SONOMA, Calif. (May 18, 2002) – Tom
for the right opportunity and then nailed a flying lap in the ADT/Champion
R8 to take the pole for Sunday’s American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of
Sonoma presented by Fosters at Sears Point Raceway.
Kristensen, on loan from the factory Audi team for this event, turned
of 1:22.615 (110.246 mph) on the 2.53-mile, 12-turn circuit,
a track record on the recently reconfigured circuit. His fast lap
he drove slowly on the track for a few moments, waiting for traffic to
during the 20-minute qualifying session.
Champion Motors Founder and President, Dave Maraj, said, "I just want
thank Tom for his amazing effort, and for bringing Champion our first
We knew it would be tough to beat the factory team in qualifying,
2000 model R8 is particularly well suited to the Sears Point track."
Joest are racing Champion's 2000-spec R8 at Sears Pt. this weekend,
2002 cars are prepared for Le Mans.
ADT/Champion Technical Director, Brad Kettler, said, "I'm really
The whole team has been working very hard, and Tom came through when
But I'm just glad qualifying is over."
"We had to do some regearing, making fifth a little taller since sixth
gear is not really required here. We had the usual understeer problems
practice, and tried out some very large front dive planes, but they
be too pitch sensitive on the uphill-downhill Sears layout, so we've
to dual smaller dive planes. Tire choice is also critical for this
of the cool weather."
Kristensen, though happy to win the pole, feels that his team and the
team will be at a disadvantage in Sunday’s two-hour, 45-minute event
both teams are using three drivers. “We will have to make an extra
change, and that will cost us some time,” he said. “If some of the
other cars with two drivers can stay close, they will have an
Kristensen will co-drive with Andy Wallace and with Johnny
Herbert, assuming Herbert arrives at the track in time. The former
star is attempting to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday and
to Sears Point by private jet in hope of driving the final stint in
thus protecting his drivers championship points standing. Herbert is
second in drivers points, behind factory pilot Rinaldo Capello.
Sunday’s race starts at 1 p.m. (PDT) and will be televised live by the
SPEED Channel. Live coverage by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web
heard online at
which will also provide live timing and scoring via the Internet.