AUDI AND PANOZ SET FOR DOG FIGHT IN THE CALIFORNIA SUN Audi and Panoz look set to fight out round five of the Le Mans Series at Sears Point tomorrow after final qualifying overnight. While the front of the the grid is lined with the silver ...
AUDI AND PANOZ SET FOR DOG FIGHT IN THE CALIFORNIA SUN
Audi and Panoz look set to fight out round five of the Le Mans Series at Sears Point tomorrow after final qualifying overnight.
While the front of the the grid is lined with the silver Audis, the vibrant red Panoz machines will start from positions three and four.
Scotland's Allan McNish set the fastest ever lap around the Sears Point circuit to claim pole position in the Audi R8 he will share with Italian Rinaldo Capello.
The sister Audi of Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela will start alongside with the David Brabham/Jan Magnussen and Johnny O'Connell/Hiroki Katoh Panoz machines nipping at their heels.
McNish had an average lap speed of 187.4 km/h in setting pole position. "The setup wasn't a lot different than yesterday," McNish said.
"The circuit is faster, approximately eight tenths of a second because of the rubber that has gone down in the last 24 hours.
"I wanted to be the first car out for qualifying because I wanted to be sure the track was clear (of debris). From the championship view, I needed to be in the first row. It's good that BMW is not right behind us."
The BMWs could only qualify 6th and 8th but are still expected to perform strongly in the race after winning here last year.
Brabham was impressed with the McNish performance but confident he can turn the tables tomorrow.
"Allan did a stunning lap so congratulations to Audi," Brabham said.
"But we have proved they can be beaten and both Jan and I are going to be pushing them hard all the way.
"It¹s going to be a very tough race but we know what we are doing. Everyone at Panoz has worked tremendously hard on preparing these cars for the track here, and we will go with what we have and do the best we can."
Karl Wendlinger and Olivier Beretta continued their dominance in the GTS class, but Porsche turned the tables on BMW in the GT division. The BMW M3s had held the top two positions in Friday qualifying, but the Dick Barbour Porsche GT3-R of Dirk Muller and Lucas Luhr bounced back to grab the class pole position.
Tomorrow's 2 hour, 45 minute race kicks off at 4.30am (Adelaide time)
PROTOTYPE DIVISION 1. - Allan McNish/Rinaldo Capello - Audi - 1:20.68 2. - Emanuele Pirro/Frank Biela - Audi - 1:21.22 3. - David Brabham/Jan Magnussen - Panoz - 1:22.61 4 - Johnny O'Connell/Hiroki Katoh - Panoz - 1:22.24 5. - Mimmo Schiattarella/Didier de Radigues - Lola - 1:23.00
GTS DIVISION 1. - Karl Wendlinger/Olivier Beretta - Dodge Viper - 1:31.77
GT DIVISION 1. - Dirk Muller/Lucas Luhr - Porsche GT3-R - 1:38.05
- Paul Ryan
2000 Le Mans Series Adelaide's Race of a Thousand Years - December 31, 2000