I made a successful backup of the new GameShark2 V2, I can only assume that you can do the same with Action Replay. I remember it took several hours to read and complete the process. At some points reading speed was below 1x, especially during the first half of the disc. Use Clone CD software to read, be sure to read Data Subcodes and activate fast error/bad sector skip option. I have used a friend's AR2 memory card to boot my GS2 disc when I lost my unit. I can safely say that the two are compatible with eachother.
Just the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.