Shortened qualifying session brings good and bad luck. The American Le Mans Series' first visit to Trois Rivieres in Canada produced a highly jumbled qualifying session following a major crash - leaving the Panoz team in 3rd and 7th places on...
Shortened qualifying session brings good and bad luck.
The American Le Mans Series' first visit to Trois Rivieres in Canada produced a highly jumbled qualifying session following a major crash - leaving the Panoz team in 3rd and 7th places on the grid.
The accident by young Canadian driver Marc-Antoine Camirand in the LMP675 class stopped the session, cutting the available qualifying time in half.
Both the #50 and #51 cars had just begun their qualifying attack with Bryan Herta getting in his first flying lap and Jan Magnussen still coming up to speed.
After the session was restarted, all teams only had time to exit the pits and drive around the checkered flag - everyone unable to improve.
The shortened session proved fortunate for Herta - equalling his best qualifying effort from Mid-Ohio and out-qualifying the #50 car for the first time this year.
However, it was a disaster for Magnussen who was stuck back in 7th place. Fellow Dane and championship leader Tom Kristensen fared even worse. He had not even begun his first flying lap was left back in 20th position on the grid!
"I am pretty happy with third because our car still wasn't perfect," Herta said.
"I have always wanted to try and out-qualify the other car, but this is not the way I would have wanted to do it.
"Everybody is always waiting to get a gap in the traffic and it almost caught us out; it badly caught Jan out; and other guys fared even worse.
"We are still looking at improvements for tomorrow's race. This is a tough little track and the mixed up qualifying session will really make it difficult for the guys starting further back."
Herta will team-up with fellow American, Bill Auberlen while Magnussen will share the driving duties with usual partner, Australian David Brabham.
"I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky we are not further back, but the shortened session certainly has mixed up the grid," Magnussen said.
"They had no option but to stop the session because there was quite a lot of damaged carbon fiber laying all over the road. That can do some serious damage to a tire. Getting a good start early and setting chase on the first two Audis will be our aim tomorrow."
Saturday's 3 Hour ALMS race will be broadcast live on Speed Channel between 2 and 6pm (Eastern)