Sears Point Audi leads in first qualifying session

Sonoma, Calif., The Audi R8's are currently one and three on the provisional grid for the first round of qualifying for the Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point Raceway. Allan McNish driving the number 78 Audi posted the fastest time with ...

Sonoma, Calif., The Audi R8's are currently one and three on the provisional grid for the first round of qualifying for the Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point Raceway.

Allan McNish driving the number 78 Audi posted the fastest time with at 1:22.006, with an average speed around the twisty Sears circuit of 110.626 mph. Emanuele Pirro piloted the number 77 R8 to a third place grid position with a time of 1:22.374. Second place was the Panoz of David Brabham.

"The session was a little more slippery than this morning. The heat and the wind make the track dusty. With new tires the car was balanced. I did a good lap straight away; I hit some traffic and then backed off. I wasn't able to better my time. At this moment I am happy. We will have to go faster in qualifying tomorrow. Qualifying is very important here, the traffic and general nature of the circuit make qualifying up front important. You can also dictate the race strategy. It is surprising that the car is fast straight out the box here. The high speed area from turn 10 to the last turn really favors our car," said Allan McNish.

Emanuele Pirro commented on his third place qualifying run, "I'm quite happy with my time and the improvements we have done on the car since this morning. I am sure we can go faster tomorrow."

<pre> Audi R8 line-up for Sears Point: #77 Allan McNish/Rinaldo Capello #78 Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro

Sears Point First Round Qualifying 1. Allan McNish Audi 1:22.006 2. David Brabham Panoz 1:22.371 3. Emanuele Pirro Audi 1:22.374 4. Johnny O'Connell Panoz 1:22.924 5. J.J. Lehto BMW 1:23.690

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Allan McNish , J.J. Lehto , Frank Biela , Johnny O'Connell , Emanuele Pirro