SONOMA, Calif. -- American Le Mans Series point leader Rinaldo Capello took the pole position Saturday for Sunday's The X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point Raceway, the first race for the series in four months. The...
SONOMA, Calif. -- American Le Mans Series point leader Rinaldo Capello took the pole position Saturday for Sunday's The X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point Raceway, the first race for the series in four months.
The Italian drove an Audi R8 Prototype to a lap of 110.979 mph (1:21.745) around the 2.52-mile, 12-turn track, the fastest of 26 cars that will start the race. The sports car endurance race will go for two hours and 45 minutes.
Capello, who has been a part of the winning team in both American Le Mans Series races run this year, will co-drive with Denmark's Tom Kristenen. He won last year's race for the series at Sears Point with co-driver Allan McNish.
"When I did my first two laps, I didn't expect the track to be so slippery," said Capello. "I missed the apex in one of the turns three times in a very quick part of the track. I wasn't sure if I got the pole because I felt that I could go quicker."
The second Audi factory car qualified second-fastest at 110.068 and will be co-driven by Frank Biela of Germany and Emanuele Pirro of Italy, who co-drove with Kristensen to victory in last month's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Former Formula One star Johnny Herbert of England will start third in his American Le Mans Series debut, co-driving an Audi R8 with England's Andy Wallace.
Terry Borcheller of Phoenix led GTS-class qualifying with a lap of 99.776 mph in a Saleen S7R. He will co-drive with German Franz Konrad.
Dirk Muller of Germany, the all-time leader in pole positions in the ALMS, set a GT class record in a BMW M3 GTR with a lap of 96.755. Muller has won the pole all three years the ALMS has competed at Sears Point, and has won the GT class in both races.
The new LMP 675 class was led by the Dick Barbour Racing Reynard 01Q-Judd driven by John Graham of Canada, who turned a lap of 99.396. His co-drivers will be Didier de Radigues of Belgium and Milka Duno of Venezuela.
The X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma will be televised live by NBC Sports at 4 p.m. (EDT). The live race broadcast by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com.