Qualifying: Pirro takes pole

Audi driver Emanuele Pirro earned the second pole of his American Le Mans Series career on Friday in a bizarre qualifying session for Saturday's Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres

Qualifying: Pirro takes pole

Although Pirro's Audi Sport Audi R8 prototype, which he will share with Frank Biela in the race, had been the fastest in two practice sessions earlier in the day, he was worried that team-mate Tom Kristensen might beat him in the 20-minute qualifying session. However, Kristensen's gamble of waiting to the end of the session to run his laps backfired when the session was red-flagged because of an accident with just a few minutes remaining.

Time expired before the wrecked LMP675 car of local driver Marc-Antoine Camirand could be removed from the track, and the session ended with Pirro first. Kristensen, who had only run a warm-up lap, will have to start 20th tomorrow in the Audi he shares with Rinaldo Capello...

Pirro's lap of 58.698 seconds (93.284mph) was the fastest lap ever turned at Trois-Rivieres, this being the first year for the American Le Mans Series at the 1.52-mile temporary street circuit, which has played host to SCCA Can-Am and Trans-Am cars, Toyota Atlantic and Grand-Am cars as featured events in it long and storied history.

The waiting strategy also affected the Panoz LMP-1 team of Jan Magnussen, who was also trying to make his fast lap when the session was halted. Magnussen, who will co-drive with David Brabham, will start seventh in the car that won the most recent ALMS race at Washington DC two weeks ago.

Chad Block, who only found out that he was racing here on Wednesday night, won the pole in the LMP 675 class for smaller prototypes in the KnightHawk Racing Lola EX257/AER MG.

Chevrolet's Ron Fellows continued his undefeated qualifying streak in the GTS class with his sixth pole of the season. A two-time Trans-Am race winner at Trois-Rivieres, Fellows also won the 13th pole of his ALMS career, tying him with Dirk Muller for the most poles of any kind in the series' history.

Lucas Luhr won his second GT class pole of the season in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS. He will co-drive with Sascha Maassen as they seek their fourth win of the season.

Emanuele Pirro/Frank Biela Audi R8 LMP 900 58.698s 93.284mph
Johnny Herbert/Stefan Johansson Audi R8 LMP 900 59.620s 91.842mph
Bryan Herta/Bill Auberlen Panoz LMP-1 LMP 900 1m00.274s 90.845mph
James Weaver/Chris Dyson Riley & Scott MkIIIA LMP 900 1m00.713s 90.188mph
Chad Block/Steve Knight Lola EX257-AER MG LMP 675 1m02.379s 87.780mph
Andy Lally/John Macaluso Lola B2K10 Judd LMP 900 1m02.414s 87.730mph
Jan Magnussen/David Brabham Panoz LMP-1 LMP 900 1m03.087s 86.794mph
Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell Chevrolet C5-R Corvette GTS 1m03.496s 85.853mph
Marc-Antoine Camirand/Ben Devlin Lola B2K40-Ford LMP 675 1m03.652s 86.024mph
Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins Chevrolet Corvette C5-R GTS 1m03.779s 85.853mph

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