Qualifying: Capello on pole

Rinaldo Capello took his customary position atop the time sheets in qualifying at Sears Point, the circuit where his former team mate Allan McNish trounced the entire field during the ALMS race last year.

Qualifying: Capello on pole

Capello sat in the pits, permitting the other prototype runners to scrap for a quick time, until the closing minutes of the session when he emerged to put the Audi R8 almost a second clear of team mate Frank Biela.

"I didn't expect the track to be so slippery," he said. "The last hairpin was very bad. I missed the apex there three times."

Andy Wallace put the Champion Audi in third but David Brabham wasn't far behind in the 2000-spec Panoz LMP Roadster S, giving the beleaguered Atlanta-based team some much-needed encouragement.

But Franck Lagorce did well to finish five seconds adrift: he only had second and third gears at his disposal.

Terry Borcheller bagged the GTS pole early in the Saleen S7-R, while the Corvettes spent much of the session trying to get within range of the Ford-powered supercar. Ron Fellows finally set a time within a second of the Saleen shortly before the end. It was Borcheller's first pole in the ALMS.

"I've driven a lot of cars through the years and it's nice to be in such a good one," he said. "The S7-R is a dream to drive."

BMW's controversial fleet of V8-powered M3s have been the talking point of the weekend and a glance at the timesheets will show why: they qualified within a second of the Corvettes and were quicker than the Chevys for much of free practice. Dirk Mueller put in just five laps during qualifying and set a time of 1m33.763s. The quickest non-BMW runner in GT class was Randy Pobst in the McKenna Porsche 911 GT3-R, with a 1m35.303s.

Capello/Kristensen Audi R8 1m21.745s
Biela/Pirro Audi R8 1m22.422s
Wallace/Herbert Audi R8 1m22.962s
Brabham/Magnussen Panoz LMP Roadster S 1m23.110s
Collard/Tinseau Cadillac Northstar 1m23.768s
Angelelli/Taylor Cadillac Northstar 1m23.801s
Field/Sutherland Intersport Lola-Judd 1m25.232s
Lagorce/Graf Panoz LMP Roadster S 1m28.645s
Borcheller/Konrad Saleen S7-R 1m30.924s
Graham/de Radigues/Duno Dick Barbour Racing Reynard-Judd
1m31.271s
Fellows/O'Connell Chevrolet Corvette C5-R 1m31.704s
Pilgrim/Collins Chevrolet Corvette C5-R 1m33.060s
Mueller/Ekblom BMW M3 GTR 1m33.763s
Auberlen/Jonsson BMW M3 GTR 1m33.910s


Johnny Herbert has confirmed he'll be in the Champion Audi R8 for the rest
of the season. "It's going to be very enjoyable," he said.

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