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ALMS – Road America 500 – Saturday Morning Report
Even Perfecter Than Yesterday
© Tom Kjos
dailysportscar.comRoad America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, USA – As ALMS announcer Jim Martyn said this morning, the day is “even perfecter” than yesterday. And so it is.

The Radio Web's Graham Tyler might be saying exactly the same thing, right.

The morning’s practice session started with sixty degree (F) temperatures under a bright blue sky, and a quite cool 66 degree (F) track surface temperatures. That last might have caught out James Gue, who put Miracle Motorsport’s new Courage C65-AER off soon after exiting the pits.

“I’ll bet that turbo kicked in,” was the remark of a competitor. The result was that the new red Courage didn’t get in a timed lap. The team spent the session in the paddock repairing a damaged wing.

dailysportscar.comWell, we did it again. We trusted yesterday’s timing and scoring sheet, which identified Robin Liddell (right) as the LMP2 class fast lap in the Intersport Lola B2K/40-Judd. Wrong again, as pointed out by Clint Field with a big grin. From now on we confirm with Robin and Clint. The Intersport car continued to lead the LMP2 class, a 2:01.523 for Clint…or Robin. As expected, the two Nissan-powered prototypes struggled well off the pace.

The LMP1s showed that they just keep getting faster; it’s clear that the track record will go – James Weaver’s 1:52.346 already very close to Tom Kristensen’s 1:52.166. JJ Lehto and Marco Werner had the Champion Audi R8 in the Lola sandwich, behind the #16 Dyson car of Weaver and Butch Leitzinger, and ahead of the #20 car of Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson. Jon Field and Duncan Dayton were fourth best, both overall and in class. Weaver’s time is with an “old” engine; yesterday’s adrift fuel return caused the engine to run overly lean. The “installation problem” reported yesterday was the problem of having to install a new motor – which in fact is an “old” motor.

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Team Corvette keeps smashing records, usually their own, at every stop. This course will be no different, with Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell already within a half-second of Oliver Gavin’s 2:01.969. Look for a sub two-minute lap from the Corvettes this year.

In GT, Sascha Maassen finally got in the #43 British American Motorsport! Porsche, something that has been all too rare, with the team’s various mechanical and other problems. At the head of the class, however, was the Alex Job Racing pairing of Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb, the latter touring the track in 2:08..966, just eight-tenths off Lucas Luhr’s 2003 record.

This afternoon’s practice and qualifying coverage will be a combined report (they’re separated by just a ten minute break).

 

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