Minassian's shock Laguna pole

Having given the Audis a run for their money in the recent LMES race at Spa, Nicolas Minassian and the Creation Autosportif team did it again with the DBA-Zytek prototype at Laguna Seca. The French team surprised the American Le Mans Series regulars by snatching pole position for today's (Saturday) four-hour finale

Minassian's shock Laguna pole

Minassian, who is sharing the car with Englishman Jamie Campbell-Walter, set a lap time of 1m15.893s, more than two tenths quicker than the fastest of the Champion Racing Audi R8s.

The JJ Lehto and Marco Werner Audi will start alongside Minassian with newly crowned ALMS champion, Johnny Herbert, and Pierre Kaffer in third driving the other R8.

Ian James, who only needs to score a handful of points in the race to win the LMP2 class title, took the class pole with a lap of 1m19.315s in the Miracle Motorsports Courage C65-AER. The Intersport Racing Lola B2K/40-Judd of Clint Field, Robin Liddell and Rick Sutherland was second, while third was the Miracle Motorsports/Team Bucknum Racing Lola.

Olivier Beretta will start from the GTS class pole in the Corvette Racing C5-R. His time of 1m21.679s, breaking the old track record of 1m22.350s that was set last year by Jan Magnussen in a Prodrive Ferrari. The 14th pole of Beretta's career in the ALMS tied the series record for the most poles in any class, a distinction he now shares with Corvette team-mate Ron Fellows.

Fellows and Johnny O'Connell qualified second in the GTS, while third the ACEMCO Saleen S7R of Terry Borcheller and autosport.com columnist Johnny Mowlem.

Timo Bernhard, who needs to finish sixth or better in the race to win the GT class driving title for the season, won the GT pole in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with a record lap of 1m25.586s.

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