Weaver snatches Mosport pole

Weaver snatches Mosport pole

James Weaver won his 10th career pole in the American Le Mans Series at Mosport International Raceway. The Dyson Racing racer has now notched four poles this season for himself and co-driver Butch Leitzinger. ...

James Weaver won his 10th career pole in the American Le Mans Series at Mosport International Raceway. The Dyson Racing racer has now notched four poles this season for himself and co-driver Butch Leitzinger.

#16 Dyson Racing Team Inc Lola AER: James Weaver, Butch Leitzinger.
Photo by Tom Haapanen.
Weaver was the last of the pilots to attempt qualifying under the "other" format and he flew on his one flying lap at a time of 1:07.430 (131.283 mph) to snatch the pole out from under Marco Werner.

After Weaver took the pole, Dyson Racing's team owner Rob Dyson stated, "This track is good for us, the tires and the set up of the car -- it is a kind of flow". The team has done a lot of racing at this track and have the setup for it.

"We have to get rid of the little gremlins, but we have a good set up for the race," said Dyson. They have had little things go wrong with both cars all season.

Weaver found the car to be very good all day with great grip. " I was in sixth gear all the way through turn eight. This is a spectacular place to go racing."

"Mosport, to me, is one of the top two or three tracks in North America for racing. They have the best fans of anywhere we go. They are knowledgeable, attentive and they know my racing career better than I do!" added Dyson.

Werner and team driver JJ Lehto will start on the front row in their Champion Racing Audi. The duo have won all six races this season.

Oliver Gavin demolished his own track record by more than one second to take the GTS pole. The Corvette Racing #4 pilot was clocked at 1:13.317 (120.741 mph); his old record was 1:14.417 (118.957 mph) from last year.

Gavin's own teammate tried to top the time just seconds later, as Ron Fellows in the #3 Corvette had a flying lap at 1:13.364. The two Corvettes clinched the GTS front row: Gavin and Olivier Beretta in the pole car with Fellows and Johnny O'Connell alongside.

Gavin was oblivious to how close he and Ron Fellows were running in qualifying times. "I knew we were going to be close, these cars always have been." As the track conditions improved so did the speeds. "I was just surprised we did a 1:13.3."

The challenge expected by the Lamborghini team cars, will not happen as Krohn-Barbour Racing has withdrawn both Murcielago R-GTs from the event due to handling abnormalities.

Team Manager and co-owner Dick Barbour explained, "We've made the decision only after a lot of careful consideration, and of course with regret. The Mosport circuit is the most demanding we've been to yet, and the Lamborghini is a new race car that we took delivery of six weeks ago. We knew this was to be a learning process."

P2 ended up with only two prototypes as Team Bucknum Racing had to withdraw due to a blown engine at the end of the second practice. That left Miracle Motorsports and Intersport Racing to battle it out for the top slot.

Clint Field won with a time at 1:14.486 (118.846 mph). Field will be joined by Robin Liddell in the #30 Lola as they compete for the P2 win against James Gue, Ian James and John Macaluso tomorrow.

The GT class had one major surprise. Alex Job Racing has dominated the class with 22 consecutive poles since May 2002 from either of the two team Porsche cars. Today, Lonnie Pechnik laid down a lap at 1:18.365 (112.964 mph) to set the time to beat. Neither Marc Lieb nor Timo Bernhard were able to top Pechnik's time.

The Flying Lizard Motorsports #44 will lead the GT field to the green tomorrow at noon (EDT). Pechnik bested the track record set by Dirk Muller back in 2001 (1:18.873).

"We had done a run just before," said Pechnik. "It was one of those where everything came together - all the pieces fell into place. We are very excited to be here."

During his last qualifying lap, Pechnik knew that they had a good lap, but had no idea it was a good enough lap to take the pole. "We have had good qualifying runs from Sears Point to Portland and we are getting used to this new format. The team is doing well and we hope to continue the trend with both cars."

The Porsches suffered a bit today as the #67 The Racer's Group #67 was badly damaged exiting turn one when the right rear of the Porsche made contact with the barrier. The damage was enough for the team to withdraw from the event.

"Nothing fancy about it, I just looped it and backed into the wall," explained Jim Matthews.

In the second practice session, TRG's luck turned sour again as Patrick Long went off course into a tire wall. Long was checked by the medical center and released. However, due to the second driver's commitment to a race at another track today, the car was not qualified.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Robin Liddell , Rob Dyson , Ian James , Oliver Gavin , Dick Barbour , John Macaluso , James Gue , Marco Werner , Jim Matthews , Clint Field , Marc Lieb , Lonnie Pechnik , Olivier Beretta , Alex Job , JJ Lehto
Teams Corvette Racing , Dyson Racing , Alex Job Racing , Flying Lizard Motorsports