Qualifying: Biela on pole

Since his car had been the fastest in all practice sessions, it was no surprise that Frank Biela placed his Audi R8 on the pole for the American Le Mans Series season finale in Friday's qualifying session at Road Atlanta

Qualifying: Biela on pole

But the biggest shock was the performance of James Weaver, who was third-fastest in Dyson Racing's LMP 675 MG Lola EX257. The smaller, less-powerful Prototype led its class and out-qualified all but two of the more powerful LMP 900 machines.

Biela lapped the 2.54-mile circuit in 1m10.939s. He and co-driver Emanuele Pirro are the defending champions of the event and Biela still has a mathematical chance of overtaking fellow Audi driver Tom Kristensen for ALMS title.

"Our engineer came up with the plan to get the qualifying point in case something happens to the other car," said Biela. "During practice, conditions were constantly changing so it was hard to judge how well we were doing. We only had one problem: a little too much understeer, which could be a problem during the race. One important thing is that our car is always pretty reliable."

Kristensen qualified second on 1m11.070s in a car he will share with Rinaldo Capello. Weaver, who will co-drive with Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace was 0.8s further back.

The Champion Audi of Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson will start fourth in the 1,000-mile (or 10-hour) event, with the Panoz LMP-1 of David Brabham, Jan Magnussen and David Donohue to start fifth. The Panoz team worked all night to repair the car after a mechanical failure sent Donohue into a barrier in Thursday's practice.

In the GTS class, the Prodrive Ferrari piloted by Tomas Enge led the way with a lap of 1m19.069s, barely beating the Chevrolet C5-R Corvette of Ron Fellows.

In the GT class, Alex Job Racing driver Jorg Bergmeister took the first pole of his brief ALMS career with a lap of 1m23.922s in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS he will share with Timo Bernhard and Marc Lieb. The other Job machine, to be co-driven by Sascha Maassen an Lucas Luhr, was second at 1m24.068s, followed by the Cirtek Motorsport Porsche of Stephane Ortelli and Christophe Bouchut.


Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro Audi R8 1m10.939 P900
Tom Kristensen/Rinaldo Capello Audi R8 1m11.070s P900
James Weaver/Butch Leitzinger/Andy Wallace Lola EX257 1m11.883s P675
Johnny Herbert/Stefan Johansson Audi R8 1m12.083s P900
Jan Magnussen/David Brabham/David Donohue Panoz LMP01 1m12.147s P900
Goosens/Ave/Matthewa Riley & Scott Mk IIIC 1m12.155s P900
Bernard/Collard/Taylor Cadillac LMP02 1m12.579s P900
Field/Durand/Taylor Lola EX257 1m12.343s P675
Angelelli/Lehto/Tinseau Cadillac LMP02 1m12.579s P900
Nielsen/Elgaard Reynard 02S 1m12.726s P675
Tomas Enge/Peter Kox/Alain Menu Ferrari 550 Maranello 1m19.069s GTS
Jorg Bergmeister/Timo Bernhard/ Marc Lieb Porsche 996 GT3 RS 1m23.922s GT

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Practice: Audi drivers on top

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