Biela sets the pace at Mosport

Le Mans 24 Hour and Sebring 12 Hour winners Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro set the pace on day one of qualifying for round six of the Le Mans Series at Mosport near Toronto in Canada today. The German/Italian driver pairing topped the ...

Le Mans 24 Hour and Sebring 12 Hour winners Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro set the pace on day one of qualifying for round six of the Le Mans Series at Mosport near Toronto in Canada today.

The German/Italian driver pairing topped the timesheets after stopping the clock at 1 minute, 8.659 seconds, just ahead of the sister car of Sears Point winners Alan McNish and Rinaldo Capello.

Australian star David Brabham was third fastest after his team-mate Jan Magnussen recorded a time of 1:09.467 aboard the Panoz LMP-1 they will share.

Biela found the former home of the Canadian Grand Prix a tough challenge, but was delighted to top Friday qualifying.

"We had a test day on Monday, the circuit is not easy and it's very, very fast," Biela said.

"This weekend looks good for us, but you never know what will happen during a race - with strategy, driver changes and tyres - anything could happen." Magnussen could not split the Audi duo, but it was certainly not through lack of trying.

"I had a huge 'moment' in the last fast corner when I lost the rear end so that spoiled my lap," Magnussen said.

"Unfortunately the fuel light had already come on so I couldn't do another lap. We have a few more things to try for tomorrow so I think we can find some more time."

Fighting with the traffic in the Le Mans Series races is part of the tough challenge of the championship. Lola driver Didier de Radigues found out just how tough after clashing with the Dodge Viper of Sears Point GTS winners Tommy Archer and David Donohue.

"I thought he knew I was there, otherwise I wouldn't have tried to pass. He came down and got me in the left rear," de Radigues said.

"It was just bad luck for both of us. We have to replace the rear-end and the undertray."

Archer and Donohue were third fastest in qualifying for the GTS division, with the Corvette of local hero Ron Fellows splitting the Vipers. Karl Wendlinger and Olivier Beretta were less than 3/10ths of a second faster than the Corvette.

Randy Pobst and Bruno Lambert topped the GT class aboard their Porsche. The pace-setting Lucas Luhr and Dirk Muller Porsche was damaged during the morning practice session and missed the afternoon qualifying.

-paul ryan

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Didier de Radigues , Dirk Müller , Bruno Lambert , Frank Biela , Ron Fellows , Tommy Archer , Randy Pobst , Lucas Luhr , David Donohue , Olivier Beretta , Emanuele Pirro