Werner wins pole for Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in record-shattering session. TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, Canada - Marco Werner led a record-shattering qualifying session Saturday to take the pole for Sunday's American Le Mans Series Le Grand...
Werner wins pole for Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in record-shattering session.
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, Canada - Marco Werner led a record-shattering qualifying session Saturday to take the pole for Sunday's American Le Mans Series Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. A new track qualifying record was set in all four classes of competition.
Werner, driver of the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8, turned the 1.521-mile street racing circuit in a record time of 57.740, the fastest lap ever run on the track by any type of car. He earned his first career ALMS pole and will co-drive with fellow German Frank Biela in a car that was rebuilt overnight after Werner crashed it in Friday's testing session.
"There is a lot of pressure on my shoulders," said Werner, who joined the ALMS this season driving for the very successful Joest team and was driving in qualifying for the first time. "Fortunately the team gave me an outstanding car to drive after my mistake of (Friday) in hitting the inside wall. The car was good to drive and it ran faster and faster."
Johnny Herbert and JJ Lehto will start second in the ADT Champion Racing Audi R8. Olivier Beretta and David Saelens were third-fastest in the LMP 900 class in the JML Team Panoz Panoz LMP01 and will start fourth overall.
Butch Leitzinger led the LMP 675 class with a lap of 58.806 in the Dyson Racing Lola EX257-MG. He and co-driver James Weaver will start third overall. The second Dyson car of Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson qualified second in the LMP 675 class, followed by the Team Bucknum Racing Pilbeam MP91 of Jeff Bucknum, Bryan Willman and Chris McMurry.
"We weren't sure if our car would work as well on this circuit as it did last week," said Leitzinger, from State College, Pa. He and Weaver made history last week by winning the ALMS event held at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., the first overall race win in series history by a car from the LMP 675 class. "The Audi is going to be very hard to beat on this track because they can really put the power down, but James and I will do our best to take the fight to them."
Tomas Enge drove the Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello to a lap of 1:01.557 to take the GTS class pole as he and co-driver Peter Kox seek their first ALMS win of the season. The Chevrolet Corvette C5-R of Oliver Gavin and Kelly Collins will start second in class, followed by the second Prodrive Ferrari of Jan Magnussen and David Brabham.
"We are very surprised to be on the pole," said Enge, noting that the Gavin/Collins Corvette had been fastest in class in both previous practice sessions.
Sascha Maassen won his first GT class pole of the season with a lap of 1:04.518 in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS that he will share with Lucas Luhr. The second Job Porsche of Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister qualified second, followed by the PK Sport Porsche of Robin Liddell and Alex Davison.
"Some of my best success has come on street racing circuits, so I look forward to tomorrow's race," said Maassen, who co-drove with Luhr to victory in last year's inaugural ALMS event at Trois-Rivieres. "The competition in the GT class is so close that it will be difficult to win again."
Sunday's three-hour timed race starts at 2:45 p.m. (EDT) and will be televised live in North America by the SPEED Channel. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.