Lucas Luhr snared his fourth Road America pole position to put Audi at the head of the field in qualifying for the latest round of the American Le Mans Series, the Generac 500 at Road America.

The German posted a lap of 1min 46.935secs during the session to take pole by 0.41secs from Andretti Green Racing's Franck Montagny and will now hope to follow it up with a victory - having failed to secure victory from pole position on the previous three occasions he has started on top at the circuit.

"I should have backed off a bit," Luhr said. "I'll make sure Nishy [Allan McNish] gets a note that I broke his record. I think this is one of the best race tracks in America and I really like it. It's just good fun to come here.

"The course is good for our car. I was surprised Montagny was only four tenths behind me. You can see that Acura is getting quicker and quicker, and we've been saying that we've been a bit behind in qualifying and still been able to win overall. The strategy is in our favour being a longer race, but you never know with the yellows and the things going on around the race track. If a yellow comes out, you have to be prepared to change your mind completely and react and adapt to it. Our plan is to go as fast as you can and then react to it."

Saturday's four-hour race will see Luhr and team-mate Marco Werner go for their fourth overall victory of the season and sixth straight win in P1. They comfortably lead the class championship by 58 points over Audi team-mate Emanuele Pirro, who qualified third overall and second in LMP1 at 1min 47.579secs. Werner will drive with newcomer Marcel Fassler in the second R10 TDI. Intersport Racing's Jon Field qualified the AER-powered Lola B06/10-AER third in class and eighth overall at 1min 48.371secs

In LMP2, Acura swept the front row for the third straight race as Montagny won his first ALMS pole position. The Frenchman will make his third start with his third different team-mate - James Rossiter - in the AGR Acura ARX-01b. Montagny's time of 1min 47.345secs bettered Romain Dumas' class record from last year by 1.488 seconds and McNish's 2007 lap, as well.

"All the people who have been in the car are good drivers and they might not be going for the championship this year, but they are good," he said. "The car is still being developed and we are now seeing the result of that. We have a good engineering crew and experience that helps me out."

Former Road America Champ Car standout Adrian Fernandez qualified second in class and fourth overall in the Acura that he will drive with Luis Diaz. Dumas was fifth overall and third in P2 at 1min 47.736secs in the Porsche RS Spyder that he will share with Timo Bernhard. The pairing are the defending overall race winners.

"Tomorrow will be another great race," he said. "From now to the last race, I'm trying to work with the engineers and get used to the car. We are always improving the car, race after race and test after test. The race here is the most fun I've had. I've done a lot of racing in Europe, and some GT cars and prototypes. It's good to go somewhere and be good right off from the start."

Oliver Gavin earned his 17th career Series pole position and third at Road America with a lap of 2min 01.235secs in the Corvette C6.R that he will drive with Olivier Beretta. The Briton was 0.641 seconds better than Jan Magnussen in the other Corvette and more than three seconds quicker than Bell Motorsports' Aston Martin DBR9 - the third GT1 car entered in the race.

"We're pleased for the four-hour race tomorrow," Gavin said. "The track is quick, it's challenging and its fun. It's a real proper circuit. It hasn't been sliced up and cut up like other tracks. But this is definitely a good place. It's been one of the years where nothing has gone right for us. Even with everything that happened at Mid-Ohio we couldn't break through. We'll have to wait and see. We will keep pushing and keep trying."

In GT2, Tafel Racing's Dirk Muller won his first Series pole position in seven years. His lap of 2min 06.083secs was 1.108 seconds under Jamie Melo's previous class record from 2007. Indeed, the four quickest cars in GT2 were under last year's pole time.

"We knew from this morning that it would be close," former WTCC racer Muller said. "The Porsches gained a lot between the last practice session and qualifying. We were out for a three-lap run. I came in after two laps and was really impressed. We don't have a qualifying setup and were focusing on the race tomorrow."

Melo will start second in class alongside Mika Salo in the Risi Ferrari, while third was the class-championship leading Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Flying Lizard Motorsports' Jorg Bergmeister at 2mins 06.415secs. He and Wolf Henzler lead Muller and Dominik Farnbacher by four points in the driver championship.


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