Weaver Leads Friday American Le Mans Test at Lime Rock Lakeville, CT - The Dyson Racing team threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the American Le Mans Series field on Friday by leading testing for Monday's inaugural New England Grand Prix at...
Weaver Leads Friday American Le Mans Test at Lime Rock
Lakeville, CT - The Dyson Racing team threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the American Le Mans Series field on Friday by leading testing for Monday's inaugural New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
James Weaver drove the team's Lola EX257-AER/MG to a lap of 48.165 seconds on the 1.54-mile, eight-turn circuit, the "home" track for the Dyson team. Located less than an hour's drive from the track, the Dyson team has years of experience at Lime Rock and was expected to lead the way as many ALMS drivers and teams were seeing the tricky circuit for the first time on Friday. Weaver and co-driver Butch Leitzinger have won several times at Lime Rock in other forms of racing.
Setting the second-fastest time in the two-hour test session was the ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 of JJ Lehto and Marco Werner, winners of last week's ALMS event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with a lap of 48.827. Neither of the two European drivers had been on the Lime Rock circuit until today.
"We're pretty happy with the car right now, but then Dyson Racing has always gone well here," said Weaver. "The Audi is quite quick too, as well as our #20 car. So I think that the battle for the pole tomorrow should be quite interesting."
The other Dyson entry driven by Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson was third-fastest overall and in the LMP1 class on Friday with a lap of 50.165.
The two Chevrolet Corvette C5-R machines of the factory Corvette Racing team were first and second in the GTS class, with Oliver Gavin leading the way with a lap of 52.674 in the car he will share with Olivier Beretta. The Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell entry was second at 52.674, followed by the ACEMCO Saleen S7R of Johnny Mowlem and Terry Borcheller at 55.673.
"I was fortunate to have a clear lap with little traffic," said Gavin. "My first reaction to the circuit was that it is very short; as you start getting used to the layout of the track, you're crossing the start/finish line. I thought the surface of the track was quite bumpy, but it is a very fun track to drive."
Mike Durand, joining Intersport Racing this weekend, led the LMP2 class with a time of 54.268 in the Lola B2K/40-Judd he will share with Clint Field. The Team Bucknum Racing Pilbeam MP91 of Chris McMurry, Bryan Willman and Jeff Bucknum was second at 54.844 followed by the Lola-Nissan of Erik and Gunnar Van Der Steur at 1:01.808.
The GT class was led by the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister, with Bergmeister setting the fast time of 55.388. The J3 Racing Porsche of Justin Jackson and Tim Sugden was second at 56.203 followed by the other Job entry of Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb at 56.244.
"I think it (the track) is fun," said Bergmeister. "I really like the fast downhill section, it is really my kind of turn. Like Mid-Ohio there are concrete patches in the corners, but these don't have any grip. The bumps at the entry of turn one can really upset the car and force you outside, opening the door to be passed."
Saturday's schedule calls for two hours of official practice as well as qualifying for the ALMS cars. Local ordinances prevent any Sunday activity. The race will start at 3 p.m. (Eastern) on Monday. The race will be televised live by the SPEED Channel in North America and MotorsTV in Europe. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.