BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (August 17, 2001) -- Frank Biela, holder of the record for the fastest lap ever turned at Mosport International Raceway, showed that he had not forgotten the fast way around the Canadian racing circuit Friday as he...
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (August 17, 2001) -- Frank Biela, holder of the record for the fastest lap ever turned at Mosport International Raceway, showed that he had not forgotten the fast way around the Canadian racing circuit Friday as he led the first day of practice for Sunday's American Le Mans Series GT3 Grand Prix at Mosport.
The German drove an Audi R8 Prototype around the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit in 1:09.404 (127.549 mph), the fastest of 26 cars that practiced on Friday. Though Biela and driving partner Emanuele Pirro are winless in four ALMS races this season, they won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
The Panoz LMP1-R of David Brabham and Jan Magnussen, winner of the most recent ALMS race two weeks ago at Portland, Ore., was second-fastest on Friday at 126.311, followed by the Audi R8 of Johnny Herbert and Andy Wallace at 125.889.
The Reynard 01Q-Judd of Didier de Radigues and Bruno Lambert was the fastest car in the LMP 675 class at 118.432 (1:14.747), which was the ninth-fastest speed overall.
Hometown hero Ron Fellows, who lives in a suburb of nearby Toronto, led the cars in the GTS class with a lap of 114.714 (1:17.169) in a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R that he will share with Johnny O'Connell. Fellows and O'Connell have won the GTS class in three of the four ALMS races this season.
Leading the tight GT class was the BMW M3 GTR driven by Dirk Muller and Fredrik Ekblom, which turned a lap of 111.085. The top six cars in the class, including four BMWs and two Porsches, were separated by less than a second.
The worst incident of the practice day was a crash by Johnny Mowlem in a Porsche in turn three. The car slid off the track and struck a barrier, suffering major front-end damage. Mowlem was not injured.
The Prototypes driven by Magnussen and Wallace also had problems during the day, with Magnussen spinning in turn 10 and Wallace sliding off the track in the same spot. Neither car was damaged.
More practice will be held Saturday morning, with qualifying to set the starting field scheduled for 4 p.m.
Sunday's two-hour, 45-minute sports car endurance race will start at 1 p.m. and will be televised live in the United States by NBC Sports. The live broadcast of the American Le Mans Series Radio Web can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com.