Two former Formula One pilots return to Quebec this weekend when the American Le Mans Series for sportscars roar through the streets of Trois-Rivières.
Monaco-based pair Johnny Herbert and JJ Lehto, veterans of over 200 F1 Grands Prix - including 16 in Canada - drive the Team ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 around the tight and narrow 1.521-mile, 11-turn street course.
Herbert, of England, and Finland’s Lehto will average around 90mph a lap in their Audi R8, a 3.6-liter, twin-turbo-charged sportscar that has dominated endurance sportscar racing for the past three years.
Trois Rivières is hosting a race in the nine-event ALMS program for a second consecutive year - Audi having bagged the top-three places overall in the corresponding 3 hour, two-driver race exactly 12 months ago (3 Aug).
Herbert and Stefan Johansson finished third at Trois Rivières last year after Johnny had qualified on the front row.
Herbert’s best result in the Canadian GP were two fifths (1997/99) while Lehto scored a sixth place in 1994.
“I raced at Trois Rivieres last year and finished third and thoroughly enjoyed the experience – the venue offers a lovely atmosphere. The street circuit is good, not hugely demanding or particularly narrow but enjoyable. I’ve never won a ‘street’ race – third is my best placing in the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix – although I’ve raced at a number including Miami [ALMS], Phoenix [F1] and Macau [F3].”
“I missed last year’s race so the circuit will be totally new to me but normally I learn a track quickly and it’s short anyway. I’ve good and bad experiences on street tracks – I finished second at Miami in the ALMS last September. An Audi R8 filled the top-three positions in last year’s Trois Rivieres race so the car is a known factor and has showed it to be well suited to the Canadian circuit. It’s absolutely vital we score big points.”
Brad Kettler, Champion Racing Technical Director:
“Last year at Trois Rivières we found a good setup. The track is fairly smooth and has decent grip. Braking is very important especially in the downhill section coming up to the archway. I feel we should be very competitive there right away.”
Timetable - ALMS
Friday: 1205-1305 / 1305-1335 (both Test sessions)
Saturday: 0950-1050 / 1520-1610 (both Practice sessions). 1640-1700 Qualifying.
Sunday: 0915-0945 Warm-up. 1445-1745 Race