Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
42 days
MotoGP
28 Mar
FP1 in
19 days
R
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
25 days
Formula E
R
Rome ePrix
10 Apr
Next event in
33 days
NASCAR Cup
28 Feb
Event finished
07 Mar
Race in
13 Hours
:
21 Minutes
:
38 Seconds
IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
39 days
23 Apr
Next event in
46 days
WEC
R
Spa-Francorchamps
01 May
Race in
55 days
13 Jun
Race in
98 days
Supercars
27 Feb
Event finished
R
Sandown
18 Mar
Next event in
10 days

Bentleys, Audis lead the way in preliminaries

LE MANS, France (May 4, 2003) - Bentleys and Audis led the way overall Sunday as racing teams had eight hours of testing at the Circuit de La Sarthe to help them prepare for next month's running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Regular American Le Mans ...

Bentleys, Audis lead the way in preliminaries

LE MANS, France (May 4, 2003) - Bentleys and Audis led the way overall Sunday as racing teams had eight hours of testing at the Circuit de La Sarthe to help them prepare for next month's running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Regular American Le Mans Series teams were well-represented, setting the fastest times in two classes and running close to the front in others.

#7 Team Bentley Bentley Speed 8: Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capello, Guy Smith .
Photo by Team Bentley.
The fastest overall time of the day was set by defending American Le Mans Series champion Tom Kristensen, driving a Bentley Speed 8 Prototype to a lap of 3:34.820 around the 8.625-mile French racing circuit. Kristensen has been on the winning team four times at Le Mans, including the past three years in a row when he drove for the factory Audi team. The Dane will share one of the two Bentleys with Rinaldo Capello and Guy Smith.

The Veloqx Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello, which regularly competes in American Le Mans Series events, set the fastest time of the day in the GTS class for production-based cars with Tomas Enge of the Czech Republic at the wheel. Enge, whose co-drivers are Peter Kox and Jamie Davies, turned a lap of 3:57.180.

The Racers Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS, winner of the GT class last year in th 24 Hours of Le Mans, was the fastest of the day in the GT class with a lap of 4:08.636. Kevin Buckler of Sonoma, Calif., will share the car with Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister of Germany, all regular competitors in ALMS events.

The 50 cars that have been invited to compete in the June 14-15 event, plus six reserve cars, were required to take part in the testing session. Among the 50 invited teams are 21 that regularly race in the American Le Mans Series, and 32 that competed in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring that opened the 2003 ALMS season in March. Three of the reserve cars are ALMS regulars.

Because of the relationship that exists between the ALMS and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, race teams that regularly compete in ALMS events receive special consideration in the selection process for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Bentley led the GTP class, while the LMP 900 class for open-cockpit Prototypes was led by the Team Goh Audi R8, which Jan Magnussen of Denmark drove to the second-fastest lap of the day overall at 3:38.385. Magnussen will share the car with Marco Werner and Seiji Ara. Magnussen's time was the fastest of the day overall until Kristensen beat the time in the closing minutes of the day with a flying lap.

Third overall was the second Team Bentley entry of David Brabham, Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundell at 3:38.769, followed by the Audi Sport UK entry of Frank Biela, Mika Salo and Perry McCarthy at 3:39.016. The ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 of JJ Lehto, Emanuele Pirro and Stefan Johansson was fifth-fastest overall at 3:39.077.

#80 Veloqx Prodrive Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello: Anthony Davidson, Kelvin Burt, Darren Turner.
Photo by Jerome Mugnier.
Second-fastest in the GTS class was the second Veloqx Prodrive Ferrari driven by Anthony Davidson, Kelvin Burt and Darren Turner at 3:58.185, followed by a third Ferrari fielded by the Luc Alphand team and driven by Alphand, Frederic Dor and Jerome Policand at 3:58.785.

Second-fastest in the GT class was the Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Alex Job Racing, driven by Lucas Luhr, Sascha Maassen and Emmanuel Collard to a lap of 4:11.316. The Job team is fielding the car at Le Mans in a cooperative effort with White Lightning-Petersen Motorsports as the two ALMS regular teams combined forces for a first Le Mans appearance. Orbit Racing, another regular ALMS team, was third in the GT class with a lap of 4:13.141, its Porsche driven by Marc Lieb, Leo Hindery and Peter Baron.

The LMP 675 class for smaller Prototypes was led by RN Motorsports in a DBA Zytek at 3:47.708. The car driven by John Nielsen, Hayanari Shimoda and Johnny Dumfries was more than 10 seconds ahead of the second-place car in the class, the Reynard 2KQ LM of Jean-Luc Maury-Larbiere, Pascal Fabre and Christophe Pillon at 3:57.760. Intersport Racing, with defending ALMS LMP 675 champion Jon Field of Dublin, Ohio, at the wheel, overcame some early-session difficulties to set the third-fastest speed with limited track time. The Lola-MG, which Field will share with Duncan Dayton and Rick Sutherland, ran a lap of 3:58.044.

-alms-

shares
comments
Team Orange Spyker preliminary testing notes

Previous article

Team Orange Spyker preliminary testing notes

Next article

Alex Job/Petersen preliminary testing notes

Alex Job/Petersen preliminary testing notes
Load comments
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Prime

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other.

Le Mans
Dec 16, 2020
How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend Prime

How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot…

Le Mans
Dec 7, 2020
Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars Prime

Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars

OPINION: The news that Audi will return to Le Mans means we'll at last get to see the fight promised in 2012 against Peugeot and Toyota. It also gives LMDh a tangible form, which could open the floodgates for more like-minded marques to follow suit…

WEC
Dec 1, 2020
The eternal debate revived after the 2019/20 WEC season Prime

The eternal debate revived after the 2019/20 WEC season

It may have been missed amid the clamour over Lewis Hamilton's seventh F1 title, but Britain had another world champion crowned last weekend. Mike Conway's WEC crown raises an old conundrum - does title glory make up for the pain of Le Mans defeat?

WEC
Nov 19, 2020