FIRST PRACTICE SESSION TAKES ON NEW IMPORTANCE AS THE REMNANTS OF ERNESTO THREATENS TOMORROW'S AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES QUALIFYING AT MOSPORT INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY Romain Dumas sets new un-official LMP2 track record, less than 1/10th of a second...
FIRST PRACTICE SESSION TAKES ON NEW IMPORTANCE AS THE REMNANTS OF ERNESTO THREATENS TOMORROW'S AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES QUALIFYING AT MOSPORT INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
Romain Dumas sets new un-official LMP2 track record, less than 1/10th of a second off of the outright record.
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (Canada) - September 1, 2006 - With the remnants of tropical storm Ernesto bearing down on the North East, the weekend's first timed practice session took on added importance today. With experts predicting as much as 4 inches of rain and winds in excess of 25 mph for tomorrow's scheduled qualifying for the Labour Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport, Porsche teams took no chances as they worked to come to grips with one of the most challenging tracks on the 11-race ALMS circuit.
"I knew that tomorrow might be a complete wash out," said Romain Dumas, driver for the #7 RS Spyder. "If that happens, we may be gridded based on our 'unofficial' practice times. So today I really pushed much more than normal for a Friday practice."
And push he did, setting an un-official time of 1:07.22, 1/10th of a second off the outright track record, set by Frank Biela in 2002 in the Audi R8. Most of the action took place in the last 5 minutes and had the feel and look of the last few moments of final qualifying as all the teams attacked the 2.55 mile Mosport track in an attempt to set a time that might be their fastest of the weekend.
Known to be one of the most unforgiving tracks in North America when dry, Mosport International Raceway becomes treacherous when it is wet.
"We had a very good test on Monday and the balance of the car is very good," Said Dumas. "If it is dry, we are in a good position. If it is wet," he added, "it is wet for everyone.
"At Mosport, the surface becomes very slick, unpredictable, like driving on ice, when it rains here," said Dumas. "We can't afford mistakes at this point of the season."
The two Porsche RS Spyder prototype teams, prepared by Penske Motorsports, are looking to lengthen their chassis and engine manufacturer championship points lead in the LMP2 class, while drivers Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr continue to fight it out for the driver's Champion- ship. Dumas co-drives the #7 RS Spyder with Luhr and Maassen co-drives the #6 with Timo Bernhard.
In the GT2 class, Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb, substituting for regular Flying Lizard Porsche driver Wolf Henzler, turned the fastest Porsche 911 GT3 RSR lap behind the two Risi Ferraris. Lieb will co-drive with GT2 points leader Johannes van Overbeek in the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche.
-credit: porsche motorsport