DYSON LOLAS TOP SPEED CHART IN QUICK PRACTICE SESSION AT PORTLAND Portland - It's setting up to be another record-breaking weekend for the American Le Mans Series. The four fastest cars in Thursday's test session for the Portland Grand Prix...
DYSON LOLAS TOP SPEED CHART IN QUICK PRACTICE SESSION AT PORTLAND
Portland - It's setting up to be another record-breaking weekend for the American Le Mans Series. The four fastest cars in Thursday's test session for the Portland Grand Prix were under the track qualifying record, and they also were faster than last year's quick time in testing. What's more, the top car in each of the four ALMS classes were quicker than the existing track records.
At the top of the speed chart Thursday were Dyson Racing's two Lola EX257s. The No. 20 entry of Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson set the pace with a lap of 1:03.145, nearly a second faster than David Brabham's record time in 2001. Coincidentally, Wallace won the pole for last year's Portland race and the last round of the ALMS two weeks ago at Infineon Raceway.
"The first corner is a little faster, probably not more than a second," Wallace said. "I suppose the teams are working really hard, just like they did at Infineon. Everybody is honing their setups."
About 0.4 seconds off the pace was the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger. They were followed by Champion Racing's two Audi R8s: the No. 1 entry of JJ Lehto and Marco Werner, followed by the No. 2 of Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela.
The No. 37 Intersport Racing Lola B05/40, which won in LMP2 two weeks ago at Infineon Raceway, posted a lap of 1:06.989 with Clint Field and Gregor Fisken at the wheel. Next in class was the No. 10 Miracle Motorsports Courage C65 of Jeff Bucknum and Chris McMurry.
Corvette Racing's two Corvette C6-Rs were quickest in GT1, with the No. 3 entry of Johnny O'Connell and Ron Fellows turning a lap of 1:08.864, more than a second faster than teammate Olivier Beretta's class qualifying record set last year. Speaking of Beretta, he and Oliver Gavin were second in class Thursday at 1:09.167. The third- and fourth-quickest cars in class (the No. 5 Pacific Coast Motorsports Corvette C5-R and the No. 35 Maserati MC 12) also were under Beretta's mark. Thursday's times, though, are unofficial.
In GT2, the two fastest cars also were under their class records Thursday. The No. 31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long, class point leaders, was fastest at 1:13.050. Less than 0.2 seconds behind was the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche of Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, who have won three ALMS races in a row. Boris Said holds the class mark of 1:13.291, set in August 2001.
Third quickest in class Thursday was the No. 24 AJR Porsche of Ian Baas and Darren Law at 1:13.834. Flying Lizard Motorsports' two Porsches, Nos. 44 and 45, were next.
The Portland Grand Prix is set for Saturday at Portland International Raceway. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel from 8 to 11 p.m. EDT, the first time an ALMS race has been broadcast in prime time. Qualifying is scheduled for 2:55 to 3:40 p.m. PDT on Friday. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing and Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.