Team Olive Garden Ferrari to start from 2nd GTS Spot Sonoma, Calif. (July 26, 2003) - Nearly on fumes, with a red fuel warning light glowing, Emanuele Naspetti gunned his Team Olive Garden Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS racer to a lap of 1 minute,...
Team Olive Garden Ferrari to start from 2nd GTS Spot
Sonoma, Calif. (July 26, 2003) - Nearly on fumes, with a red fuel warning light glowing, Emanuele Naspetti gunned his Team Olive Garden Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS racer to a lap of 1 minute, 33.266 seconds at Infineon Raceway and captured the second quickest time in a time-shortened GTS qualifying session. It was the second consecutive ALMS race where unusual circumstances marked the qualifications and more heavily favored teams were caught out.
Team boss Gabriele Rafanelli sent Naspetti out early in the session to take advantage of the minimal traffic situation. Naspetti's effort on a clear track was nearly stymied when he came up on a slower car, but rather than pass, the view of the #4 Corvette in his mirrors assured him a better strategy was actually to slow down and conserve fuel for a charge "on fumes", let the faster Corvette past, assured that he would have a perfectly clear circuit.
Naspetti had already "bagged" his quick lap of 1 minute 33.266 seconds by the time the Veloqx ProDrive team was on their qualifying attempt. An accident involving one of the Porsche GT category cars brought out the red flag. The session ended with Naspetti second to the #4 Corvette and the Jan Magnussen / David Brabham ProDrive entry third with a recorded time of 1 minute, 38.450 seconds.
Team Olive Garden Driver Quotes:
"I went out very early to take advantage of the lack of traffic. I had a very, very light fuel load which meant I had very few laps to make it. On my third lap, I came upon a slower car but I saw nobody close behind me so I decided to slow down rather than try to pass the Porsche. I ran a half a lap slowly to conserve fuel and I saw the #4 Corvette approaching me so I let him by easily and picked up the pace sure that I would have a perfectly clear lap. I don't know if I could have gone another lap, actually because I had a fuel warning light on when the red flag came out. It was a strange qualifying session wasn't it?"