Record-setting day at Mosport Raceway

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. -- Records were falling faster than John Edwards' political career yesterday at the Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport in qualifying for today's American Le Mans Series race.

Italy's Dindo Capello crushed the old record of one minute, 5.829 seconds with a lap of 1:04:094 in his No. 1 Audi North America Racing R10 in the LMP 1 class.

No sooner had Capello set his record, France's Romain Dumas flashed through the finish line in 1:04:318, lopping an astounding 1.6 seconds off the LMP2 class record he set at Mosport in 2007, in the No. 7 Penske Racing Porsche Spyder.

Before the end of the session on Mosport's four-kilometre road course, 10 cars would beat last year's mark in both the prototype classes.

Capello, however, warned that such increase in speeds may come at the expense of safety for drivers.

"We are now reaching speeds ahead of 180 m.p.h. in some corners (at Mosport)," he said. "While as drivers we love speed, the race tracks don't always keep up with those speeds."

What Capello was referring to was the lack of runoff areas at race tracks, where drivers could point their cars in case they can't stop in time to avoid an accident.

"I'm not saying this is the case at Mosport but many tracks just haven't kept up with the advances that faster and faster cars demand," he said.

Dumas added that the last thing any race car driver wants to see is racing bosses introduce regulations to slow down the cars, but he agreed that safety must be a prime concern.

FASTER TIMES

"Look, when Formula One last raced at Mosport the laps were around one minute, 13 seconds," he said. "Now we are going almost 10 seconds faster in a sports car."

In the GT1 class, Johnny O'Connell put the No. 3 Corvette C6-R on the pole with a time of 1:13:878 while Jamie Melo was fastest in the GT2 class in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F430.

Meanwhile, SPEED World Challenge Touring class points leader, Kuno Wittmer from Montreal, qualified a disappointing eighth in the No. 44 Real Time Racing Acura TSX.

With just one race left in the season, Wittmer still is the man to beat for the championship.

The man chasing him in the points, teammate Peter Cunningham driving the No. 42 Acura TSX, will start one spot behind Wittmer today, in ninth.

Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., will start on the pole for today's race -- his third pole of the season -- in the No. 97 Tridol Motorsports Mazda after lapping the Mosport road course in one minute, 29.736 seconds.

Herr's teammate Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, made it an all-Tindol Motorsports front row with a time of 1:29.836.

"This is huge," Herr said. "I don't know how it's going to pan out. It'd be great if I could keep the lead. Acura's pretty much wrapped up the Manufacturers' Championship, so it makes it difficult to put a dent in that, but it looks good at the end of the year and going into 2009."

Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, will start his No. 74 Mazdaspeed/Stoptech/Racinghart Mazda6 third after a lap of 1:30.124.


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