WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 19, 2002) –
Former Formula One star Johnny Herbert set the fast time of the day
American Le Mans Series teams began practice for Sunday’s inaugural
Grand Prix of Washington, D.C.
Driving the Champion Racing Audi R8 Prototype, Herbert turned a lap of
(92.981 mph) on the 1.661-mile temporary racing circuit located adjacent
RFK Stadium. Sunday’s two-hour, 45-minute race will be the first racing
event held in the U.S. capital city in more than 80 years.
“I think they’ve done a marvelous job with this circuit,” said
Herbert. “It’s very smooth and wide, and there are many places for
overtaking. I think the spectators will see an interesting race on
Herbert will co-drive with another ex-Formula One pilot, Stefan
Sweden, in Sunday's race. Qualifying will be held on Saturday with the
to start at 12 noon on Sunday.
The factory Audi R8 of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro was second-fastest
Friday’s practice at 1:04.529, followed by the factory Audi R8 of
Capello and Tom Kristensen at 1:04.578. Close behind the Audis was the
LMP-1 of David Brabham and Jan Magnussen at 1:04.831.
Friday's pair of one-hour practice sessions were held under oppressively
hazy and humid conditions which tested even the fittest drivers'
that didn't stop a surprisingly large number of Washington, D.C.
from coming out on a Friday to see the cars and racing action close-up.
local and national television crews were on hand from the early morning
on, interviewing drivers and giving their viewers a taste of the racing
the American Le Mans Series brings to town.
The seven turn temporary circuit was created from an abandoned parking
Washington's RFK Stadium, and race organizers have set new standards in
circuit construction and appearance. Champion Racing owner Dave Maraj
"I'm really impressed with the facilities that have been put in place
in Washington, D.C. The quality of the track and facilities are far
we had hoped for, and we're confident the people in the D.C. area will
the ALMS to make Washington a regular stop on the series calendar."