Las Vegas qualifying report

Audi's Allan McNish moved another step closer to the Le Mans Series driver's title by clinching pole position at the penultimate round of the championship at Las Vegas overnight. McNish clinched Audi's eighth consecutive pole and the fifth in a...

Audi's Allan McNish moved another step closer to the Le Mans Series driver's title by clinching pole position at the penultimate round of the championship at Las Vegas overnight.

McNish clinched Audi's eighth consecutive pole and the fifth in a row for the #77 car of McNish and Dindo Capello.

"The circuit was much quicker in the second qualifying session and we had to go for the pole right out of the box," McNish said.

"The edge goes off after two or three laps. I had to push straight away. At the end session, I ran around in case I was challenged. That was pretty much all that was in the car."

McNish is also mindful that traffic could play a major role in tomorrow's result, with contact with a slower car possibly earning a stop-go penalty and fine.

"I will take the traffic tomorrow as I have done all year," McNish said.

"I'll be forceful, but not stupid. The Prototypes, GTS, and GT cars all have to live on the circuit together. We're well aware of the situation and must not make deliberate, stupid contact."

After challenging Audi strongly in the previous race at Laguna Seca, the Panoz duo of Australia's David Brabham and Danish star Jan Magnussen were disappointed not give the Audis a tougher fight in qualifying after being third fastest.

Magnussen had his final shot at qualifying this weekend, with Brabham due to get the job at the final race of the season in Adelaide.

"It was very difficult today to get a quick qualifying time because we were running out of both time and fuel," Magnussen said.

"I came in half way through the session and we made a few small changes which made the car a bit better, but the Audis are so quick we couldn't catch them.

"I just hope I can get a good start tomorrow to make it an exciting race."

The Dodge Viper GTS squad fought back after Corvette set the pace yesterday, with Olivier Beretta grabbing pole position in the car he will share with Karl Wendlinger.

The pole position was the seventh for the French ORECA team this season and 5th for Beretta.

Dirk Muller's hopes of maintaining his points lead in the GT division received a boost when headed rival Randy Pobst in qualifying. Both the German and American drivers are armed with a Porsche GT3-R. <pre> QUALIFYING - PROTOTYPE DIVISION 1. - Allan McNish/Rinaldo Capello - Audi - 1:06.628 2. - Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro - Audi - 1:06.827 3. - Jan Magnussen/David Brabham - Panoz - 1:07.527 4. - JJ Lehto/Jorg Muller - BMW - 1:07.637 5. - Johnny O'Connell/Hiroki Katoh - Panoz - 1:08.242 GTS DIVISION 1. - Olivier Beretta/Karl Wendlinger - Dodge Viper - 1:14.153 GT DIVISION 1. - Dirk Muller/Lucas Luhr - Porsche GT3-R - 1:17.838

-Paul ryan

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Dirk Müller , Jan Magnussen , Allan McNish , Frank Biela , Karl Wendlinger , Johnny O'Connell , Jorg Muller , Randy Pobst , Hiroki Katoh , Olivier Beretta , Dindo Capello , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto