With a gap of only 0.09 seconds, Audi driver Dindo Capello (Italy) claimed the pole position for round nine of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Mosport (Canada). Team mate Emanuele Pirro (Italy) drove the second Audi R10 TDI to the third fastest time overall and starts as the second fastest driver in the LM P1 category.
In the only ALMS race outside of the United States of America, the Audi drivers all but dominated the entire 20 minute qualifying on the second fastest racetrack of the season from the start. In the opening minutes Rinaldo Capello and Emanuele Pirro traded the best time. At the halfway stage, Porsche driver Romain Dumas was in front, but six minutes before the end of the session Dindo Capello achieved the pole position with a time of 1m 05.829s. Team mate Emanuele Pirro drove with a time of 1m 6.010s on starting position three.
Audi thus clinched the pole position for the third time this season in front of the lighter LM P2 sports cars. Four races before the end of the season, the Audi drivers could claim the Manufacturerís and Teamís titles in the LM P1 category.
The race at Mosport starts Sunday at 3 p.m. local time (9 p.m. in Germany) with a distance of 2:45 hours.
Quotes after qualifying
Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #1): "I must admit to being surprised when I read my 5.829 lap time on the dashboard. I didnít think I could improve on my first run time but I pitted and swapped over the tyres. On the second runs in the hairpin I gained time. My Audi was nice to drive, really balanced Ė especially in the fast corners Ė it was so enjoyable to drive the R10 TDI. ALMS races in Canada have previously brought me luck and I hope this winning trend continues."
Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #1): "Itís very pleasing to come to Mosport and have such a good run. Dindo did a superb performance in qualifying to claim Audiís second consecutive ALMS pole but itís incredibly tight at the front. Less than three-tenthís of a second cover the fastest four cars on the grid. I believe weíve got a quick, strong car for the race and Dindo and I will be looking to add to the success that weíve already enjoyed together here at Mosport."
Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #2): "It has been a really nice qualifying session. It is good to see Audi at the front. With both cars we did a very good session and achieved times we didnít imagine. We are looking quite good for the race. But we have to consider that for us this is not the perfect circuit with these long corners where the weight is important."
Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2): "We can be happy with the qualifying. Congratulation to Dindo, that we have one car on the first row. For us it will be tight, but the second row is a good basis for the race. Tomorrow it will be tight and exciting."
Dave Maraj (Team Director Audi Sport North America): "To start the race in first and third positions is a fantastic achievement. Dindo and Emanuele both did an excellent job as did the entire Audi Sport North America team. Hopefully we can now carry this momentum forward into the race. I believe the race will be very close and exciting with strategy playing an important role."
The starting grid at Mosport
1. Capello/McNish (Audi R10 TDI) 1m 05.829s (1st in LM P1)
2. Dumas/Bernhard (Porsche) 1m 05.919s.
3. Pirro/Werner (Audi R10 TDI) 1m 06.010s (2nd in LM P1)
4. Maassen/Briscoe (Porsche) 1m 06.082s
5. Herta/Franchitti (Acura/Honda) 1m 06.249s
6. Brabham/Johansson (Acura/Honda) 1m 06.428s
7. Fernandez/Diaz (Acura/Honda) 1m 06.842s
8. Wallace/Leitzinger (Porsche) 1m 07.137s
9. Dyson/Smith (Acura/Honda) 1m 07.859s
10. Bach/Devlin (Lola-Mazda) 1m 08.021s
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