Utah: Highcroft Racing qualifying report

Highcroft Racing's Wallace Qualifies Fifth in LMP1 Class At Miller Motorsports Park TOOELE, Utah, July 14 - Highcroft Racing's Andy Wallace qualified the Danbury, Conn.-based team's Lola fifth in the LMP1 class and seventh overall...

Highcroft Racing's Wallace Qualifies Fifth in LMP1 Class At Miller Motorsports Park

TOOELE, Utah, July 14 - Highcroft Racing's Andy Wallace qualified the Danbury, Conn.-based team's Lola fifth in the LMP1 class and seventh overall Friday afternoon at Miller Motorsports Park (MMP) for tomorrow night's Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix.

Team owner Duncan Dayton will start the two-hour-and-45-minute American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race, which will be broadcast on a one-day tape-delayed basis at 2 p.m. Eastern time Sunday on CBS.

Driving the team's Lola EX257 AER No. 9, Wallace, of Buckingham, England, ran his fastest lap in the 20-minute qualifying session in 2:25.866 for an average speed of 110.715 miles per hour. It was the third of four laps he ran in the session, which was held while temperatures were near the 100-degree Fahrenheit mark.

Dayton will start the race on the inside of Row Four beside the Intersport Lola of Liz Halliday.

The Highcroft team lowered its times more than seven seconds between the first practice session and qualifying.

This is the series' first visit ever to the brand-new 4.5-mile, 24-turn road course near Salt Lake City, so polesitter Frank Biela's 2:21.554 (114.088 mph) in one of the Audis was an automatic track record.

Wallace will also drive with Dayton at Portland International Raceway in Portland, Ore. July 20-22; Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Aug. 17-20 and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Oct. 19-21.

For more information, see Highcroft Racing's Web site at highcroftracing.com and the series' Web site at americanlemans.com.

Driver quotes follow:

Andy Wallace:

"We're 4.3 seconds off the pole and we're 4.1 seconds ahead of the Field car, which is another Lola, and for a long track I think that is quite good. The team has done a great job; the push we had in practice was better in qualifying. We have a good car for the race.

"It's a lovely track. The garages are very nice for the crew to work in. The track surface is nice. It's a bit dusty when you go off, but this is a proper racetrack. It's wide enough to overtake cars and it's a very technical track. We're happy."

Duncan Dayton:

"We're very happy. Andy did a terrific job and got a great lap in for qualifying. We've been slowly chipping away at the times. We were 7 or 8 seconds slower than the Porsche Spyders cars to start with and now we're only a couple seconds off the second one, which is pretty good.

"Hopefully we'll have a clean run tomorrow. Hopefully we can keep it on the black stuff and have a good run.

"It's an amazing facility. The infrastructure is very good. It's quite a complicated circuit to learn though. It's sort of featureless as far as reference points go. If a car goes off it drags a lot of dust and gravel onto the track, and that can catch you off.

"We have a push but it's a lot better now than it was in practice. We put some packers in the rear and that really helped the car's stability.

"The heat is definitely a factor.

"Our Dunlop tires are working well. We were able to run our softer compound even in the heat of the day, so we're pleased with how the Dunlops are holding up."

-lm

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Duncan Dayton , Frank Biela , Liz Halliday