Pirro sets fast time as American Le Mans teams begin Road America practice. ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (July 5, 2002) -- Defending American Le Mans Series champion Emanuele Pirro set the fast time of the day as American Le Mans Series teams began...
Pirro sets fast time as American Le Mans teams begin Road America practice.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (July 5, 2002) -- Defending American Le Mans Series champion Emanuele Pirro set the fast time of the day as American Le Mans Series teams began practice Friday for Sunday's Road America 500 presented by the Chicago Tribune. The 500-mile race will mark the debut of the American Le Mans Series on the four-mile Road America circuit.
Pirro, driving the same Audi R8 Prototype that he co-piloted to victory three weeks ago in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, turned a lap of 1:55.113 (125.094 mph) as teams had two hours of testing during the day. For the Italian, and many other drivers in the field, it was the first time on the Road America circuit in a race car.
"Most of us had talked to other drivers who had been here and we had heard nothing but good things about this circuit," said Pirro, who will co-drive with Frank Biela of Germany in the race. "It is a beautiful, beautiful circuit and very fast."
Jan Magnussen, driving a Panoz LMP-1, was second-fastest in Friday's practice at 1:55.533 in a car he will share with David Brabham. The Audi R8 of Rinaldo Capello and ALMS point leader Tom Kristensen was third at 1:55.948.
Jon Field led the LMP 675 class for smaller Prototypes with a lap of 2:00.587 in a Lola EX257-AER MG he will co-drive with Duncan Dayton and Michael Durand. The trio combined to take the LMP 675 class win in the 12 Hours of Sebring earlier this year. Another Lola-MG for KnightHawk Racing, rebuilt after a serious fire at Le Mans, was second at 2:02.433. The car will be driven by Steve Knight, Mel Hawkins and Chad Block.
In the GTS class, Terry Borcheller turned the fast lap of the day in a Saleen S7R, stopping the clock at 2:04.973. He will co-drive with Franz Konrad as they seek to stop the Chevrolet Corvette team's winning streak this season. The Corvette of Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell and Oliver Gavin was second at 2:06.318.
The GT class was led by the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister at 2:14.107. The Racers Group Porsche co-driven by Kevin Buckler, Michael Schrom and Brian Cunningham was second at 2:14.428.
Official practice and qualifying will be held on Saturday, and Sunday's race will start at 12:30 p.m. (CDT). The race will have live television coverage by CBS Sports from 4-6 p.m. (EDT), while live coverage by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com.