Mosport: Champion Racing qualifying report

Champion Racing aims to "light up" title race in Canada Team ADT Champion Racing is aiming to conclude its two-race Canadian "stop over" with victory in the fifth round of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport tomorrow (17 Aug). Johnny...

Champion Racing aims to "light up" title race in Canada

Team ADT Champion Racing is aiming to conclude its two-race Canadian "stop over" with victory in the fifth round of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport tomorrow (17 Aug).

Johnny Herbert and JJ Lehto finished second in the recent Trois Rivières race in Quebec but are determined on repeating their Road Atlanta victory to re-emphasize the Florida team's championship title aspirations.

The Anglo-Finnish combo have recorded a win, two seconds and a third in the four ALMS races staged so far this year. Lehto lies third in the Driver's standings with Herbert fourth. Lehto qualified the 2002-spec Audi R8 on the second row of the 33-car grid in today's 20-minute time trial.

JJ set the third fastest time, a 1min 8.853secs, an average speed of 128.570mph around the historic 2.459-mile track - 0.947secs slower than the pole-starting LMP675 class Lola-MG of James Weaver/Butch Leitzinger - but the quickest LMP900 for the first time this season.

Champion Racing, currently second in the Team's championship, recorded a sixth place courtesy of Allan McNish/Ralf Kelleners (Porsche 911 GT1) at Mosport in the '99 ALMS race and second last year (Herbert/Stefan Johansson). Lehto has finished second (1999) - by just 0.148-secs, the closest-ever ALMS finish - and third (2002) at Mosport.

Johnny Herbert (39). Born: Brentwood, Essex, UK. Lives: Monte Carlo:

"This is my third race at Mosport. I chased down leader [Emanuele] Pirro in the closing stages on my Mosport debut in 2001 but crashed disputing the lead. In last year's race, I was given a stop-go penalty for contact with a backmarker which put us a lap down and destroyed any realistic hopes of victory although Stefan [Johansson] and I did finish second. JJ and I need a win having only finished third and second following our Atlanta triumph in June so perhaps it will be third time lucky for me here. Both JJ and I feel we have got ourselves a good set-up for the race and while the LMP675 Lola-MGs may be very fast over one lap, in race conditions we [Audi] could have the advantage."

JJ Lehto (37). Born: Espoo, Finland. Lives: Monte Carlo:

"I was on maximum attack and had 'pole' twice but ultimately had to be content with third place which is where we thought we'd qualify - the LMP675 cars are very fast here. Frank [Biela] blocked me on one particular lap near the end but I don't believe I could have challenged James' time. Nothing less than a win will be acceptable. With the Joest Audi finishing ahead of us at Sears and winning at Trois Rivières, Johnny and I must drive the ADT Champion Audi in to 'victory lane' if we have any thoughts on the Driver's and Team's ALMS titles. I was involved in the closest ever ALMS race finish four years ago when I finished second by less than two tenth's of a second here so I think Mosport owes me."

-cr-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Allan McNish , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Ralf Kelleners , JJ Lehto