Braselton, GA. (June 28, 2003) - James Weaver turned the fastest time in the three practice sessions today to place the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola on the pole for Sunday's Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta when qualifying was rained out, the first time a...
Braselton, GA. (June 28, 2003) - James Weaver turned the fastest time in the three practice sessions today to place the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola on the pole for Sunday's Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta when qualifying was rained out, the first time a 675 has won the pole at Road Atlanta.
"Absolutely this is great," said Weaver on being fastest in practice today. "This is a very cool car, easy to drive. Should be a tight battle and fantastic race."
The LMP 675 team of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger will lead the field to the green flag at the 2.54-mile 12-turn road course at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. Weaver's time was clocked at 1:13.748 (123.990 mph) on lap eight in the second session.
The grid was set on the combined best times of the three practice sessions, two which were official sessions already on the schedule. The rain conditions immediately before qualifying forced the American Le Mans Series officials to declare qualifying canceled. They then opened the time allotted for qualifying to be free practice, the third session of the day which determined the grid.
The rain left the area, and the track dried out in the final minutes of the free practice session. Two team cars improved their time, the Team Joest Audi and the No. 20 Dyson Racing Lola. Most teams set their best times during practice two prior to the downpour.
In the final "free" practice session today, Frank Biela topped the speed charts on the final lap with a time of 113.753. Biela put the Team Joest Audi on the front row knocking the Champion Racing Audi to third on the grid.
J.J. Lehto's fast time for Champion Racing was 1:13.827 (123.859 mph), set in practice two.
Doran-Lista's driver Didier Theys placed the team's Dallara LMP 900 in fourth, his time was clocked at 1:14.304 (123.062 mph) on the 15th lap of practice two.
Chris Dyson put the second Dyson Racing LMP 675 fifth at 1:14.448, his best time was in the final session.
Owner Rob Dyson commented on the team's commitment for the season. "After Sebring. we decided we wanted to win the championship and some races overall. The car is very light, very fast."
Jon Field will start seventh on the overall grid, third in the LMP 675 class. Field's time was 1:16.079 (120.191 mph).
Rounding out the top ten overall were both of the JML Team Panoz cars No. 10 (6th overall, 4th in LMP 900) and No. 11 (8th overall, 5th in LMP 900) and the American Spirit Racing LMP 900 R&K (10th overall, 7th in class).
Corvette Racing has the front two spots in the GTS class. Ron Fellows bested teammate Oliver Gavin by four-tenths of a second to have the class pole. Fellows did a time of 1:20.917 (113.005 mph) in the No. 3 'Vette. Gavin's time was 1:21.320 (112.445 mph) in the No. 4 car.
"I did almost the same lap time yesterday," stated Fellows. "We're still working on the setup but obviously whenever you turn the fastest lap, you've got to be happy with it."
Emanuele Naspetti placed the Team Olive Garden Ferrari in the third top GTS spot, time was 1:21.326 (112.436 mph).
GT class polesitter is Timo Bernhard for one of the two Alex Job Racing Porsches. Bernhard top the charts at 1:24.324 (108.440 mph). Second fastest in the glass is the team car driven by Lucas Luhr at 1:24.590 (108.097 mph).
"We went out right after the start of the practice session to test our race setup," Bernhard said after finding out that the practice times would set the grid. "I didn't know the times would count for the pole. Our crew did a great job to prepare the Porsche."
Third in GT was Anthony Lazzaro at 1:25.595 (106.830 mph) in the Risi Competizione Ferrari.