Saturday 14th October 2000, Olivier Beretta and David Donohue qualified their Team ORECA Dodge Viper GTS R/Ts third and fifth on the grid for tomorrow's American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca, the challenging circuit on the Monterey peninsula.
Saturday 14th October 2000, Olivier Beretta and David Donohue qualified their Team ORECA Dodge Viper GTS R/Ts third and fifth on the grid for tomorrow's American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca, the challenging circuit on the Monterey peninsula. They were edged out by the Chevrolet Corvettes of Ron Fellows and Kelly Collins, and split by the new, mid-engined Saleen S7 on its debut appearance.
"We were still working on the setup of the car this afternoon, and I only had one clear lap " said Beretta. "We had a little misfire this morning practice session, and we lost some time. I felt this afternoon that the engine was not as sharp as I expected, but after making a small modification to the suspension the car felt a lot better. In the end I set a time of 1:24.142 which is not so far behind the Corvettes, so I am not too disappointed. We have still not realised the full potential of the Viper this weekend, but I am quite confident for the race."
David Donohue claimed fifth place on the grid, unable to find a clear lap and, eventually, running out of fuel at Turn 6. "Not my day" he said tersely. "The car feels good for the race, but obviously I would prefer to be nearer the front at the start.
Team director Pierre Dieudonné confirmed that a new V10 engine will be installed in Beretta's Viper for tomorrow's two-and-three-quarter hour race, with fine weather conditions forecast.
"We know that the Corvettes are quick in qualifying" said Dieudonné, but we are confident that we can give them a good run for their money in the race. They have out-qualified us a few times this year, but I think we can turn that around tomorrow. The Saleen S7 has made a very impressive debut, and it will be interesting to see if it can run like that for the duration of the race."