Road America: Qualifying report

WEAVER PUTS DYSON LOLA ON POLE AGAIN FOR GENERAC 500 AT ROAD AMERICA James Weaver put the No. 16 Dyson on the pole for the Generac 500 at Road America for the second year in a row. Elkhart Lake, Wis. - James Weaver won his second American Le...

WEAVER PUTS DYSON LOLA ON POLE AGAIN FOR GENERAC 500 AT ROAD AMERICA


James Weaver put the No. 16 Dyson on the pole for the Generac 500 at Road America for the second year in a row.

Elkhart Lake, Wis. - James Weaver won his second American Le Mans Series pole of the season Saturday, posting the fast time of the day for Sunday's Generac 500 at Road America. His time of 1:53.042 in the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola was a touch more than 0.3 seconds faster than the No. 1 Champion Racing Audi.

Weaver will team with Butch Leitzinger in the Dyson Lola, which also sat on the pole last season. Defending race winners JJ Lehto and Marco Werner will start second in the No. 1 Champion Racing Audi R8. Lehto was 0.3 seconds behind Weaver.

This is the third straight year Dyson Racing has won a class pole at Road America, the longest circuit in the ALMS at 4.048 miles.

"We've been on pole here a lot. I was on pole with Butch a couple of years ago and blew it up, then Butch blew it up last year," Weaver said. "So in three years, we've done two laps."

By all rights, Weaver and Leitzinger should be coming off a victory at Portland, the last round of the ALMS. But the car had a fuel pressure problem on the next-to-last lap, allowing Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro to take the win. Weaver was able to laugh about it Friday.

"I was brilliant. Unfortunately, I got so caught up in my brilliance that I ran out of petrol. We were slaving over that steering wheel, didn't even get a 'thank you.' Then the thing runs out of bloody petrol!"

In LMP2, Clint Field won his third consecutive pole in the No. 37 Intersport Lola with a lap of 1:56.259. He will drive with Liz Halliday, who partnered with him for a victory two races ago at Infineon.

"Liz is getting experience with every race," Field said. "This will only be her fourth race in the prototype. She's not that far behind right now, only a second or so behind me. So she's doing well."

Field won his seventh career pole, which ties him for the class lead with father Jon Field and Weaver. Jeff Bucknum and Chris McMurry will start second in the No. 10 Miracle Motorsports Courage at 1:58.760, followed by the Mazda-powered No. 8 B-K Motorsports Courage.

Oliver Gavin will start on the GT1 pole in the No. 4 Corvette Racing C6-R, along with teammate Olivier Beretta.

"The track has been a little slower than last year. I think it's just the way the track is," Field said. "But the Lola is working really well. It has been good right off the trailer. Road America is my favorite track, and I love coming up here and racing. Maybe that's why I did so well here."

Oliver Gavin posted the fastest GT1 time and a new class record in his No. 4 Corvette Racing C6-R. Gavin's lap of 2:00.382 was nearly a half-second better than teammate Olivier Beretta's mark set last year. The sister car, the No. 3 C6-R of Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell, will start second in class.

"Qualifying was really tricky, I knew Ron was right behind me, and we were expecting a big challenge from the Saleen," Gavin said. "They were quick early on today but not as quick during qualifying this afternoon. This track is all about momentum, you keep it up and the lap speeds will go up as well. We haven't been here since last year, and haven't tested here with the C6-R, so we are still figuring things out."

Speaking of the Saleen, ACEMCO Motorsports' No. 63 S7R of Terry Borcheller and Johnny Mowlem will start third. The car, along with the No. 5 Pacific Coast Motorsports Corvette C5-R and the No. 71 Carsport America Viper, are running with a larger air restrictor (which allows more air into the engine). In addition, Corvette Racing's two C6-Rs are running with 25 additional kilograms of additional weight.

"Frankly, I'm surprised how quick we are and why the Saleen and the Maserati aren't as quick as they should be," Gavin said. "We'll see how the race goes, I know the 3 car will be right there and it will be nip and tuck the whole race. We aim to win all of the races; we want to just go out, put it on pole and keep winning."

For the fourth time this season, the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche of Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas is on the GT2 pole.

In GT2, Timo Bernhard kept the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche on a roll. Bernhard won the class pole with a time of 2:08.458, just 0.029 seconds ahead of the No. 31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Porsche of Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister.

"It might have looked easy on TV, but it was not so easy inside the car," said Bernhard, who with Romain Dumas has won the last four rounds. "I knew Jorg (Bergmeister) was only something like three tenths behind me. Last year here, he was quicker than me. We shared a car for three years, and I know he is more motivated to win and that this is his favorite track."

The No. 23 AJR Porsche has led every lap of the past two races.

"We had some troubles yesterday but we got the speed back today," Bernhard said. "We have lead the last two races flag to flag but I think that might only be because the No. 31 car had trouble early on the in the races. Tomorrow, it's going to be very close."

Starting third will be the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche of Johannes van Overbeek and Jon Fogarty.

The Generac 500 at Road America, Round 7 of the 2005 ALMS, is set for 3 p.m. EDT Sunday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The race will be broadcast on SPEED Channel. American Le Mans Radio, and Live Timing and Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.

-www.americanlemans.com

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Frank Biela , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Jon Fogarty , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Jon Field , Oliver Gavin , Jörg Bergmeister , Timo Bernhard , Patrick Long , Marco Werner , Johannes van Overbeek , Clint Field , Chris McMurry , Jeff Bucknum , Johnny Mowlem , Romain Dumas , Olivier Beretta , Liz Halliday , Alex Job , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto
Teams Corvette Racing , Dyson Racing , Alex Job Racing , Flying Lizard Motorsports