Portland Friday practice

PORTLAND, Ore. (August 3, 2001) -- The rejuvenated Panoz Motor Sports team pushed the dominating Audis hard on Friday at Portland International Raceway as practice got underway for Sunday's American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of...

PORTLAND, Ore. (August 3, 2001) -- The rejuvenated Panoz Motor Sports team pushed the dominating Audis hard on Friday at Portland International Raceway as practice got underway for Sunday's American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Portland.

Emanuele Pirro of Italy, driving an Audi R8 Prototype, turned a lap of 108.118 mph around the 1.944-mile Portland circuit, barely beating the fast lap of 108.103 mph turned by Audi teammate Tom Kristensen.

But it was the fast laps posted by Panoz driver Jan Magnussen late in the session that turned heads on pit road. Magnussen, driving a 2000 Panoz LMP-1 Roadster, was clocked at 107.057 mph and was pushing the Audis for most of the 90-minute session. The Panoz team returned to its 2000 car at the most recent ALMS race two weeks ago in Sonoma, Calif., temporarily parking its troublesome 2001 LMP 07 machines.

The LMP 675 class for smaller, less-powerful Prototypes was paced by a lap of 100.756 mph turned by Didier de Radigues in a Reynard 01Q-Judd, good enough for sixth-fastest overall.

The tight GTS class was led by the Saleen S7R of Terry Borcheller, clocked at 97.582 mph. The two-car Corvette team was close behind.

Porsche reasserted itself in the GT class as Christian Menzel was the fastest on the day at 94.993 mph in a Porsche 911 GT3 R. His Alex Job Racing/McKenna Porsche teammate, Lucas Luhr, was second-fastest, followed by the four BMW M3 GTR machines that dominated the Sonoma race. Less than a second separated the six cars.

Qualifying will be held on Saturday afternoon for Sunday's two-hour, 45-minute sports car endurance race. There will be no live television coverage of the race, but the American Le Mans Series Radio Web broadcast can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com beginning at 1 p.m. (PDT). The Speedvision Network will have tape-delayed coverage at 8:30 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, August 6.

-ALMS

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Series ALMS
Drivers Didier de Radigues , Tom Kristensen , Jan Magnussen , Lucas Luhr , Terry Borcheller , Alex Job , Christian Menzel , Emanuele Pirro