GP of Texas qualifying

Dindo Capello inherited the pole position for this weekend's American Le Mans Series opening round after the time of apparent pole winner Frank Biela was disallowed because of a technical violation. In a post-qualifying inspection, series ...

Dindo Capello inherited the pole position for this weekend's American Le Mans Series opening round after the time of apparent pole winner Frank Biela was disallowed because of a technical violation.

In a post-qualifying inspection, series officials discovered that the Audi R8 Prototype of Biela contained a rear diffuser that exceeded the maximum height allowed by rules.

Biela's apparent pole winning speed was disallowed, moving second-fastest qualifier and Audi team-mate Capello to the top starting spot.

Capello, who will co-drive with new partner, Tom Kristensen, turned the 2.324-mile Texas Motor Speedway circuit in 1 minute 16.350 seconds, earning the top starting spot for the two hour, 45-minute opening round.

"Of course we hoped for pole position, but we wanted to earn it by our speed," Kristensen said.

"I would have liked to do some more laps on this circuit before the start of the race, but now I will learn during the race."

Kristensen contested Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans for Audi last year but has earned a full-time seat as a replacement for Adelaide winner Allan McNish who is testing for Toyota in Formula One this year.

Panoz star Jan Magnussen pulled out a stunning lap to put the new Panoz on the front row of the grid in the car he will share with Aussie, David Brabham.

"I tried really hard - I wanted to give the guys on the team a good result as they've all worked so hard over the last few months to get the car where it is now," Magnussen said.

Canadian Ron Fellows turned a fast lap of 1:23.963 in the final moments of qualifying to lead the GTS class in a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R.

Fellows, who knocked fellow Corvette driver Andy Pilgrim off the top spot, will co-drive with former Panoz driver Johnny O'Connell in Sunday's race.

"Andy cut a pretty good lap for us to go for," said Fellows.

"We made some quick changes to the car with only four minutes to go. The car was very slippery; we never felt like we got it right."

In the GT class, Lucas Luhr of Monaco turned the fastest lap of 1:25.653 in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. As was the case in the Prototype and GTS classes, Luhr's fast lap occurred at the end of the session.

Texas is the opening round of the 2001 championship. The new venue for the Australian series final is expected to be announced within four weeks.

-ALMS

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Series ALMS
Drivers Tom Kristensen , Jan Magnussen , Frank Biela , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Andy Pilgrim , Lucas Luhr , Dindo Capello