Mosport: Qualifying report

Weaver puts Dyson Lola-MG on pole for Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport. BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada (August 16, 2003) -- James Weaver led a Dyson Racing sweep of the front row starting positions in Saturday's qualifying for Sunday's American Le Mans...

Weaver puts Dyson Lola-MG on pole for Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport.

BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada (August 16, 2003) -- James Weaver led a Dyson Racing sweep of the front row starting positions in Saturday's qualifying for Sunday's American Le Mans Series Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway.

Weaver won the overall pole for the race with a lap of 1:07.906 in the Dyson Racing Lola-MG that he will co-drive with Butch Leitzinger in Sunday's sports car race on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit. The second Dyson car, qualified by Andy Wallace, was second-fastest overall and in the LMP 675 class. Wallace will co-drive with Chris Dyson.

"We've been working hard all year," said Weaver, who teamed with Leitzinger to win when the ALMS raced at Sonoma, Calif., in July. "I'm not really surprised, but I'm tickled pink. I thought I might get into the (1:09) 75's, but the track started getting slippery and I thought it was best not to push car into trouble. The car is getting faster and faster every lap. The team is fine-tuning the tire pressures and the engine is running perfectly. I think the car will be even faster (Sunday)."

For the second time this year in the ALMS, cars from the Prototype 675 class outqualified cars from the Prototype 900 class, which includes larger and more-powerful cars.

JJ Lehto won the LMP 900 pole and qualified third overall in the ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 that he will co-drive with Johnny Herbert, while Frank Biela qualified second in the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8 shared with Marco Werner.

"We're just not fast enough," said Lehto, who was disappointed to not win the overall pole. "We'll see (Sunday). Maybe with new tires, but we're just not fast here. It's a great track, one of the most challenging around. We'll see, but it's just a lack of power, really. The new smaller engine restrictions this year really hurt us, we're down 10 percent. (Sunday) is a new day, we'll try. Anything can happen."

Jon Field qualified fifth overall and third in the P675 class in a Lola-MG he will share with Duncan Dayton.

Oliver Gavin obliterated the track GTS qualifying record with a lap of 1:14.412, winning his third pole of the season in the factory Chevrolet Corvette C5-R that he will co-drive with Kelly Collins. The old record of 1:15.986 was set last year by Terry Borcheller. "The Corvette team has had a great weekend," said Gavin. "The car has a good amount of downforce, so in turns one, two and eight it really stuck. We could carry a lot of momentum and be aggressive, but not overly so. I am satisfied with my run but I feel if I didn't hit traffic when the tires were newer, I could have gone into the 1:13s. Unfortunately, I threw out my second lap by driving in the grass."

A Corvette vs. Ferrari battle is anticipated, as the Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello of Peter Kox and Tomas Enge qualified second with a time of 1:14.788. However, the time was disallowed when a post-qualifying inspection by IMSA officials revealed that the rear wing dimensions of the car did not meet specifications. The other Prodrive Ferrari of David Brabham and Jan Magnussen, which had qualified third in class, moved to second, followed by the other Corvette of Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell. The Enge-Kox car will be able to start the race at the rear of the field.

The GTS/GT session was red-flagged when Mimmo Schiattarella crashed the Team Olive Garden Ferrari in turn three. The car was heavily damaged, but Schiattarella was examined and released from the track medical center, complaining of soreness in his left hip.

Jorg Bergmeister drove the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS to the GT class pole position with a time of 1:19.441 in the car he will co-drive with Timo Bernhard. He barely beat the 1:19.453 posted by fellow Job driver Lucas Luhr, who will co-drive with Sascha Maassen.

"It's amazing that I got that fast lap the first lap out," said Bergmeister. "I'm really pleased that we had a battle, it's always good fun to be so close and to have such competition and it makes it even better that it's our team car. All four of us like the competition amongst each other. We're even competitive off the racetrack. I'm looking forward to more battles with my teammate and other teams tomorrow."

Marc Lieb qualified third-fastest in the GT class in the Orbit Racing Porsche that he will co-drive with Peter Baron.

Sunday's two-hour, 45-minute sports car endurance race starts at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) and will be televised live by NBC Sports beginning at 2 p.m. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live race coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Johnny Herbert , Duncan Dayton , Tomas Enge , David Brabham , Frank Biela , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Jon Field , Sascha Maassen , Kelly Collins , Peter Baron , Terry Borcheller , Oliver Gavin , Jörg Bergmeister , Peter Kox , Timo Bernhard , Marco Werner , Mimmo Schiattarella , Marc Lieb , Alex Job , Chris Dyson , JJ Lehto
Teams Dyson Racing , Alex Job Racing