Dyson Racing's James Weaver pulled off a flying lap near the end of a dramatic, record-setting qualifying session Saturday to win the pole position for Sunday's American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio.

Three of the four New Century Mortgage FastQual Award winners set new track American Le Mans Series qualifying records with the overall pole position determined by only 0.061 of a second.

Weaver, driving the Dyson Racing Lola EX257-AER/MG, turned a track record lap of 1m 12.123secs, easily bettering the previous track record of 1m 14.169secs that was set by Frank Biela the last time the ALMS raced at Mid-Ohio in 2002.

"The car was just perfect," said Weaver. "We had a problem with a fluid pipe in practice but the team repaired that and it was no problem. We tested here several weeks ago and fine-tuned the car, and it was exciting today."

Marco Werner, driving the ADT Champion Racing Audi R8, had posted a fast lap of 1m 12.184secs early in the session and the German driver appeared to have the pole position clinched until Weaver beat the time with five minutes left in the 20-minute session. Werner went back on the track but slid off course in turn two, ending his bid to better Weaver's time. He and co-driver JJ Lehto will start second.

"I didn't brake properly," said Werner, co-champion of the ALMS in the top Prototype class last year. "I'm still learning this circuit and I just made a mistake."

Third-fastest overall and in the LMP1 class was the other Dyson entry driven by Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson at 1m 12.372secs.

"What's been shown is there are three top cars with only two-tenths of a second separating them," said Wallace. "Out of the trailer our car was very good, we tested partially for performance and partially for reliability."

"We've certainly benefited from testing here," said team owner Rob Dyson. "We have limited resources so it was more important for us to stay home and test for the rest of the ALMS season than to go to France to race at Le Mans. We worked with Goodyear and assisted them in developing a good roster of tires, and they have really stepped up their program. If we had gone to France, we couldn't do that as efficiently as we have. We had a steady momentum in testing and we're confident the testing has paid off."

[Pic: ALMS/Rock Dole]

 

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