Mosport Audi houds out Panoz

Panoz star Jan Magnussen came within three minutes of upsetting the dominant Audi duo in qualifying for round six of the Le Mans Series at Mosport near Toronto in Canada overnight. The Panoz team found an improvement of nearly 1 second from...

Panoz star Jan Magnussen came within three minutes of upsetting the dominant Audi duo in qualifying for round six of the Le Mans Series at Mosport near Toronto in Canada overnight.

The Panoz team found an improvement of nearly 1 second from yesterday to throw down the gauntlet to Audi.

Teamed with Australia's David Brabham, Magnussen set a track track record to grab pole position towards the end of the final qualifying session. Audi's Frank Biela fought back with only three minutes of the session remaining to topple Magnussen's time by 7/100ths of a second.

"I'm very happy for all the guys. We'd made some changes to the car in this morning's practice session when David was driving," Magnussen said.

"I pushed hard, cooled down a bit and then really went for it again. I thought yesterday was on the edge but that's nothing compared to today!"

Biela was pleased to regain pole at the end of the session, but with rain forecast for raceday, the German is concerned.

"I'm worried about the rain coming. At the Nurburgring, we really struggled in the wet," Biela said.

"We're optimistic we can be better now, but until we race in the rain, we won't know. I'm a little nervous for sure."

"Traffic will be a big problem. How you can handle traffic will be very important for everybody".

The first session was interrupted by a heavy crash by Didier de Radigues aboard the Lola. After clashing with one of the Dodge Viper GTS cars yesterday, de Radigues weekend went from bad to worse when he struck the pit wall heavily.

The former 500cc motorcycle Grand Prix star was taken to hospital for observation after complaining of back pain.

It is uncertain whether de Radigues Rafanelli team can repair the car in time for tomorrow's race.

Local star Ron Fellows pulled out a surprise aboard his Chevrolet Corvette to oust the Dodge Vipers from pole position in the GTS class

"We got one! It feels good. You have no idea how hard we worked to find grip. We put our heads down and came up with a plan and made a big forward step," Fellows said.

Randy Pobst and Bruno Lambert held onto the top spot in the GT class, edging out the Bob Wollek/Sascha Maasen Porsche GT3-R.

Tomorrow's six round of the Le Mans Series (a 2 hour, 45 minute race) kicks off at 2.30am (Adelaide time). <pre> QUALIFYING - PROTOTYPE DIVISION 1. - Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro - Audi - 1:08.432 2. - Jan Magnussen/David Brabham - Panoz - 1:08.507 3. - Rinaldo Capello/Alan McNish - Audi - 1:08.539 4 - Johnny O'Connell/Hiroki Katoh - Panoz - 1:09.764 5. - Jorg Muller/JJ Lehto - BMW - 1:10.036 GTS DIVISION 1. - Ron Fellows/Andy Pilgrim - Chevrolet Corvette - 1:16.675 GT DIVISION 1. - Randy Pobst/Bruno Lambert - Porsche GT3-R - 1:21.155

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Didier de Radigues , Jan Magnussen , Bruno Lambert , Frank Biela , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Andy Pilgrim , Jorg Muller , Randy Pobst , Hiroki Kato , Bob Wollek , Emanuele Pirro