Auberlen Tops Time Charts in First Practice Day at Trois-Rivieres TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, Canada (August 5, 2005) -- Under sunny skies and warm temperatures at the historic Trois-Rivieres street circuit, American Bill Auberlen posted the fastest...
Auberlen Tops Time Charts in First Practice Day at Trois-Rivieres
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, Canada (August 5, 2005) -- Under sunny skies and warm temperatures at the historic Trois-Rivieres street circuit, American Bill Auberlen posted the fastest practice time on Friday in preparation for Sunday's Grand-Am Cup Series Trois-Rivieres Grand Sport (GS) 150.
Auberlen clocked a best lap at 1:12.427 (75.602 mph) in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 that he will share in Sunday's race with Justin Marks. Auberlen, who has previous experience on the tricky Trois-Rivieres circuit, explained that brakes may be more important than horsepower to having a successful weekend in Quebec. Auberlen and Marks are looking for their third Grand-Am Cup Series victory of the season on Sunday.
"I have been here before, so I kind of know my way around," Auberlen said. "It's been awhile, so I'm a little bit rusty. The key here is brakes, who is going to last on the brakes is going to be the trick. We're making any kind of improvements we can to make the brakes better and last longer. We made two setup changes during the session and it just seems to be working."
Turning the day's second-quickest time was Canada's own David Empringham in the No. 05 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT. Empringham, the GS points leader, clocked a lap at 1:12.516 (75.509 mph) on the same track where he won back-to-back Toyota Atlantic events in 1994 and 1995. Like Auberlen and Marks, Empringham is also looking for his third win of the season and will team with fellow Canadian Scott Maxwell this weekend.
"For me, it's exciting to be back at Trois-Rivieres," Empringham said. "I've always loved it. A lot of the high points of my career have been here; it's a great town and has great fans. I wasn't too sure how the Mustang would perform here. I thought we would struggle a little bit, but the Mustang seems strong, and I am really optimistic for the race. We're just trying to solve a little bit of understeer. I think we have a good shot at winning this."
Spencer Pumpelly turned the third-quickest time of the day in the No. 28 Race Prep Motorsports Porsche 996. Pumpelly's best lap was a 1:12.596 (75.426 mph) in the car he is scheduled to share with Tim Gaffney and Mike Pickett on Sunday.
Quebecois Marc-Antoine Camirand was fourth on the day in the No. 07 Powell Motorsport Cadillac CTS-V with a lap at 1:12.973 (75.036 mph). Camirand's lap made it four different manufacturers in the top-four positions, and he will co-drive the No. 07 this weekend with another Quebec native, Normand Guindon.
Gunnar Jeannette rounded out the top five in the No. 55 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT with a lap at 1:13.018 (74.990 mph). Jeannette's co-driver is James Gue, who is in Trois-Rivieres this weekend after participating in the Roush Racing "Gong Show" to find the next NASCAR superstar earlier this week at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
TREMBLAY QUICKEST IN SPORT TOURING TUNEUP AT TROIS-RIVIERES
Sylvain Tremblay, a native of Quebec now making his home in South Florida, proved that you can go home again in Friday's Grand-Am Cup Series Sport Touring (ST) practice.
Tremblay--who tied Will Nonnamaker's Grand-Am Cup Series record for most class wins (18) last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park--was at it again on Friday, posting a best lap of 1:16.237 (71.823 mph) as he practiced for Saturday's Trois-Rivieres Sport Touring 150. Tremblay claimed an ST class victory in the last Grand-Am Cup Series appearance at Trois-Rivieres, and he and his ST championship-leading co-driver David Haskell head into Saturday's race looking for their fourth class victory of the season.
"I'm just really fortunate to be at Trois-Rivieres," said Tremblay. "This really is a homecoming for us. There is so much history here, especially for my motorsports background and all the great Canadian drivers like (Gilles) Villeneuve. I'm fortunate to have David as a co-driver, who won the SGS race here in 2001, and I won the GS race the same year. We both are previous winners of this event. We've put a lot of emphasis on this race because we knew it would suit our car really well. A lot of focus went in to doing well here, just like at Barber. We know our car has strong points and weaknesses, so we're trying to capitalize on what's strong about it."
Second-quickest on Friday was Ed Magner in the No. 01 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt at 1:16.590 (71.492 mph). Magner is another of several drivers this weekend with previous experience at Trois-Rivieres and it appears that experience has paid dividends. Magner will co-drive the No. 01 with Jim Holtom, who has two ST class victories already this season.
"I love running here," Magner said. "I haven't been here since 1999, and we won here in 1998 back in Motorola Cup days. I really like the track, and I'm really comfortable with it right off the bat, which helps us sort the car out quicker if I'm not learning which way the track is going. The Cobalt has been really good here today, and we've really been working in two different directions on handling with the two different cars. I've bounced back between them and gotten feedback on both. The teams are working well together and the cars are running great. I think we have a pretty decent shot. Brakes are going to be the key."
Eric Curran was third on the day in the No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S to put three different manufacturers in the class top-three. Curran logged a best lap of 1:16.696 (71.394 mph), and will once again co-drive the No. 27 machine with Bob Endicott as they look for their first ST win of the season.
Canadian Travis Walker was fourth-quickest in the No. 75 Kensai Racing Acura RSX-S that he shares with fellow Canadian Aaron Povoledo. Walker's best lap was at 1:16.730 (71.362 mph). Don Salama completed the ST top-five in the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i with a lap at 1:16.943 (71.164 mph). Salama will co-drive the No. 95 with Will Turner.
The Trois-Rivieres Sport Touring 150, which was originally scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. ET on Saturday has been moved up one-half hour and will take the green flag at 1:30 p.m.