SHIMODA PUTS ZYTEK PROTOTYPE ON POLE IN RECORD-BREAKING ALMS QUALIFYING SESSION AT MID-OHIO Lexington, Ohio - All four class qualifying records fell as a new face in the American Le Mans Series grabbed the overall pole Saturday for the American...
SHIMODA PUTS ZYTEK PROTOTYPE ON POLE IN RECORD-BREAKING ALMS QUALIFYING SESSION AT MID-OHIO
Lexington, Ohio - All four class qualifying records fell as a new face in the American Le Mans Series grabbed the overall pole Saturday for the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, Round 3 of the ALMS. Hayanari Shimoda won his first series pole in a thrilling session that saw him put the No. 15 Zytek factory LMP1 on the inside of the front row with a 1:11.333 on his next-to-last lap in Saturday's 20-minute qualifying session Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Shimoda will start next to the driver whose record he broke, James Weaver in the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola. Weaver held the top spot for most of the latter half of the session, but Shimoda posted his lap on his next-to-last pass around the 2.25-mile, 13-turn circuit.
"During the qualifying, I had one mistake and we lost a lot of time," said Shimoda, who will team with Tom Chilton in Sunday's race. "We had two laps left and then the dashboard didn't work and couldn't see what time I was. Even now, I can't imagine what I did. So it was good. I'm very comfortable with this circuit. It's my favorite now."
Added Chilton, "I realistically thought the car had an 1:11.8. Hayanari drove hard. The car is very nimble through the tight corners."
In P2, Jon Field broke his 2002 class record by almost two seconds in the No. 37 Telesis Intersport Racing Lola B05/40. Field, who teamed with son Clint to win in class at the Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta in Round 2 of the ALMS, will start sixth overall on the grid.
"The car was really fast. I'm really proud of my guys on the Telesis Intersport team," Clint Field said. "I'm really confident with our AER engine and it definitely can go the distance tomorrow for the win"
Oliver Gavin earned his 10th pole with a 1:18.033 to take the GT1 pole in the No. 4 Corvette Racing C6-R. Gavin, who will share driving duties with Olivier Beretta, broke his own mark set last year by more than 0.6 seconds. Gavin was a fraction of a second quicker than teammate Johnny O'Connell in the No. 3 Corvette Racing C6-R.
The two Corvettes and the No. 35 Maserati MC12 were under Gavin's old record, a testament to how fast the Mid-Ohio layout was Saturday.
"The track, when we first got here was quite greasy, and we were struggling everywhere," Gavin said. "The track has gotten better as the classes have run and has rubbered up. In the qualifying session, the track and the car married well together and it produced the grip for us to break the record. It's always a track where if you discipline yourself, you get something out of it."
Timo Bernhard put the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche on the GT2 pole with a lap of 1:22.663, just 0.3 seconds under his mark set last year. Bernhard, teaming with Romain Dumas, was 0.1 seconds quicker than Patrick Long in the No. 31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Porsche.
With a victory Sunday, Bernhard and Dumas will give AJR its first ALMS win at Mid-Ohio. "I did a little quicker in the practice session. In qualifying, I couldn't do it again because of traffic. But in the end, it was OK," Bernhard said. "We have the right tools."
The American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio is set for noon EDT May 22 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. CBS Sports will broadcast the event from 1 to 3 p.m. EDT, and live coverage will be available on American Le Mans Series Radio at www.americanlemans.com.