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ALMS NEWS 

Guy Smith on LMP1 pole at Mid-Ohio as BMWs lead the GT field

Guy Smith took his third pole position of the season for Saturday's American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio, having delivered on his promise from first practice.

For five laps or so Klaus Graf - fastest in second practice - was the only man on track with the Muscle Milk Lola Aston Martin. The German set a best time of 1m12.892s, but once the Dyson Mazda Lolas went on track, that all changed.

Smith's first effort 1m12.9s wasn't quite enough, but his tyres were good enough for a second lap and that proved to be a 1m12.727s - which definitely was good enough.

Graf, having given it his best shot as far as he was concerned and shot his tyres, accepted his fate and climbed from his car with a front row start in the bag.

"In clean air we know the car is fast and we proved that today," said Smith. "I think we have all been suffering from a lack of grip, it's been a little like rally driving. It's going to be a tough race and the track is very dusty, so it was a good effort."

Smith's team-mate Steven Kane, on his first visit to the famous track, was third fastest, 0.880s away from pole.

Joey Hand took pole position for the GT class with a lap of 1m20.539s, the 32-year-old American setting the pace ahead of his BMW team-mate Dirk Werner by just 0.116s.

Both M3 GTs waited until near the end of the GT session to move ahead of the Risi Ferrari of Jaime Melo and Jorg Bergmester's Flying Lizard Porsche.

Oliver Gavin was the fastest Corvette driver in fifth - the top five covered by less than half a second. Guy Cosmo was an impressive sixth in the Extreme Speed Ferrari.

The two Jaguar XKRs were not bottom of the pack either, former Champ Car stars Bruno Junqueira and PJ Jones placing 11th and 12th in class, some two and bit seconds away from the pace of the BMWs.

Gunner Jeannette initially dominated the LMP Challenge class but came under pressure late on from Kyle Marcelli's Intersport car.

The Core Autosport driver held on to take pole in the category with a 1m17.281s, but Marcelli's final attempt appeared to look likely to challenge until he came up behind Javier Echeverria's car and lost momentum. The Mexican ironically improved his own lap to go fifth.

Jon Field was third in the second Intersport car ahead of Eric Lux in the Genoa Racing machine.

"I'm thrilled because we still have a couple of issues with the car," said Jeannette of his lap time, having pitted before the end of the session. "I was going to stay out but then I had a big moment and I decided to save the car from the race."

Pos  Cl   Drivers              Team/Car                Time       Gap
 1.  P1   Dyson/Smith          Dyson Lola-Mazda        1m12.727s            
 2.  P1   Luhr/Graf            Muscle Milk Lola-Aston  1m12.892s  + 0.165s 
 3.  P1   Al Masaood/Kane      Dyson Lola-Mazda        1m13.607s  + 0.880s 
 4.  P1   Burgess/McMurry      Autocon Lola-AER        1m17.035s  + 4.308s 
 5.  PC   Jeannette/Gonzalez   CORE FLM                1m17.281s  + 4.554s 
 6.  PC   Marcelli/Drissi      Intersport FLM          1m17.332s  + 4.605s 
 7.  PC   Field/Field          Intersport FLM          1m17.670s  + 4.943s 
 8.  PC   Lux/Zugel            Genoa FLM               1m17.972s  + 5.245s 
 9.  PC   Cheng/Echeverria     M/Sports                1m18.540s  + 5.813s 
10.  PC   Bennett/Montecalvo   CORE FLM                1m18.684s  + 5.957s 
11.  PC   Nicolosi/Boon        Performance Tech FLM    1m19.032s  + 6.305s 
12.  GT   Muller/Hand          BMW                     1m20.539s  + 7.812s 
13.  GT   Auberlen/Werner      BMW                     1m20.655s  + 7.928s 
14.  GT   Melo/Vilander        Risi Ferrari            1m20.745s  + 8.018s 
15.  GT   Bergmeister/Long     Flying Lizard Porsche   1m20.917s  + 8.190s 
16.  GT   Gavin/Magnussen      Corvette                1m20.944s  + 8.217s 
17.  GT   Brown/Cosmo          Extreme Speed Ferrari   1m21.068s  + 8.341s 
18.  GT   Sharp/van Overbeek   Extreme Speed Ferrari   1m21.256s  + 8.529s 
19.  GT   Beretta/Milner       Corvette                1m21.280s  + 8.553s 
20.  GT   Henzler/Sellers      Falken Porsche          1m21.921s  + 9.194s 
21.  GT   Murry/Lazzaro        Robertson Doran Ford    1m22.128s  + 9.401s 
22.  GT   Junqueira/Wilden     RSR Jaguar              1m22.569s  + 9.842s 
23.  GT   Jones/Moran          RSR Jaguar              1m22.971s  + 10.244s 
24.  GT   Miller/Maassen       Miller Porsche          1m23.084s  + 10.357s 
25.  GT   Robertson/Snow       Robertson Doran Ford    1m23.854s  + 11.127s 
26.  GT   Neiman/Law           Flying Lizad Porsche    1m24.712s  + 11.985s 
27.  GTC  Ende/Pumpelly        TRG Porsche             1m26.602s  + 13.875s 
28.  GTC  Sweedler/Keen        Alex Job Porsche        1m26.614s  + 13.887s 
29.  GTC  Pappas/Bleekemolen   Black Swan Porsche      1m26.741s  + 14.014s 
30.  GTC  Potter/Stanton       Magnus Porsche          1m27.336s  + 14.609s 
31.  GTC  von Moltke/Bunting   TRG Porsche             1m27.429s  + 14.702s 
32.  GTC  Ham/Cumming          JDX Porsche             1m27.784s  + 15.057s 
33.  GTC  LeSaffre/Davis       Black Swan Porsche      1m27.791s  + 15.064s 
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