Biela digs deep to take last minute pole

Frank Biela claimed pole position with almost the final throw of the dice in final qualifying for Sunday's sixth round of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport, Canada. The German saw his provisional pole time from Friday beaten in the dying minutes of the 20-minute session and had to dig deep to go faster

Biela digs deep to take last minute pole

"I thought I'd done enough, but then the team radioed me to say that my team mate Rinaldo [Capello] had the pole," explained Biela, who set a best time of 1m08.432s. "I had to push and on my second lap I got traffic, but my third lap was just good enough."

Capello had been unable to improve his time on his first run in the second of the two Joest-run Audi R8s, which he shares with Britain's Allan McNish. "I had a strange feeling with the car on new tyres," he explained. "Then I came into the pits and asked the team to swap them over from left to right. For some reason, it felt like a new car and I was able to improve my time."

The Italian was bumped down to the second row during the thrilling climax to the session. Panoz driver Jan Magnussen slashed the best part of a second from his Friday time to momentarily take the pole before Biela went faster. The second of the two American marque's front-engined LMP Roadsters ended up fourth fastest in the hands of American Johnny O'Connell.

ALMS points leader Jorg Muller qualified fifth fastest in the number one BMW V12 LMR, while Belgium Didier de Radigues's time from Friday puts the Rafanelli Lola-Judd sixth on the grid. Stefan Johansson lines up seventh in his own team's Reynard-Judd.

It was all change at the head of the two classes for road-based cars at Mosport. Local driver Ron Fellows ended the factory ORECA Chrysler team's monopoly on the GTS pole after improving on his Friday time by a second and a half. Olivier Beretta went faster in the best of the Chrysler Vipers, but ended up the best part of second shy of the factory Chevrolet Corvette.

In the GT division, Alex Job Racing ended the Dick Barbour team's run of five straight pole positions in the series. Randy Pobst improved on his overnight pole time in his Porsche 911 GT3-R to end up half a second ahead of Sascha Maassen in the best of the Barbour cars.

Pos Driver Car Time
Frank Biela Audi R8 1m08.432s
Jan Magnussen Panoz LMP Roadster S 1m08.507s
Rinaldo Capello Audi R8 1m08.539ss
Johnny O'Connell Panoz LMP Roadster S 1m09.764s
Jorg Muller BMW V12 LMR 1m10.036ss
Didier de Radigues Rafanelli Lola-Judd B2K/10 1m10.112s
Ron Fellows Chevrolet Corvette C5-R 1m1m16.675s
Randy Pobst Porsche 911 GT3-R 1m21.455s

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