Trois-Rivieres: Thursday notes

American Le Mans Teams get first look at Trois-Rivieres Circuit; practice, qualifying set for Friday. TROIS-RIVIERES, Qc., Canada (August 1, 2002) -- American Le Mans Series teams and drivers got their first look at the Trois-Rivieres street ...

American Le Mans Teams get first look at Trois-Rivieres Circuit; practice, qualifying set for Friday.

TROIS-RIVIERES, Qc., Canada (August 1, 2002) -- American Le Mans Series teams and drivers got their first look at the Trois-Rivieres street racing circuit on Thursday as they prepared for the opening of practice and qualifying for Saturday's Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.

Though the Canadian river city has hosted racing on its streets for 33 years, this year marks the first time that the American Le Mans Series sports cars have headlined the event. Located between Montreal and Quebec City, the city's 1.52-mile circuit is the smallest that the series has ever raced on.

"It's certainly going to be a very tough weekend," said Jan Magnussen, driver for Panoz Motor Sports and co-winner with David Brabham of the most recent ALMS event in Washington, D.C. Like many drivers, Magnussen spent some time on Thursday driving around the circuit in a passenger car.

"This is a 'real' street track complete with quite a few bumps and a crown in the road," he said. "It is going to be a good challenge for the engineers to get the car to work well around here. Finding grip will not be easy."

With four classes of cars competing in the race, Magnussen expects to be busy inside his Panoz LMP-1 Prototype. "Keeping out of trouble in the traffic is going to be really important as well because if you get it wrong, there is a lot of concrete around," he said.

The Trois-Rivieres event brings the city to life with a motorsports festival. "You can tell from the atmosphere around town already that this race is going to be another great event for the ALMS," said Magnussen.

Twenty-six American Le Mans Series cars were in the paddock on Thursday. Two practice sessions will be held Friday morning with qualifying set for 2:40 p.m. The three-hour race starts at 2:45 p.m. Saturday and will be televised live by the SPEED Channel. Live coverage by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Jan Magnussen