Weaver claims Road Atlanta pole for Dyson

Weaver claims Road Atlanta pole for Dyson

James Weaver claimed the pole position on the classic Road Atlanta road course for Dyson Racing's ...

James Weaver claimed the pole position on the classic Road Atlanta road course for Dyson Racing's #16 Lola EX257-AER in the American Le Mans Series' second race of the year.

#16 Dyson Racing Team Lola EX257 AER: James Weaver, Butch Leitzinger.
Photo by Richard Sloop.
The two Dyson Racing cars had stalked the dominant Champion Racing Audis throughout the weekend's practice sessions, but were never quite as fast, and the first line on the timesheets always noted "Audi R8."

Not so when it counted, though: Wallace pulled out all the stops and took off seven tenths of a second from his fastest practice time to easily clock the fastest lap of the weekend so far. He will be joined by Butch Leitzinger in Sunday's two hour and forty-five minute race.

Meanwhile, Marco Werner, qualifying the #1 Audi, was not able to find the speed to match Weaver, who set two laps faster than Werner's best.

"Our car works best with the right ride height and tracks like here, Road America and Infineon, where we are best set up for the fast corners," Weaver explained. "Today we decided to run the full race setup, bearing full load to see what we could do. So it shows we're definitely going to be ready for the race tomorrow."

Werner will be joined by co-driver JJ Lehto to take the challenge for the race win out on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit. Their sister car, the No. 2 Audi slotted third on the grid with Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro shart the driving duties.

Jon Field sits atop the P2 field in Intersport Racing's Lola B05/40-AER with a time of 1:12.678; Duncan Dayton is Field's co-driver. Second on the grid was the Courage C-65 AER with John Macaluso, Chris McMurry and Jeff Bucknum listed as the pilots.

"My qualifying run was good, but we were hoping to get a little more out of the car," commented Field. "We would have like to have been in the middle of the P1s or even faster. But I'm excited for the race tomorrow and hope to have a good day."

Johnny O'Connell claimed the GT1 class pole for Corvette Racing at his hometown track. O'Connell's fast lap was 1:17.034 in the second race for the new Corvette C6.

"We've got as nice a race car as we've had," expressed O'Connell. "The fact that's seven miles from my house is even better! (The fact that the car is so good) is really kind of cool. This car is so early in its development and we can expect as we go on that it will get even better. The C5 made history. You look at the history of Corvette, and the C6 will be even better."

The Corvette Racing No. 4 C6 slotted second, a mere 0.289-seconds adrift of their team car. Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin are up to the challenge for victory between themselves and the defending class champions O'Connell and Ron Fellows.

In the GT2 class, Bill Auberlen stunned the Porsche contingent with a class pole in his Panoz GTLM; the first for the team. Auberlen and Robbin Liddell would like to give Panoz and the team their first victory and what better place than at the team's hometrack. Auberlen was clocked at a time of 1:21.647.

"I don't have a German accent, so I apologize that we're in an American car," said Auberlen jokingly on his besting the Porsche contingent. "We were close at Sebring to being quickest all the time. The car just keeps getting faster and faster. I keep looking for more knobs to turn because it responds so well. It took a long time for it to come in. On the fourth lap, it came. To be such a small company like Panoz and beat such a big competitor like Porsche, it's something all those guys can smile about. Let's see if we can keep it up front."

Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister had the top Porsche GT3 Cup car. The Michael Petersen/White Lightning Racing drivers slotted second fastest in GT2 at 1:22.406.

The field will take the green flag at noon Sunday (EDT).

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Frank Biela , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Bill Auberlen , Jon Field , Oliver Gavin , Jörg Bergmeister , John Macaluso , Patrick Long , Marco Werner , Chris McMurry , Jeff Bucknum , Michael Petersen , Olivier Beretta , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto
Teams Corvette Racing , Dyson Racing