- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 21, 2002

Grand Prix notes

Audi will own the front row for this afternoon's American Le Mans Series race after Frank Biela and Rinaldo Capello of Audi Sport North America captured the top two spots in yesterday's qualifying session.
A third Audi, driven by Johnny Herbert of Champion Racing, will start fourth despite a late crash into a tire wall.
Less than one-tenth of a second separated Biela's pole-winning run from that of Capello.
"It was quite different qualifying," said Biela, who struggled to find consistency during practice. "The car was very good, and the tires were very consistent. Finally, the last lap was a good one, and it was good enough."
Two Panoz LMP01s cracked the top six, and two Cadillac Northstars rounded out the top seven.
Jon Fields took the pole for the LMP675 class, continuing his dominance of qualifying day for that group.
And Ron Fellows smiled all the way to the front of the GTS class, completing his best lap in 1:08.834. Fellows' Corvette qualified 12th overall, ahead of even two P675 cars.
"It was an adventure," Fellows said of the qualifying session. "We wanted to wait five or seven laps, but it appeared the rest of the field was doing the same thing. It took awhile to get a clear lap. It was an adventure, but we managed to get it in."
Fellows owns the career record for GTS class poles won in the 4-year-old American Le Mans Series. He padded that record with his fifth of the season one for each race so far. With one more pole, he will tie Dirk Muller's Series career record of 13.
Sascha Maassen rounded out the group of four pole-winners (one for each class of car that competes in the Series). In grabbing his third pole of the season, Maassen finished his lap in 1:12.893.
"I'm especially happy with the gap between me and the others," Maassen said of the near-full second between him and the Porsche 911 GT3 driven by Jorg Bergmeister. "It means I turned a good lap."
The inaugural Cadillac Grand Prix for the Series will start at noon after a warmup for the drivers and a motorcycle jump by stunt motorcyclist Robbie Knievel.

A full schedule
Two shorter professional races and the Celebrity Pro-Am wound things up at the RFK Stadium Circuit after the Trans-Am race yesterday afternoon.
Randy Pobst won the SPEED World Challenge GT Race from the pole in his Porsche 911 Cup. Johannes Van Overbeek also drove a Porsche and finished second.
Pobst led all 30 laps and turned the fastest lap of the race in 1:19.144.
Moses Smith, the 2001 Star Mazda Series rookie of the year, won the Star Mazda race.

D.C. driver on fast track
Will Langhorne has spent nearly all of his life in the District. He was born there, lived in Georgetown and went to Potomac School before finishing high school and college in New England.
Yet you would be hard pressed to find someone locally who recognizes the 27-year-old as someone other than a neighbor. Overseas or in towns steeped in motorsports tradition, however, Langhorne said he's instantly recognized as a world-class driver.
A self-proclaimed "speed junkie," Langhorne has been racing professionally for five years. This weekend he's skipping the Indy Racing League event in Nashville, Tenn., for an opportunity to race outside the stadium where, as a youngster, he watched the Washington Redskins and Supercross races.
He jumped at the opportunity to race in front of friends and family on what now must be considered his home track. "There's so many different people here I know," Langhorne said. "It's a big city, but it's still a town to me."
Langhorne will share driving duties in today's American Le Mans Series race with British driver Ben Devlin, competing for Archangel Motorsports in an LMP 675. Though the team had engine problems near the end of qualifying, it hoped to have it fixed in time for the noon race. Langhorne expects to drive half of the race, which the No.13 car will start 16th.
The District native is competing on a limited IRL schedule this season so he can keep his rookie status and give it a full-time commitment next year.

Kirberg takes SPEED pole
Rookie Marc Kirberg won the pole for this afternoon's SPEED World Challenge Touring race, driving a fast lap of 1:26.002.
Kirberg clocked that time on his third lap, then parked his car and watched the rest of qualifying in order to save his tires for the next day. Mike Fitzgerald, whose Lexus had the best practice time, qualified second in 1:26.028. Tim Pappas, Fitzgerald's rookie teammate, will start third.

High-speed crashes
Jon Field's recent run of bad luck spread to his typically solid qualifying effort yesterday. His wreck late in the American Le Mans Series qualifying session briefly brought out the black flag.
Field, the top LMP675 driver this season with 87 points, slammed into the tire barrier on turn 1 of his seventh lap. He stood in eighth place among all Series drivers in qualifying when he wrecked with a top lap time of 1:05.985. He held that spot to win his fourth consecutive LMP675 pole of the season.
Sharing driving duties this weekend with son Clint, Field hoped the car would be ready for today's race.
"It's pretty bad," Field said of his car, which lost power in the right A arm before crashing on the fastest part of the track. "It's in the tub."
Field, who drives the Banana Joe's Lola EX257/AER MG, had qualified better than any other LMP675 driver in three of the first four races this season. But he also has struggled to finish since winning the season's first race at Sebring. Mechanical problems have negated his work winning the pole in each of the last three events.
It was the first significant wreck of the weekend at the RFK Stadium Circuit, not counting the accident local disc jockey Jimmy Alexander had during Friday night's practice for last night's celebrity race.

Nuts and bolts
Boris Said attempted a double dip yesterday. After finishing third in the Trans-Am race, Said drove in the SPEED World Challenge Touring race but completed only three laps before a cooling problem parked his Roush Mustang. He finished 18th. Butch Leitzinger, meanwhile, will drive in today's Series race.
All of the ticket windows were open at the RFK Stadium Circuit yesterday, and president Bobby Goldwater of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission confirmed there were more than 25,000 fans in attendance.

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