BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 29, 2000) -- Texas winners Ron Fellows and Andy Pilgrim drove their Goodyear-equipped GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet Corvette C5-Rs to the top two GTS qualifying spots for Saturday's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on ...
BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 29, 2000) -- Texas winners Ron Fellows and Andy Pilgrim drove their Goodyear-equipped GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet Corvette C5-Rs to the top two GTS qualifying spots for Saturday's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Thursday and retained the positions following Friday's second session.
Fellows, who shared a lone Corvette with Pilgrim at Texas, posted the fastest time in Thursday's session at 1:18.632 (116.284mph), breaking the old track record of 1:19.525. It was Fellows third American Le Mans Series pole of the year (Sebring, Mosport and Road Atlanta) and fifth track record in 2000 (Daytona and Le Mans).
Fellows' time on Friday was slightly slower, at 1:20.226 (113.978mph). "We felt the track was going to be a little bit slower and actually (we) worked on the race setup on the car," said Fellows, who will team with Chris Kneifel and Justin Bell on Saturday. "It was our first opportunity to be on the track running at a race pace and it felt really good. You're always changing the balance, making it more a driveable from the midpoint of a tank of fuel to the end.
"This is the chassis that debuted at Mosport (where it lost by 0.353 second) and won at Texas. It has suspension updates, it has better weight distribution, all the things we felt we needed to be more competitive. Goodyear is always working hard to change things for the better. We've got a slightly different tire than we did at Texas; they're working hard. Last year we were a few tenths behind, now we're a few tenths ahead."
Pilgrim was also under the old track record at 1:18.977, creating the first Corvette-Goodyear 1-2 grid in ALMS competition. He also worked on making his car better for Saturday's 10-hour marathon.
"We did what we wanted to today," said Pilgrim, who will co-drive with Franck Freon and Kelly Collins. "We've got new engines, new gearboxes, new diffs. We did a few laps to run things in. Basically, everything went pretty good. It was a working session; I did one lap at speed and I was really surprised it wa s a 19.4.
"The Goodyear tires are working well this weekend. Yesterday was excellent in qualifying. We're going faster into the turns and through the apexes much faster than last year, so it's obvious the tires are much better."