Weaver pilots No. 16 Dyson to pole

Updated: April 16, 2005, 7:44 PM ET
Associated Press

BRASELTON, Ga. -- James Weaver took the pole for the Grand Prix of Atlanta, completing a lap in 1 minute, 11.241 seconds in the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola EX257 AER.

It was Weaver's 12th career American Le Mans Series pole and his second straight at Road Atlanta. He posted the fastest lap for last year's Petit Le Mans but was nearly a second faster Saturday. Weaver will share the seat with Butch Leitzinger on Sunday.

``Our car works best with the right ride height. Tracks like here, Road America and Infineon are where we are best set up for the fast corners,'' Weaver said.

Champion Racing's Audi R8s will start second and third. The No. 1 of Marco Werner and JJ Lehto will start second, and the No. 2 of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro third.

In LMP2, the No. 37 Telesis Intersport Racing Lola B05/40 of Jon Field posted a lap of 1:12.678 to start first in the class and fifth overall. Field, who will team with son Clint, won his sixth career pole.

``My qualifying run was good, but we were hoping to get a little more out of the car,'' Jon Field said. ``We would have liked to have been in the middle of P1s, or even faster. But I'm excited for the race tomorrow and hope to have a good day.''

In GT1, Johnny O'Connell picked up his first career ALMS pole, a remarkable achievement for the resident of nearby Flowery Branch. O'Connell did it in style, shattering the track's qualifying class record with a lap of 1:17.034 in the new No. 3 Corvette Racing C6-R he will share with Ron Fellows.

``We show up here, and, yes, it's a brand new race car, but it's close to how we're going to race it,'' O'Connell said. ``So for the guys, this is a good one. We've got as nice a race car as we've had. The fact that's seven miles from my house is even better.''

Bill Auberlen gave Road Atlanta-based Panoz Motor Sports its first pole in its Esperante GTLM. Auberlen turned a fast lap of 1:21.647 in the No. 50 entry he'll pilot with Robin Liddell.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press