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , James Weaver , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Guy Cosmo , Terry Borcheller , Oliver Gavin , Timo Bernhard , Patrick Long , Marco Werner , Johnny Mowlem , Romain Dumas , Michele Rugolo , Tim Sugden , Justin Jackson , Olivier Beretta , Alex Job , Chris Dyson , JJ Lehto
Teams Corvette Racing , Dyson Racing , Alex Job Racing