Petit Le Mans Wednesday practice

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 3, 2001) -- Emanuele Pirro carries the American Le Mans Series point lead into Saturday's running of Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, and the Italian driver wasted no time on the opening day of practice...

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 3, 2001) -- Emanuele Pirro carries the American Le Mans Series point lead into Saturday's running of Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, and the Italian driver wasted no time on the opening day of practice in making sure that his car was at the top of the speed chart. The Audi R8 co-driven by Pirro and Frank Biela led Wednesday's practice session at the 2.54-mile circuit with a fast lap of 1:11.703, more than half a second faster than the next machine. Pirro can win his first American Le Mans Series title in Saturday's 10-hour sports car endurance race. The Johansson Motorsport Audi R8 of Stefan Johansson and Patrick Lemarie was second-fastest at 1:12.316 in Wednesday's session, followed by the Champion Audi of Johnny Herbert and Andy Wallace at 1:13.029. The second factory Audi of Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen was fourth at 1:13.171 to complete an Audi sweep of the top four. Thirty-nine of the 46 cars on hand for the event participated in the practice session on Wednesday. Practice will continue on Thursday, with qualifying sessions set for Friday. The Petit Le Mans starts at 12 noon on Saturday. The fast time of the day in the LMP 675 class for smaller Prototypes was set by the Dick Barbour Racing Reynard 01Q-Judd driven by John Graham, Milka Duno and Scott Maxwell. The car was clocked at 1:18.181, which was 10th fastest overall. The second Barbour car driven by LMP 675 champion Didier de Radigues, along with Bruno Lambert and Earl Goddard, was second-fastest at 1:18.740. There are eight entries in the class, the largest yet in the first-year class. The GTS class was led by the Saleen S7R driven by Terry Borcheller, Franz Konrad and Charlie Slater at 1:19.826. Second-fastest was the Chevrolet Corvette C5-R of Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell and Scott Pruett at 1:20.988. The BMW M3 GTR of JJ Lehto, Fredrik Ekblom and Karl Wendlinger led the GT class with a lap of 1:22.701, beating the 1:23.002 posted by the BMW Motorsport team car of Jorg Muller and Dirk Muller.

-ALMS-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Milka Duno , Johnny Herbert , Stefan Johansson , Rinaldo Capello , Didier de Radigues , Tom Kristensen , Dirk Müller , Franz Konrad , Bruno Lambert , Frank Biela , Karl Wendlinger , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Scott Pruett , Jorg Muller , John Graham , Scott Maxwell , Terry Borcheller , Dick Barbour , Earl Goddard , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto