Biela, Weaver on front row for American Le Mans Series Laguna Seca event MONTEREY, Calif. - Frank Biela and James Weaver earned the front row starting spots for Sunday's American Le Mans Series Fry's Electronics Sports Car Championships at Mazda...
Biela, Weaver on front row for American Le Mans Series Laguna Seca event
MONTEREY, Calif. - Frank Biela and James Weaver earned the front row starting spots for Sunday's American Le Mans Series Fry's Electronics Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca by winning the pole positions for their respective Prototype classes in Saturday's qualifying.
Frank Biela seeks his third straight Laguna Seca win
Biela won the overall pole in the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8 with a lap of 1:16.224 on the 2.238-mile circuit as he seeks his third consecutive win in this event. Biela, who will co-drive with Marco Werner, was also the LMP 900 class pole winner. The two have scored three overall race wins in the ALMS this season.
"The car is performing very well and it's a nice feeling to have two victories on a circuit coming into a race," said Biela. "But you cannot be sure. You have to run the race. But I feel pretty confident for Sunday."
Track qualifying records were set in the other three classes of competition. Weaver won the LMP 675 class pole and qualified second overall with a lap of 1:16.555. He will co-drive the Dyson Racing Lola EX257-MG with Butch Leitzinger as they seek their second overall win of the season.
Weaver felt that he had a shot at winning the overall pole but was stymied by a red flag created when Benjamin Leuenberger crashed the JML Team Panoz entry exiting the track's Corkscrew section.
"We only had trouble with concrete," he joked, a reference to Leuenberger's accident. "After that, we were all right. We thought we had the tire pressures and everything right for qualifying, but when we had to sit there during the red flag it went away."
Johnny Herbert and JJ Lehto qualified third overall and second in P900 in the ADT Champion Racing Audi R8, while Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson were fourth overall and second in P675 in the other Dyson Racing Lola-MG. Fifth overall and third in P675 was the Intersport Lola-MG of Jon Field and Duncan Dayton, while third in P900 and sixth overall was the Panoz LMP01 of Olivier Beretta and David Saelens.
Jan Magnussen won the GTS class pole in the Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello that he will co-drive with David Brabham with a lap of 1:22.350. Magnussen and Brabham won the GTS class in the most recent ALMS event at Road America.
"For sure I am very happy with the way things are going," said Magnussen, who won his first ALMS pole since 1999. "First Road America and now on the pole here, with a new lap record. Brabs and I are starting to get to know the car really well and we don't have to feel our way as much when we get in the car. We can push from the start."
The #80 Prodrive Ferrari is on the GTS pole
Another Ferrari vs. Corvette battle is on the horizon in the GTS class. The other Prodrive car of Tomas Enge and Peter Kox qualified second in class, followed by the Chevrolet Corvette C5-R of Oliver Gavin and Kelly Collins.
Sascha Maassen won the GT class pole in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS with a lap of 1:26.182. He will co-drive with Lucas Luhr. Despite a shunt into a tire barrier early in the session, the second Job Porsche of Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister recovered to qualify second in class, followed by the White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Johnny Mowlem, Craig Stanton and Nic Jonsson.
Sunday's race starts at 12 noon (PDT) and will be a timed event of two hours and 45 minutes and will be broadcast live by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web online at www.americanlemans.com. NBC Sports will have live television coverage from 4-6 p.m. (EDT).