STEVEN LAPORTE QUICKEST OF THE HONDA/MICHELIN CHALLENGE SERIES DRIVERS AT TROIS-RIVIÃˆRES Trois-RiviÃ¨res, QC, August 5, 2005 - Steven Laporte of Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs topped the charts in the Honda/Michelin Challenge Series free practice session...
STEVEN LAPORTE QUICKEST OF THE HONDA/MICHELIN CHALLENGE SERIES DRIVERS AT TROIS-RIVIÈRES
Trois-Rivières, QC, August 5, 2005 - Steven Laporte of Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs topped the charts in the Honda/Michelin Challenge Series free practice session held Friday at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières. The Team Lombardi driver posted his best time around the 2.433-kilometre street course on the last lap of the session, stopping the clock at 1 minute 22.524 seconds (100.698 mph), more than 2.4 seconds quicker than last year's qualifying time. He edged Kuno Wittmer of Hudson (QC) by 0.289 seconds. The Team de Sigi Auto Sport driver posted his best lap time in 1:22.779. Third quickest was his brother Nick Wittmer, followed by Frederick Lelièvre of Mont-Joli, QC and Robert Boyer, Laporte's teammate.
''We tried a new set up on the car for this weekend's race and it worked perfectly,'' Laporte said. ''My teammate (Robert Boyer) was using last year's and we wanted to see which one worked the best. I guess Robert will be running on my set ups for qualifying and we should be hard to catch.''
Confidence was also running high in the Honda de Sigi Auto Sport camp with the Wittmer brothers finishing second and third. ''This was a good session as we were scuffing the Michelin tires for Sunday's race,'' Kuno Wittmer said. ''We did two days of testing earlier this week and it paid off today. Track times should be a little closer tomorrow.''
Tires were not the only things his brother Nick was doing during the session. ''I also was scrubbing tires for the race but I managed to scrub the wall on both sides of the car,'' Nick said as he looked at his Sainte-Rose Honda damaged paint job. ''We will put new mirrors on each side and away we will go tomorrow (Saturday) and hope to win a fourth consecutive pole.''
The series' drivers will be back on track Saturday at 10:35 a m. for the lone qualifying session that will set the grid for Sunday's 20-lap or 30-minute race scheduled to start at 9:30 a. m.