Dumas leads opening session in Houston The theme of LMP2 dominance has carried over from Long Beach last weekend in the opening practice for the Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston. Romain Dumas picked up where he left off in California by posting the fastest lap Friday morning for Porsche and Penske Motorsports at JAGFlo Speedway at Reliant Park. The Frenchman set a time of 1:02.791 in the Porsche RS Spyder he will share with Timo Bernhard.
The duo were overall victors at Long Beach and lead the P2 drivers championship heading into the American Le Mans Series' fourth round. Dumas was 0.103 seconds ahead of Bryan Herta in the Andretti Green Racing Acura and 0.432 second better than Butch Leitzinger in the first of Dyson Racing's Porsche RS Spyders.
Dumas was last year's pole sitter and already is a full 2 miles an hour quicker than last year's qualifying time.
"The track seems a lot faster, maybe it's just the car," Dumas said. He and Bernhard failed to finish the race in 2006 as their Porsche suffered a drivetrain failure. "For sure the track is a little bit different but I don't know if it's a lot safer. The changes are all good. It is easier to see coming out of the chicane and makes driving easier. There are no advantages for each car, the track is for everyone the same. We will continue to work on the car and find a good balance to be fast and work through the bumps." P2 cars held the first five positions on the timing sheet. Allan McNish was the leading LMP1 driver for Audi and the diesel-powered R10 TDI. The Scot's time of 1:03.940 in the car he will share with Dindo Capello was more than a second behind Dumas and a half second better than the sister car of Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner.
Oliver Gavin was quickest in GT1 for Corvette Racing in the No. 4 Corvette C6.R. The English star was 0.443 seconds ahead of Johnny O'Connell in the sister car.
In GT2, Dirk Muller put Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing's Ferrari F430 GT on the class point with a time of 10.744. He led Mika Salo and the Houston-based Risi Competizione Ferrari by 0.03 seconds and the Tafel Racing Porsche of Wolf Henzler by another 0.2 seconds.
Pos Car Cls Driver Best Lap Car Make/Model Team 1 7 P2 Timo Bernhard 1:02.791 Porsche RS Spyder Penske Racing 2 26 P2 Bryan Herta 1:02.894 Acura ARX-01A Andretti Green Racing 3 6 P2 Sascha Maassen 1:03.223 Porsche RS Spyder Penske Racing 4 9 P2 Stefan Johansson 1:03.713 Acura ARX-01A Highcroft Racing 5 16 P2 Andy Wallace 1:03.888 Porsche RS Spyder Dyson Racing Team 6 1 P1 Rinaldo Capello 1:03.940 Audi R10/TDI Audi Sport North America 7 15 P2 Adrian Fernandez 1:03.953 Lola B06/43 Acura Lowe`s Fernandez Racing 8 20 P2 Chris Dyson 1:04.130 Porsche RS Spyder Dyson Racing Team 9 2 P1 Emanuele Pirro 1:04.438 Audi R10/TDI Audi Sport North America 10 8 P2 Ben Devlin 1:05.712 Lola B07/40 Mazda B-K Motorsports 11 4 GT1 Oliver Gavin 1:07.950 Chevrolet C-6R Corvette Racing 12 3 GT1 Johnny O`Connell 1:08.393 Chevrolet C-6R Corvette Racing 13 37 P1 Clint Field 1:10.570 Creation CA06/H001 Judd Intersport Racing 14 31 GT2 Dirk Mueller 1:10.744 Ferrari F430 GT Petersen/White Lightning 15 62 GT2 Mika Salo 1:10.774 Ferrari F430 GT Risi Competizione 16 71 GT2 Wolf Henzler 1:10.925 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Tafel Racing 17 44 GT2 Seth Neiman 1:11.132 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Flying Lizard Motorsports 18 45 GT2 Jörg Bergmeister 1:11.710 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Flying Lizard Motorsports 19 18 GT2 Tom Milner 1:12.153 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Rahal Letterman Racing 20 73 GT2 Jim Tafel 1:12.172 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Tafel Racing 21 61 GT2 Tracy Krohn 1:13.152 Ferrari F430 GT Risi Competizione 22 22 GT2 Scott Maxwell 1:13.567 Panoz Esperante GTLM Panoz Team PTG 23 54 GT2 Tim Pappas 1:14.618 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Team Trans Sport 24 21 GT2 Bill Auberlen ?.??? Panoz Esperante GTLM Panoz Team PTG
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