Qualifying in Portland is hot. How hot? A sweltering 104 degrees trackside, with the track surface even hotter at 147 degrees. Andy Wallace, driving the ...
Qualifying in Portland is hot. How hot? A sweltering 104 degrees trackside, with the track surface even hotter at 147 degrees. Andy Wallace, driving the #20 Dyson Racing AER Lola set the tone for qualifying. By the end of the session, Wallace was on the pole with a best lap of 1:04.750.
Although Andy Wallace has won numerous races, today was the first pole position he has earned since 1999. Wallace attributed his success to the work the team has done with Goodyear and to the hot weather. "Goodyear has been improving the tires for hot conditions which gave us an advantage today - if it cools tomorrow, that won't help our situation," said Wallace.
Dyson's Racing #16 AER Lola driven by James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger will start second, while the Champion Racing Audi R8 of JJ Lehto and Marco Werner sits third with a time of 1:05.185.
Clint Field in his Intersport Racing Lola B2K/40-Judd earned his second consecutive pole in P2 with a fast qualifying time of 1.09:921. Team Bucknum starts second in P2, qualifying at 1:11.636, a repeat of their respective starting positions from the prior round at Infineon Raceway, in Sonoma, California.
The #63 ACEMCO Saleen S7R of Johnny Mowlem and Terry Borcheller took third with a time of 1:10.912, while keeping close to the #3 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R throughout the session.
Looking to repeat their performance from Infineon Raceway, the Alex Job Racing Porsches have been fast all week in Portland. Alex Job Racing won its 22nd consecutive GT class pole after Romain Dumas drove the #24 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to a fast lap of 1:13.674.
Tomorrow's cooler temperatures, forecasted to be in the high 80's, will make engineers and drivers think hard about tire choice and strategy during morning practice. Portland International Raceway is a short circuit, only 1.967 miles long and 12 turns, which forces a lot of passing. However, opportunities may be limited, as Olivier Beretta said, "It's a question of where you take it. You don't want to go offline to let them pass or you'll pickup dirt [on the track surface]."