Road Atlanta open test notes 2005-09-25

ALMS TEAMS COMPLETE PRETEST FOR PETIT LE MANS Braselton, Ga. - Twelve teams from the American Le Mans Series took advantage of a three-day open test session at Road Atlanta for the eighth annual Petit Le Mans, set for this weekend at the ...

ALMS TEAMS COMPLETE PRETEST FOR PETIT LE MANS

Braselton, Ga. - Twelve teams from the American Le Mans Series took advantage of a three-day open test session at Road Atlanta for the eighth annual Petit Le Mans, set for this weekend at the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Northeast Georgia road course.

It's pretty clear that no one wanted to show all their proverbial cards. Of the cars in attendance, the No. 37 Intersport Racing Lola B05/40 posting the weekend's quickest times (between 1:12.9 to 1:19 laps). Father-son duo Jon and Clint Field did most of the testing, along with codriver Liz Halliday. The LMP2 entry was unofficially faster than the Porsche RS Spyder, which tested Friday and Saturday. The car is not entered in Petit Le Mans.

The other P2 entry on hand was B-K Motorsports' No. 8 Mazda-powered Courage of Jamie Bach, Guy Cosmo and Elliott Forbes-Robinson. Since the last ALMS round at Mosport earlier this month, the car has been at the Buford, Ga., shop of engine guru Dennis Spencer.

Sunday marked the first time Forbes-Robinson drove the car and his first laps at Road Atlanta since 2001. "I think there are a few things we can do to make it faster," EFR said. "It's a stable car. The engine reliability definitely makes this the car you want to have in this race."

No other team put more laps on their cars than Aston Martin Racing. The No. 57 DBR9 of David Brabham, Darren Turner and Jonny Kane turned laps between 1:18.6 and 1:20. The No. 58 car of Peter Kox, Tomas Enge and Pedro Lamy were about a half second to a second off their teammates' pace.

"It was a good day," Turner said. "We are looking for a little more pace. We did a lot of tire testing, so we should be OK."

ACEMCO Motorsports' No. 63 Saleen wasn't that far off the times from the No. 57. The car of Terry Borcheller, Johnny Mowlem and Ralf Kelleners were consistently between the 1:18 and 1:19 brackets.

There were a number of GT2 teams on hand, including two Porsches from both Flying Lizard Motorsports and Alex Job Racing. The AJR Porsches each were around the 1:24 range, with the No. 23 of Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard dipping into the high 1:22s. Dumas said the team experimented in the afternoon with a new shock package that the crew will develop throughout the week.

Flying Lizards' two cars were between 1:25 and 1:28. BAM! also brought its Porsche for the test sessions and hovered around the 1:26 mark.

There weren't many offs reported, the most serious coming when the No. 24 AJR Porsche went off at the exit of Turn 1. The car sustained moderate damage to its rear but nothing that will require significant work, the team said. That bodes well for what could be top-to-bottom one of the most competitive Petit Le Mans we've seen

Petit Le Mans is the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series. The annual 1,000-mile/10-hour race is scheduled for 11:20 a.m. EDT Saturday at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. SPEED Channel will provide live television coverage. Qualifying is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT Friday. American Le Mans Series Radio, and IMSA Living and Timing Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Tomas Enge , David Brabham , Ralf Kelleners , Darren Turner , Pedro Lamy , Guy Cosmo , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Terry Borcheller , Peter Kox , Jonny Kane , Clint Field , Dennis Spencer , Johnny Mowlem , Romain Dumas , Liz Halliday , Alex Job
Teams Aston Martin Racing , Alex Job Racing , Flying Lizard Motorsports