Road America: Friday test report

Joest Audi, Intersport Lola lead opening day testing at Road America. ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 22, 2003) -- The Infineon Team Joest Audi continued its recent roll of success in the American Le Mans Series Friday by setting the fastest time of...

Joest Audi, Intersport Lola lead opening day testing at Road America.

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 22, 2003) -- The Infineon Team Joest Audi continued its recent roll of success in the American Le Mans Series Friday by setting the fastest time of the day in unofficial testing for Sunday's Road America 500.

Marco Werner, making his first appearance at the four-mile circuit, turned a lap of 1:54.298 in the Audi R8 he will share with fellow German driver Frank Biela. The two drivers have taken the overall win in the past two ALMS races and took the LMP 900 class win in the third most recent event.

Setting the second-fastest time overall, and leading the LMP 675 class, was the Intersport Lola EX257-MG of Duncan Dayton, who was clocked at 1:55.374. Dayton will co-drive in the event with Jon Field.

"It's a great track with some very interesting and fast corners," said Werner. "I like this kind of road courses. I never drove at Road America before, but I never have problems to learn a new track. It usually takes me four or five laps, then I'm there. Every lap I found something where I could improve, and I did it the next lap. It was nice to be faster every lap, setting the fastest lap in my last timed lap."

"The Intersport car is good," said Dayton. "We have a slight push in some of the corners, and if we can dial that out, it will be terrific. But we're there. After the problems we had at the last race, it's great to be second overall."

Third-fastest overall and second in LMP 900 was the ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 of Johnny Herbert and JJ Lehto at 1:55.391, followed by the Dyson Racing Lola-MG of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger at 1:56.361. The Dyson entry was also second-fastest in the P675 class.

Rounding out the top five in the unofficial session was the Panoz LMP01 of Gunnar Jeannette and Benjamin Leuenberger for JML Team Panoz at .

The production-based GTS and GT classes were very fast during the two-hour session, with the fastest driver in each class setting an unofficial track record.

Ron Fellows turned a lap of 2:03.421 in the factory Chevrolet Corvette C5-R at the end of the session to lead the GTS class, the lap unofficially breaking the track GTS record of 2:03.812 that Fellows set last year in the inaugural ALMS event at Road America. He and co-driver Johnny O'Connell will be seeking their fourth class win of the season in Sunday's race.

"This is a track that I've always liked," said Fellows, who won at Road America during his Trans-Am career. "We're working really hard to be ready to race on Sunday. It's going to be a tough battle between us and the Ferraris."

Second-fastest in the GTS class was the Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello of Jan Magnussen and David Brabham at 2:04.449, followed by the other factory Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Kelly Collins at 2:04.755.

In the GT class, Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb set the fastest time of the day at 2:11.565 in the Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS that he will share with Peter Baron. The lap was faster than the official track GT class record of 2:12.862 set last year by Lucas Luhr.

"Today was the first time for me on the track," said Lieb. "Yesterday, I walked around with Peter. He showed me the track and some tricks here. It definitely helped. I love the track. It's so fluid, no real slow corners, up and down, it's just fantastic. The car is pretty good, we have to improve a little bit, but I'm very optimistic. Everything is good together - the car, the driver, the track, the whole setup is good. But I'm still not on the top level - I can improve myself more."

Luhr and co-driver Sascha Maassen were second-fastest Friday in the Alex Job Racing Porsche at 2:11.853, followed by Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister in the other Job entry at 2:12.574.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Duncan Dayton , David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Frank Biela , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Jon Field , Sascha Maassen , Kelly Collins , Lucas Luhr , Peter Baron , Oliver Gavin , Gunnar Jeannette , Timo Bernhard , Marco Werner , Marc Lieb , Benjamin Leuenberger , JJ Lehto
Teams HART