Biela wins Mosport pole; Borcheller snaps Fellows streak.
BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada (August 17, 2002) - Frank Biela led a record-setting American Le Mans Series qualifying session Saturday at Mosport International Raceway to win the pole for Sunday's mail2web.com Grand Prix of Mosport. Three of the four class-winning pole speeds were track record laps.
While Audi Sport North America driver Biela was winning his fourth pole of the season, Terry Borcheller stunned the crowd with a record-setting lap in the GTS class that snapped the six-race pole-winning streak of Ron Fellows. Fellows had won six consecutive poles before the Borcheller drove the Konrad Motorsports Saleen S7R to his first pole this year. Borcheller's lap time was 1:15.986 (116.500 mph) on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit.
Fellows, who lives near the track in the Toronto suburb of Mississagua, had won the GTS class pole in every ALMS race this season. The Chevrolet Corvette C5-R driver was attempting to set a series record for the most poles by any driver in any class, but was upset at his home track by Borcheller for the second straight year.
"It's been a really tough year, and this team needed a boost," said Borcheller, who beat Fellows to win the GTS class driving championship last year. "The Corvettes have beaten us all year, and it gets boring in a series if you don't have a shock like this sometimes.
"I have to thank both of the Corvette drivers for giving me room on my flying lap, especially Ron," said Borcheller. "He was slowing down and he could have really messed up my lap, but he went out of his way to give me room and that was typical of the kind of driver he is."
"I wasn't surprised by Terry because I was worried about him," said Fellows.
Biela drove an Audi R8 Prototype to a lap of 1:07.169 (131.793 mph), more than a second faster than the previous track record. He attributed the increased speed to improvements to the Audi as well as some concrete patches on the track.
"The car was good right from the start of practice," said Biela, who will co-drive with Emanuele Pirro in Sunday's race. "This is a track that's really fun to drive but you have to be on your game; you don't want to go off the track here."
The second Audi factory car co-driven by Rinaldo Capello and ALMS point leader Tom Kristensen will start second, followed by the Champion Audi of Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson. Herbert jumped from sixth to third with a fast lap in the closing moments of the qualifying session.
Jon Field picked up his fourth pole of the season in the LMP 675 class in a Lola EX257 AER-MG, setting a track record of 1:09.730 (126.953 mph). He will co-drive with Michael Durand.
Lucas Luhr won his third GT class pole in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS with a time of 1:20.939 (109.371 mph). He and co-driver Sascha Maassen have won four of the six ALMS races run this season. The race will be a two-hour, 45-minute timed event and will start at 1 p.m. (EDT). NBC Sports will have live television coverage beginning at 2 p.m. and the American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.