LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 9, 2001) -- James Weaver, of England, captured his fifth X-1R pole of the season during qualifying for the ConAgra Foods U.S. Road Racing Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today. Weaver captured the first of five new...
LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 9, 2001) -- James Weaver, of England, captured his fifth X-1R pole of the season during qualifying for the ConAgra Foods U.S. Road Racing Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today. Weaver captured the first of five new track records set today, driving the Thetford/Norcold/Goodyear-sponsored #16 Dyson Racing Team Ford Riley & Scott. Jon Field, of Dublin, Ohio, led most of the qualifying session with his Banana Joe's #37 Judd Lola, but Weaver managed to best the local favorite's time with only a few minutes remaining in the session. Weaver's 1:17.005 lap time shaved 0.206 seconds off the old track record set by Weaver himself at last year's race.
"We actually ran out of gas on that fast lap. It ran out in turn 13," said Field whose fastest lap of 1:17.195 came one lap before Weaver's pole-winning lap. "When it runs out, it's like you turned off the ignition switch. I flipped on the reserve and it got going again, but we lost at least a tenth.
"We brought the tires up to temperature real slowly. I was really driving it on that good lap. Driving harder into every turn. I think if we didn't run out of gas we would have had the pole."
Andy Lally, of Northpoint, N.Y., earned the top spot in the SportsRacing Prototype II class in the Gemstar Communications/Tycoon Magazine-sponsored #21 Nissan Lola of Archangel Motorsport Services. Lally clocked a record-breaking lap of 1:19.983, shaving 2.123 seconds off the old SRPII track record. Bruno St. Jacques, of Montreal, Que., will start behind Lally in the Kolter Property/L2 Metal/Goodyear/Hawk Brake-sponsored #89 Nissan Lola of Porschehaus Racing. St. Jacques made a 1:20.826 lap for the second-fastest time in the class.
Chris Bingham, of Kirkland, Wash., closed the gap between him and Larry Schumacher, of Cincinnati, in the GTS-class driver standings when he earned a bonus point for capturing the X-1R Pole in the class. Bingham clocked another track record with his 1:23.761 lap at 97.048 mph in the BASF/HCI/Yokohama/Park Place Ltd.-sponsored #5 Saleen S7R of Fordahl Motorsports/Saleen/Park Place Racing. Schumacher had the second-fastest time in the GTS class with his 1:24.790 lap in the Schumacher Racing #99 Porsche GT1. Bingham and Schumacher have been in a heated battle for the class driver championship all season, with Schumacher entering the weekend with a seven-point lead over Bingham.
Taking more than two seconds off the GT class record was Randy Pobst, of Melbourne, Fla., in the Crazy Redhead Racing-sponsored #15 Porsche GT3 RS of Fordahl Motorsports. Pobst recorded a 1:26.201 lap in the only car owned by a female in the Rolex Sports Car Series. Kevin Buckler, of Sonoma, Calif., will take the green flag behind Pobst in his #66 Porsche GT3 RS of The Racer's Group.
The American GT X-1R Pole and new track record went to Jack Willes, of Charlotte, N.C., in the WorldBestBuy.com-sponsored Corvette of Comer Racing. Willes recorded a record-shattering lap of 1:24.790, nearly 2.5 seconds off the previous AGT record. Starting two rows behind Willes will be the second-fastest AGT car with Tim Cowen, of nearby Ashland, Ohio, behind the wheel. Cowen drove the Cowen Racing #71 Mustang to 1:26.410 lap time.
The green flag will fall on the ConAgra Foods U.S. Road Racing Classic at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday.