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  Archive of Audi R8 Race Reports/News/Photos 2002  

Audi R8  2001  -  2002  -  2003  -  2004  -  2005  -  2006

  ALMS Trois-Rivieres  

Qualifying and the Race News and Photos


(Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada), 2 August --

In a race weekend condensed into just two days, Johnny Herbert set the second fastest time of official qualifying, and will start on the outside of the front row for Saturday's three-hour American Le Mans race at this famous Canadian circuit.

The first day of action at Trois-Riveres began under rainy and dark skies and warm and muggy conditions. The ALMS cars took to a drying track in the day's first of two practice sessions, with both Stefan Johansson and Johnny Herbert taking turns working on the setup of the colorful 2001-spec Audi R8.

The second practice, just before lunch, saw intermittent rain showers, finally drying and beginning to turn sunny near the end of the session. The ADT/Champion Audi was third on the time sheets in both practice sessions, behind the pair of 2002-spec Audis of Team Joest.

As Qualifying got underway at mid-afternoon, the weather had changed substantially and was sunny and very warm - completely different from the first two practices, making proper setup for Qualifying a bit of a gamble.

Herbert drew Qualifying duties, and was out early as the session began, storming past a group of slower cars on the first lap, giving himself several laps of clear running before meeting up with slower traffic. Holding pole with a handful of laps completed, Herbert's best time was bettered by Emanuele Pirro in the #1 Joest Audi, which took nearly a second off Herbert's time to claim provisional pole.

Herbert answered with his best lap of the session, but going into the second to last corner the Champion R8 suffered a freak failure that caused Herbert to instantly slow, ruining a potential pole lap, and causing him to immediately pit for service. The R8's power steering fluid reservoir is built into the gearbox casing, and on the side of the casing is a sight glass for checking the level of power steering fluid. During Herbert's last hot lap, the glass window in the sight glass literally fell out, spewing power steering fluid into the right side of the engine bay, though thankfully not catching fire on the hot exhausts and turbo in that area.

But there was some good luck in the disappointment, as just as Herbert pitted another car crashed, covering the circuit with debris and bringing out a red flag with just minutes left in the session. As the Champion mechanics rushed to fix the fluid leak and clean up the mess, the session went green for just a final two minutes. The main challenger, Tom Kristensen, had gambled and waited till the end of the session to set a time. The abbreviated, timed session ended just as Kristensen finished his warmup lap, depriving him of a chance for fast time, though ensuring Herbert would not be dislodged from the front row.

No other damage was done in the incident and the colorful R8 was quickly put right. Johnny Herbert will start the three-hour race from the second starting spot. The race will be televised live, flag-to-flag on SPEED Channel.

  Results from ALMS Qualifying at Trois-Rivieres:

 1 - Emanuele Pirro, Frank Biela; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 58.698sec, 93.284mph

 2 - Johnny Herbert, Stefan Johansson; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 59.620, 91.842

20 - Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 1:08.637, 79.776
Stefan Johansson exits the famous Arch during gloomy early morning practice
Stefan Johansson at Trois-Rivieres
Johnny Herbert at Trois-Rivieres
Big dropoff at Turn One creates setup headaches at Trois-Rivieres
Johnny Herbert one of the few to brave the wet second practice session
Herbert awaits the right moment to head out for Qualifying
Herbert's Qualifying run cut short by freak failure of a minor part
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