ALMS teams, drivers win three poles

LE MANS, France (June 14, 2001) -- Drivers and teams from the American Le Mans Series won pole positions for three of the five classes that will compete in this weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car endurance race as qualifying...

LE MANS, France (June 14, 2001) -- Drivers and teams from the American Le Mans Series won pole positions for three of the five classes that will compete in this weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car endurance race as qualifying concluded Thursday night.

Rinaldo Capello of Italy, driving an Audi R8, won the overall pole position for the 69th running of the classic race with a lap of 3:32.429 on the Circuit de la Sarthe. Capello, who is the LMP 900 driver points leader in the American Le Mans Series, edged Audi teammate Tom Kristensen for the top starting spot in the 48-car field. Kristensen had set the fast time in provisional qualifying on Wednesday.

ALMS teams and drivers also won the pole position for the GTS and GT classes in the race, with drivers and cars holding spots they had earned on Wednesday. Oliver Gavin of England, driving an American-built Saleen S7R, was the fastest GTS qualifier, while Cort Wagner of Santa Monica, Calif., led GT qualifying in a Callaway C12.

Twenty-one racing teams from the ALMS are in the event, with 10 of the teams based in the USA. The field of drivers includes 17 Americans, and five American manufacturers are fielding cars.

Many teams spent Thursday working on race setups due to the fact that there will be no more time on the track until the race starts at 4 p.m. (local time) on Saturday. However, some teams managed to improve their speeds, and some positions did shuffle.

American Gunnar Jeannette of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was one of several drivers involved in minor accidents on Thursday. The 18-year-old Jeannette, the youngest driver in the race, skidded his GT-class Porsche 911 GT3 RS at 10:44 p.m. during the final session and had light contact with a barrier. He was able to drive the car back to the pit area.

The race will be televised live from flag-to-flag in the United States on the Speedvision Network beginning at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern) on Saturday. Radio Le Mans has continuing live coverage online at www.radiolemans.com.

A summary of the starting positions of the American Le Mans Series teams, as well as American drivers and American teams:

1. Audi Sport North America, Audi R8, LMP 900 class, drivers Aiello, Capello, Pescatori. 2. Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi R8, LMP 900 class (2nd), drivers Biela, Kristensen, Pirro. 3. Champion Racing (USA), Audi R8, LMP 900 class (3rd), drivers Herbert, Kelleners, Theys. 5. Johansson Motorsports, Audi R8, LMP 900 class (5th), drivers Johansson, Coronel, Lemarie. 6. Chrysler Team ORECA, Chrysler LMP, LMP 900 class (6th), drivers Beretta, Wendlinger, Lamy. 8. DAMS, Cadillac Northstar LMP, LMP 900 class (7th), drivers Bernard, Collard, Goossens. 11. Chrysler Team ORECA, Chrysler LMP, LMP 900 class (9th), drivers Dalmas, Montagny, Sarrazin. 12. DAMS, Cadillac Northstar LMP, LMP 900 class (11th), drivers Wayne Taylor (Altamonte Springs, Fla.), Angelelli, Tinseau. 16. Chrysler Team ORECA, Chrysler LMP, LMP 900 class (13th), drivers Ara, Amorim, Kondo. 19. Panoz Motor Sports (USA), Panoz LMP 07, LMP 900 class (15th), drivers Brabham, Magnussen, Lagorce. 21. Panoz Motor Sports (USA), Panoz LMP 07, LMP 900 class (17th), drivers Graf, Daevis, Formato. 24. Dick Barbour Racing (USA), Reynard 01Q-Judd, LMP 675 class (4th), drivers De Radigues, Maassen, Matsuda. 26. Saleen-Allen Speedlab (USA), Saleen S7R, GTS class (1st), drivers Gavin, Konrad, Terry Borcheller (Phoenix). 27. Corvette Racing (USA), Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, GTS class (2nd), drivers Fellows, Scott Pruett (Charlotte, NC), Johnny O'Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.). 29. Corvette Racing (USA), Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, GTS class (4th), drivers Andy Pilgrim (Aventura, Fla.), Kelly Collins (Corona del Mar, Calif.), Freon. 30. Roock-KnightHawk Racing (USA), Lola B2K-Nissan, LMP 675 class (6th), drivers Hurtgen, Chris Gleason (Johnstown, Penn.), Rick Fairbanks (Greenville, SC). 31. Dick Barbour Racing (USA), Reynard 01Q-Judd, LMP 675 class (7th), drivers Graham, Duno, David Murry (Atlanta). 33. Konrad Motorsports, Saleen S7R, GTS class (6th), drivers Brun, Seller, Charles Slater (Ft. Lauderdale, FL). 38. Aspen Knolls Racing (USA), Callaway C12, GT class (1st), drivers Cort Wagner (Santa Monica, Cal.), Bob Mazzuoccola (Staten Island, NY), Vic Rice (San Rafael, Cal.). 40. Seikel Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, GT class (3rd), drivers Rosa, Babini, Drudi. 46. Seikel Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, GT class (9th), drivers Burgess, Cohen-Olivar, Bagnall.

OTHER AMERICAN DRIVERS

9. Team Bentley, Bentley LMGTP, LMP GTP class (2nd), drivers Butch Leitzinger (State College, Penn.), Wallace, van de Poele. 48. Racing Engineering, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, GT class (11th), drivers Terry Lingner (Indianapolis), Chris MacAllister (Indianapolis), Donovan.

-ALMS

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About this article
Series ALMS , Le Mans
Drivers Rinaldo Capello , Tom Kristensen , Johnny O'Connell , Scott Pruett , Andy Pilgrim , Wayne Taylor , David Murry , Kelly Collins , Terry Borcheller , Oliver Gavin , Dick Barbour , Gunnar Jeannette , Chris Gleason , Rick Fairbanks , Vic Rice , Chris MacAllister , Corona del Mar , Bob Mazzuoccola , Cort Wagner
Teams Team Joest , Corvette Racing , DAMS , Racing Engineering