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ALMS – Chevy Presents Petit Le Mans – Morning Warm-Up Report
Some V8 Surprises
© Russell Wittenberg

No significant times were set this morning; everyone has come down off the qualifying high and is settling into their race mode. The warm-up session was delayed about 30 minutes, as the track officials finished some asphalt repairs in turn one and five. The repairs appear to have taken hold, as there were no reports of any more problems during the session.

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The Champion Audis topped the charts this morning, JJ setting the quickest time early on (1:13.218). The other LMP1 runners were close enough. Dyson Racing elected to rest the pole sitter, the team commenting that “this was the plan, the car is good, we know what it can do.”

JC-W ponders, with Nic Minassian in the DBA.

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Robin Liddell in the Intersport Lola led LMP2 (1:17.878), while John Macaluso drove his Courage this morning (1:21.051). The plan is for Ian James and James Gue to pilot the C65, but John wanted to get some time in this morning just in case he is needed.

There’s an interesting story off the track in the LMP2 class. Miracle’s James Gue has been selected to interview for the lead role in the popular reality show on ABC, “The Bachelor”. If selected, James would assume the role of “The Bachelor”, and have twenty-five beautiful young ladies all vying for his affection. The show follows the Bachelor interacting with the ladies as he is forced to eliminate all but the one he thinks will be a perfect mate. James is a very unassuming and likeable young man, and when his pal Ian James “let the cat out of the bag” about his new fame, James turned as red as the paint on his Courage. After much good natured ribbing from Ian and John Macaluso, it was agreed that James should bring the girls out to the race events so that they could ‘help’ him with the selection process.

The highlight of the warm-up session must be the ACEMCO Saleen. They seem to be finally getting a real grip on that car. Joao Barbosa (1:19.540 – faster than in qualifying) was quicker than both Corvettes, which were not ‘dogging it’ by any means. All three GTS entries were in the 1:19s for most of the session. Could this be a foreshadowing of things to come?

GT was relatively uneventful; Jorg Bergmeister led the group in the #23 AJR Porsche. The one exception might be Marino Franchitti pushing the Panoz up the third quickest for the session (1:24.163 – also faster than in qualifying). The pole-sitting #24 AJR Porsche was ninth fastest in GT.

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Also running quicker than before was the Cirtek Porsche - into the 1:24s at last.

Nothing left to do now but race!

 

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