Dyson Lola-Mazdas sweep American Le Mans Series Laguna Seca front row
|Friday, September 16th 2011, 23:32 GMT|
Dyson's Lola-Mazdas filled the front row in qualifying for the American Le Mans Series' six hour race at Laguna Seca, with championship leaders Guy Smith and Chris Dyson, plus third driver Jay Cochran, taking pole.
Smith had brought the car in with a suspected misfire after its out-lap, but the problem appeared to clear itself, allowing the Briton to set a 1m13.927s to earn the top spot.
His team-mate Steven Kane, who had dominated LMP1 qualifying up to that point, ended up 0.694s adrift in second.
Adrian Fernandez announced Aston Martin Racing's return to the ALMS with third on the grid in the Lola-Aston, 0.2s behind Kane, and ahead of the similar Muscle Milk car, as Klaus Graf struggled for grip and speed.
RLL BMW stretched its GT pole run to seven races, but compared to the usually tight contests, Joey Hand was spectacularly dominant in Laguna qualifying.
At one stage the American's advantage was over a second, while just 0.4s covered the next eight cars.
Corvette's Oliver Gavin eventually got Hand's margin down to 0.898s as he got between the two BMWs on the grid with a bold late lap.
The Extreme Speed team had a strong afternoon, with Guy Cosmo and Johannes van Overbeek putting its Ferraris fourth and sixth, either side of the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche, and ahead of the Risi Ferrari and #3 Corvette.
Risi had a complicated day. Jaime Melo went off in practice, meaning Toni Vilander - making his Laguna debut - had to qualify to ensure he had enough running at the track before the race. The Finn ended qualifying parked on the circuit having run out of fuel.
The hybrid Porsche, running outside the class system, had been among the GT frontrunners in practice but did not take part in qualifying.
Kyle Marcelli earned LMPC pole for Intersport. Points leader Gunnar Jeanette (CORE Autosport) got to within 0.043s of Marcelli's early provisional pole, then had a high speed trip through the gravel at Turn 6. While he recovered, Marcelli went faster still to extend his final cushion to 0.394s.
For the third straight race, Jeroen Bleekemolen put the #54 Black Swan Porsche on GTC pole, this time by 0.3s over Damien Faulkner's Green Hornet/Black Swan entry.
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time 1. P1 Dyson/Smith/Cochran Dyson Lola-Mazda 1m13.927s 2. P1 Al Masaood/Kane/Leitzinger Dyson Lola-Mazda 1m14.621s 3. P1 Fernandez/Primat/Mucke AMR Lola-Aston 1m14.827s 4. P1 Luhr/Graf Muscle Milk Lola-Aston 1m15.564s 5. P2 Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz Level 5 Lola-Honda 1m16.688s 6. P1 Burgess/McMurry/Willman Autocon Lola-AER 1m18.379s 7. PC Ducote/Ducote/Marcelli Intersport FLM 1m18.844s 8. PC Jeannette/Gonzalez/Junco CORE Autosport FLM 1m19.238s 9. PC Lux/Julian/Guasch Genoa FLM 1m19.423s 10. PC Bennett/Montecalvo/Wallace CORE Autosport FLM 1m20.028s 11. PC Dobson/Richard/Villeneuve PR1 Mathiasen FLM 1m20.779s 12. GT Muller/Hand RLL BMW 1m22.226s 13. GT Gavin/Magnussen Corvette 1m23.124s 14. GT Auberlen/Werner RLL BMW 1m23.132s 15. GT Brown/Cosmo Extreme Speed Ferrari 1m23.367s 16. GT Bergmeister/Long Flying Lizard Porsche 1m23.368s 17. GT Sharp/van Overbeek Extreme Speed Ferrari 1m23.386s 18. GT Melo/Vilander Risi Ferrari 1m23.518s 19. GT Beretta/Milner Corvette 1m23.566s 20. GT Henzler/Sellers Falken Porsche 1m23.758s 21. GT Miller/Maassen Miller Porsche 1m24.133s 22. GT Junqueira/Wilden RSR Jaguar 1m24.383s 23. GT Neiman/Holzer Flying Lizard Porsche 1m27.829s 24. GTC Pappas/Bleekemolen/Bleekemolen Black Swan Porsche 1m27.850s 25. GTC LeSaffre/Faulkner Green Hornet Porsche 1m28.152s 26. GTC Ende/Pumpelly/Ludwig TRG Porsche 1m28.386s 27. GTC Ragginger/Kauffmann/Cisneros NGT Porsche 1m28.617s 28. GTC von Moltke/Buckler/di Guida TRG Porsche 1m28.796s 29. GTC Ham/Thompson/Blackett JDX Porsche 1m28.870s 30. GTC Sweedler/Wong/Lewis Alex Job Porsche 1m29.194s 31. GTC Sofronas/Welch GMG Porsche 1m29.334s 32. GTC Avenatti/Faieta/Wagner Competition Porsche 1m29.532s 33. PC Nicolosi/Boon/Lueders Performance Tech FLM 34. PC Moro/Drissi/Vera Intersport FLM 35. GT Jones/Moran RSR Jaguar 36. UNC Dumas/Lietz Porsche Hybrid