Dyson Racing's Guy Smith backed up his practice pace to take pole position for round two of the American Le Mans Series at Long Beach in a depleted LMP1 field. The 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours winner was 0.452sec faster in the Lola-Mazda coupe than his nearest challenger, the Muscle Milk Lola Aston Martin driven by Klaus Graf.
Despite these two cars being the only runners in the 15 minute qualifying session, the battle between them was close enough to suggest that the race at the front could be heated.
“I think I did a 16.7 or 16.8 in the morning practice, and my engineers wanted to see me down in the 14s and I didn't think it was possible,” said Smith. “Credit goes to our engineers. The track is changing all the time and they did a great job. There was so much rubber that went down so you're guessing as to what will happen.”
The real attention in the event is likely to be focussed on the intensely competitive GT class however. Fresh from its Sebring 12 Hours victory, BMW forged to the top again in qualifying as Joey Hand saw off challenges from Jan Magnussen's Chevrolet Corvette, Bill Auberlen (BMW) and Patrick Long - whose Porsche in the hands of Jorg Bergmeister had been quickest in practice. Hand's advantage over the Dane was eventually just 0.047sec.
The fastest Ferrari in class was that of Johannes van Overbeek in the Extreme Speed Italia 458, which lines up sixth behind Wolf Henzler's Porsche.
Gunner Jeanette was third fastest overall and took pole for the LMPC class with the CORE Autosport team.
Jeroen Bleekemolen meanwhile took the top spot in the GTC class with his Black Swan Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time
1. LMP1 Graf/Luhr Muscle Milk Lola-Aston 1m14.001s
2. LMP1 Dyson/Smith Dyson Lola-Mazda 1m14.453s
3. LMPC Jeannette/Gonzalez Core ORECA 1m17.736s
4. LMPC Marcelli/Drissi Intersport ORECA 1m18.124s
5. LMPC Figge/Maroney PR1 Mathiasen ORECA 1m18.286s
6. LMPC Lux/Julian Genoa ORECA 1m18.690s
7. GT Muller/Hand BMW 1m19.090s
8. GT Gavin/Magnussen Corvette 1m19.137s
9. GT Auberlen/Werner BMW 1m19.447s
10. GT Bergmeister/Long Flying Lizard Porsche 1m19.463s
11. GT Henzler/Sellers Falken Porsche 1m20.065s
12. GT Sharp/van Overbeek Extreme Speed Ferrari 1m20.167s
13. GT Brown/Cosmo Extreme Speed Ferrari 1m20.176s
14. GT Miller/Maassen Miller Porsche 1m20.646s
15. GT Beretta/Milner Corvette 1m20.724s
16. GT Junqueira/da Matta RSR Jaguar 1m20.924s
17. LMPC Bennett/Montecalvo Core ORECA 1m21.387s
18. GT Jones/Gentilozzi RSR Jaguar 1m22.244s
19. GTC Pappas/Bleekemolen Black Swan Porsche 1m23.179s
20. GTC Sweedler/Keen Alex Job Porsche 1m23.853s
21. GT Pastorelli/Schwager West Lamborghini 1m23.906s
22. GTC Enda/Pumpelly TRG Porsche 1m24.134s
23. GTC Potter/Stanton Magnus Porsche 1m24.362s
24. GTC Curtis/Sofronas GMG Porsche 1m24.651s
25. GTC Von Moltke/Gaughan TRG Porsche 1m24.878s
26. GT Law/Neiman Flying Lizard Porsche 1m25.543s
27. GTC Ham/Blackett JDX Porsche 1m25.743s
28. GT Melo/Vilander Risi Ferrari 1m48.071s
29. LMPC Nicolosi/Boon Performance Tech ORECA no time
30. LMP2 Tucker/Bouchut Level 5 Lola-Honda no time
31. LMP2 Tucker/Diaz Level 5 Lola-Honda no time