â€œI have so many great childhood memories of racing. When I was small, I used to wake up from naps to the sounds of Pat Smith and my dad checking the timing of my dadâ€™s Datsun 200SX.â€ said Chris Dyson recalling his childhood as the son of racing junkie and sports car legend Rob Dyson. Over 30 years on the grid of American sports car racing, places Dyson Racing at the top of the sportâ€™s short list of legacy teams.
Highlights of the Motorsports Business Forum - Day 2
Highlighted by Lesa France Kennedy The second and final day of the inaugural Motor Sport Business Forum North America (MSBF-NA) featured a Wednesday Keynote luncheon address by Lesa France Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer of International Speedway Corporation (ISC), that proved to be one of the highlights of a packed schedule at the Orlando Hilton for the first ever MSBF-NA. France Kennedy joined Conference Chairman Zak Brown, Just Marketing International (JMI) Founder and CEO, on stage for an hour-long â€œcoffee talkâ€ exchange that was informal in setting but highly impactful in its delivery.
Highlights of the Motorsports Business Forum at PRI
by Scott Morris The motorsports industry leaders all converged this morning to speak about the state of the industry at the inaugural Motorsports Business Forum presented by IM2 Events and hosted by Just Marketing International, with some interesting statements made about various arms of motorsports. Terry Angstadt from the IRL. Terry appeared at this conference in the wake of their recent announcement of Izod as the new IndyCar title sponsor. However, he mentioned their partnership with Apex Brazil as having more than meets the eye.
ALMS PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racing's championship-winning season in the American Le Mans Series has drawn applause from motorsport legends, industry leaders and key media representatives. The victory capped off a third season of key milestones for the Duncan Dayton-led squad which has recorded Acura's first LMP2 class victory, first overall victory, first LMP1 class victory and now, Acuraâ€™s first American Le Mans Series championship.
2009 Champions Top competitors in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge were honored Monday evening at the Rolex Champions Banquet presented by SunTrust at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty, Leh Keen, Dirk Werner, Ken Wilden and Christian Miller were recognized as the 2009 driving champions.
ALMS Gil de Ferran rode into the sunset with a victory in his final race Saturday, and PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racing had its own special ride as well at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to close the 2009 American Le Mans Series. De Ferran and Simon Pagenaud won the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by PatrÂ¢n.
By David Phillips For the second time in a remarkably diverse and successful career, Gil de Ferran will retire as a race driver at the conclusion of Saturdayâ€™s Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by PatrÂ¢n at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In contrast to his first farewell, announced after he won the 2003 IndyCar Series season finale at Texas World Speedway, de Ferran gave everyone plenty of warning about his Swan Song II in August.
ALMS in Laguna Seca Gil de Ferranâ€™s storybook weekend continued Friday with pole position for the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by PatrÂ¢n, the final race in the Brazilian legendâ€™s storybook career. His best lap of 1:11.206 (113.148 mph) at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the de Ferran Motorsports XM Acura ARX-02a was just good enough.
Grand-AM Jon Fogarty put GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing in the best possible position to clinch the teamâ€™s second Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Championships Friday when he won his fifth-straight pole of the 2009 season and sixth of the year in qualifying for Saturdayâ€™s season-ending Grand Prix of Miami. The 2.5-hour sprint on the 2.3-mile, 11-turn Homestead-Miami Speedway road course is scheduled to start at 1:08 p.m. ET tomorrow with live coverage on SPEED beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
ALMS at Road Atlanta Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin gave Peugeot its first American Le Mans Series victory on Friday, winning a weather-shortened 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. Race officials, citing hazardous conditions due to torrential rains that fell at Road Atlanta just past the four-hour mark, called the race at eight hours, 44 minutes running.
ALMS Petit LeMans race Peugeot broke Audiâ€™s stranglehold on the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this year. It could be on the way to doing the same at Road Atlanta. Nic Minassian led a front-row sweep for Peugeot Sport in qualifying Friday for the 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6, the first step toward what the French manufacturer hopes is its first victory in the American Le Mans Series.
ALMS The 2010 American Le Mans Series will feature both scheduling stability to go alongside a dynamic class restructure, efforts that secure the worldâ€™s leading sports car championship in the upper echelon of global motorsport. Next yearâ€™s calendar, which focuses on the Seriesâ€™ cornerstone endurance events while providing continuity at its established venues, ranked among the highlights during the American Le Mans Seriesâ€™ annual State of the Series address Friday at Road Atlanta, site of this weekendâ€™s 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6.
ALMS Petit LeMans Team Peugeot Totalâ€™s Franck Montagny set the fastest lap of the week so far during Thursdayâ€™s night practice session for the 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. The fast Frenchman turned a lap of 1:07.912 (134.645 mph) in one of Peugeotâ€™s factory 908 HDi diesel-powered coupes. Montagny, a two-time winner in the American Le Mans Series last season, will drive in the 1,000-mile/10-hour classic with countryman Stephane Sarrazin.
During Petit LeMans practice PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racingâ€™s Scott Sharp walked away today from a horrific crash in his Acura ARX-02a early in the second practice session for the 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. Fortunately for the team a replacement tub was in the air Thursday night, bound for Atlanta. Sharp, currently the LMP1 championship co-leader with teammate David Brabham, went hard into the wall at Turn 3 after going airborne and sideways into the inside retaining fence. He made contact with Dirk Werner and the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which was leaving the pit lane.
ALMS In preparation for a full championship effort in 2010, RSR unveiled its Jaguar XKR GT2 at the American Le Mans Seriesâ€™ famed event - the 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6 - with the intention to introduce the car and utilize the track time for testing and development. The Jaguar brand is launched into what everyone considers the deepest GT2 class in the history of the Series and will have to face off against the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Corvette, Panoz, Dodge, Viper and Ford.
ALMS Petit LeMans test session Audi Sport struck first in the rematch of diesel powers at Road Atlanta with the fastest time in Wednesdayâ€™s two-hour test session for the 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. Allan McNish, defending race winner with teammate Dindo Capello, put in a quick lap of 1:08.308 (133.864 mph) in the pairingâ€™s Audi R15 TDI. McNish and Capello won Petit Le Mans the last three years in an Audi R10 TDI prototype.
Grand-Am Rolex Series Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty took a solid victory over their rivals in the battle for the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 championship Saturday, winning Saturday's Utah 250 at Miller Motorsports Park. The pair led 43 of the 56 laps to win the two-hour, 45-minute race on the 4.486-mile circuit before near-zero fans.
Grand-Am While Jon Fogarty won his fourth consecutive pole position and series-tying 13th career overall pole Friday in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Friday, the Daytona Prototype point leader viewed the session as a test for Saturday's Utah 250.
Grand-AM Grand-Am Road Racing competitors and officials were pleased and optimistic following Thursday's first sanctioned test at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Nine Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 teams participated in the test, which included a pair of two-hour sessions. While the bulk of the time was spent on the 2.534-mile, 13-turn Formula One road course, teams also spent a short time on the modified 2.621-mile, 16-turn MotoGP layout.
Win in depleted 18-car ALMS field Sunday turned into a banner day for Acura. David Brabham and Scott Sharp won drove their PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a to an overall victory at Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. The win clinched the LMP1 manufacturer championship for Acura.
ALMS With the season winding down and only three races to go, the challenges still remain aplenty for competitors in the American Le Mans Series. And there is no greater challenge the competitors will face than the daunting high-speed corners of Mosport International Raceway, the site for Round 8 of the 2009 championship.
ALMS David Brabham captured pole position for Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport on Saturday in his PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a. The reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans champion turned in a best lap of 1:05.323 (135.517 mph) and edged out de Ferran Motorsportsâ€™ Simon Pagenaud by a scant 0.074 seconds.
Grand-Am Jon Fogarty edged Scott Pruett by 0.012 seconds to win his season-leading fourth pole of the 2009 season Friday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and will lead the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Daytona Prototype field to the green flag for Saturday's Montreal 200 at the 2.709-mile track. Fogarty set his fastest time of 1:32.235 (105.734 mph) on his fifth lap in the No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley, earning his second pole at the track.
ALMS As the 2009 American Le Mans Series enters the homestretch with three events remaining in the season, class championship pictures are starting to become clearer as the Series heads north to Mosport International Raceway and Sundayâ€™s Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport.
by David Philipps The American Le Mans Seriesâ€™ announcement at Road America of its consolidation of the LMP and GT classes - coupled with the introduction of the LMP Challenge class - will provide pundits and seers with plenty to chew on in the coming weeks and months. Purists will doubtless decry the introduction of a dreaded â€œspecâ€ series to an arena whose raison dâ€™Ãªtre is diversity and technical innovation, not homogenization and technical stasis.
ALMS at Road America David Brabham and Scott Sharp ended de Ferran Motorsportsâ€™ four-race overall win streak Sunday with a close, tense victory in the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at Road America. PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racingâ€™s Brabham beat Gil de Ferran to the checkered flag by 0.461 seconds.
ALMS In a progressive step designed to keep ahead of the rest of the industry, the American Le Mans Series today announced plans to overhaul its four-class structure beginning with the 2010 season. The four classes will be Le Mans Prototype (LMP), Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC), Grand Touring (GT) and Grand Touring Challenge (GTC).
ALMS In his final race at Road America as a driver, Gil de Ferran claimed his first pole position at the track as de Ferran Motorsports continued its dominating run in the American Le Mans Series. The team owner and Brazilian legend turned in a lap of 1:48.216 (134.664 mph) in qualifying for the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase. The de Ferran Motorsports XM Acura ARX-02a will start from the overall pole for the fourth straight event.
ALMS Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud went flag-to-flag Saturday to win the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, their fourth consecutive overall victory in the American Le Mans Series. Team owner de Ferran qualified on the overall pole position, and the pairing won at Mid-Ohio for the first time in their careers.
by Greg Creamer In both the figurative and literal, it most surely is â€œcrunch timeâ€ for the competitors in the American Le Mans Series. But one doesnâ€™t blend well with the other, and it poses a rather significant conundrum for the teams and drivers. Success in one sense may breed failure in the other. It is just this type of stretch in a championship battle that takes the balancing act that competitors face at every event and forces it to the extreme.
Grand-Am First in the rain, then in the dry - now Ricardo Zonta has a Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 victory in both. The Brazilian put together a dominating performance in the second half of Friday's Crown Royal 200, holding off a surging Scott Pruett to give himself and co-driver Nic JÃ¶nsson a victory in the two-hour sprint race at Watkins Glen International.
ALMS Two-time Indy car Champion and 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner, Gil de Ferran, announced today that he will retire from sports car driving at the completion of the 2009 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season.The 41-year-old Florida-based Brazilian, will continue as President of de Ferran Motorsports (DFM), the Team he formed in 2008 to compete in ALMS as the factory-supported Acura Team.
ALMS On an emotional day when he announced his retirement from driving race cars for good, Gil de Ferran kept his Acura team's hot streak alive by winning the pole position for Saturday's Acura Sports Car Challenge ALMS race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. David Brabham, driving the Patron Acura will start 2nd ahead of the Luis Diaz Fernandez Acura. De Ferran turned a fastest lap of 1:09.443 (117.057 mph) in the XM Acura ARX-02a that he has driven to victory the last three races with teammate Simon Pagenaud.
For Fridayâ€™s Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen After struggling with brake problems throughout practice, Jon Fogarty went out and shattered the Watkins Glen International short course qualifying record Thursday, capturing the pole position for the Crown Royal 200. After breaking the record five minutes into the session, Fogarty backed it up with a lap of 1:05.069 (135.548 mph) to solidify his third pole position of the season.
ALMS Corvette Racing will open a new chapter with the competition debut of the next-generation Corvette C6.R at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 6-8. In anticipation of a single GT class in 2010, Corvette Racing will test and develop the latest Corvette C6.R in the GT2 category in the final five rounds of the 2009 American Le Mans Series. With the upcoming move to a unified GT category, the twin Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars will compete against rivals representing Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Viper, Panoz and Ford.
Gurney Holds Off Pruett at Barber Motorsports Park
Grand-Am Alex Gurney held off Scott Pruett in a 20-minute sprint to win Sunday's Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union, tying the Daytona Prototype point standings with only four races remaining in the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season. Gurney won the team's series-leading third race of the season.
ALMS Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud won the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix on Saturday at Lime Rock Park as the de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a benefitted from a puncture on the PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racing Acura with 13 minutes left while leading. De Ferran and Pagenaud havenâ€™t lost since the St. Petersburg street race in early April. Pagenaud crossed the finish line 43.776 seconds ahead of David Brabham.
Grand-Am Jon Fogarty turned a lap of 1:21.057 (102.150 mph) in Saturday's qualifying to capture the pole position for Sunday's Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park, Round 8 of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. The top three contenders for the Daytona Prototype championship swept the top three positions.
by David Phillips When it comes to auto racing, 12.7 seconds is an eternity, especially when itâ€™s the differential in lap times between two cars in the same race. If youâ€™re talking the Nurburgringâ€™s Nordschleife, thatâ€™s roughly a second per mile. Road America? Three seconds a mile. But when youâ€™re talking the 1.5 miles of pint-sized Lime Rock, well thatâ€™s more than eight seconds per mile.
ALMS Simon Pagenaud won his third pole position of the American Le Mans Series season Friday with an LMP1-record run of 46.971 (114.965 mph) in de Ferran Motorsports' Acura ARX-02a. The young French star, who will partner with team owner Gil de Ferran edged out PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racing's David Brabham by 0.374 seconds. Brabham and Scott Sharp, with PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racing won last year at Lime Rock.
ALMS The Le Mans break is nearly over with a little more than a week remaining until the official start of the American Le Mans Seriesâ€™ second half of 2009 at Lime Rock Park. With six rounds still to go, Marshall Pruett posted a Q&A with Series President and CEO Scott Atherton on SPEEDtv.com. The two discussed a variety of topics including the prospects for the rest of 2009 and the Seriesâ€™ much-discussed future.
Grand Am Rolex Series at Daytona For the second straight year, Alex Gurney lost a heartbreaker in the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Max Angelelli held off a last-lap charge Saturday to win Round 7 of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, winning by .270 seconds - the fifth-closest finish in the history of the series.
Pruett, Rojas Win Second Straight Race at Mid-Ohio
Grand-Am Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas needed five races into the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 to win their first race of the season. They didn't have to wait long to post victory number two, driving to victory in Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Grand-Am Qualifying for Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic presented by Key Bank, Round 6 of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, nearly came down to a dead heat before Jon Fogarty put down a tie-breaking lap of 1:18.059 (104.136 mph) Friday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Ahead of Mid-Ohio Grand-Am race This week's Grand-Am interview featured two past Rolex Series champions who are looking to make history this weekend at Mid-Ohio: Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty. They're the leading Daytona Prototype's winners this year co driving the 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley. This weekend, they're looking for their third consecutive victory in the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid Ohio, which would make them the first Rolex Series team to win the same event in the same class in three consecutive years. Alex and Jon have 10 victories in the red 99.
Finish 1-2 ahead of Audi The Lion has roared at Le Mans after 16 years. The No. 9 Peugeot of Marc Gene, David Brabham and Alex Wurz and company finished 1 lap ahead of the No. 8 Peugeot of Sebastien Bourdais, and a full 7 laps ahead of the No. 1 Audi of Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello to win the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car classic.
Audi still 1 lap down The factory No. 9 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP continues to lead at the halfway mark in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Marc Gene has handed the leading French prototype back to Alexander Wurz, and the car still holds a one-lap lead over the No. 1 Audi of McNish. It's 3:00 AM now and rain is forecast around sunrise.
24 Hour Classic The first outing at Le Mans went quite well Wednesday with the two fastest laps in the opening practice for the 77th 24 Hours of Le Mans. Having last raced the new diesel-powered prototype at the American Le Mans Seriesâ€™ 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, defending race-winner Allan McNish was quickest than teammate Marco Werner by only 0.054 seconds.
Pruett and Rojas drive Lexus to win at Watkins Glen
Grand-Am Rolex Series Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas drove the Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley to victory in the Sahlenâ€™s Six Hour Grand-Am race at Watkins Glen. The race finished under caution so Max Angelelli was only 0.154 seconds behind at the finish but Pruett had over a 3 second lead before that. Timo Bernhard brought the Penske Porsche Riley home third.
Rolex Series Scott Pruett bettered the Watkins Glen International track record by two seconds Saturday, winning his 12th career pole position for Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen. The event, Round 5 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, takes the green flag at 2:15 p.m. Saturday. The race will be televised live on SPEED from 2-4 p.m. and resuming from 6-8:30 p.m.
Peugeot will try again to defeat Audi Les 24 Heures du Mans is a thrilling 24-hour non-stop race that takes place at the 13.629 kilometer Circuit de la Sarthe, a track about twice the length of most F1 circuits that is located about 200 kilometers southwest of Paris. The annual race attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators and this year is likely to be no exception.
24 Hours of LeMans Out of the 82 entry forms received by the ACO for the 2009 24 Hours of LeMans, 55 cars remain, many of which are contenders for outright victory, as well as for honors in each category: 20 LM P1s, 12 LM P2s, 6 LM GT1s, 17 LM GT2s. This is a spectacle not to be missed - for many good reasons!
ALMS A year ago, Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud were elated with a third-place finish in their American Le Mans Series debut at Miller Motorsports Park. Oh, how times have changed. The de Ferran Motorsports pairing dominated the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix on Sunday for their second overall victory in a row. Pagenaud took the checkered flag in the teamâ€™s Acura ARX-02a by a comfortable 73.693 seconds over PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racingâ€™s David Brabham and Scott Sharp.
Grand-Am Jon Fogarty passed Scott Pruett at the entrance to the Corkscrew with 22 laps remaining and held on to give the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings racing its second Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 victory of the season in the Verizon Festival of Speed Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
ALMS Simon Pagenaud captured pole position for de Ferran Motorsports with a new track record at the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix on Saturday, a year after the teamâ€™s debut in the American Le Mans Series. Pagenaud qualified his Acura ARX-02a with a time of 1:30.645 (121.052 mph) to best David Brabham by 0.736 seconds.
Grand-Am As the temperatures warmed up dramatically from opening practice, so did Memo Rojas. The driver of the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley ran a lap of 1:19.874 (100.869 mph) Saturday afternoon to capture the pole position for Sunday's Verizon Wireless Festival of Speed presented by SPEEDCOM at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
ALMS At the very venue he made his American Le Mans Series debut a year ago, Simon Pagenaud turned in the fastest time in Friday's test for this weekend's Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park. Pagenaud posted the five fastest times in the de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a during the two-hour session.
Grand-Am in Laguna Seca Michael Valiante ran the fastest lap in Friday's practice at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 competitors beginning preparations for Sunday's Verizon Wireless 250 presented by SPEEDCOM. Valiante led the Daytona Prototypes with a lap of 1:20.079 (100.611 mph) in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley, while Robin Liddell led the Acxiom GT competitors with a lap of 1:27.547 in the Stevenson Racing No. 57 Bryan Mark Financial Pontiac GXP.R.
Grand-Am Brazilian Ricardo Zonta took the rest of the Grand-Am drivers to school in the heavy rain that fell in Millville, New Jersey Sunday to win the Verizon Wireless 250 going away in his Krohn Racing Lola Ford. Dead last on the lap 44 restart by the end of the 87-lap contest not only had he passed the entire field he won by over 44-seconds.
What a coincidence! Romain Dumas turned a lap of 1m14.057s to win pole position for Sunday's Grand-Am race at the New Jersey Motorsports Park. Scott Pruett will start 2nd in the Chip Ganassi Lexus ahead of Jon Fogarty in the Gainsco Pontiac. Nic Jonsson (Lola Ford) and Brian Frisselle (Dallara Ford), rounded out the top-5. It was the first ever pole for the famed Penske team in Rolex Series competition.
Defending race winners off to fast start in South Jersey Michael Valiante turned a lap of 1m14.905s in his Michael Shank Ford Riley to lead opening day practice for Sunday's Grand-Am race at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ. The Penske Porsche of Bernhard and Dumas turned the 2nd fastest lap. Both fast laps were turned in the morning practice session and were the only times under the 1m15s mark. The track was slowed at times from light sprinkles on a very overcast New Jersey day.
David Phillips After what was widely regarded as the dullest American Le Mans Series race in recent memory at St. Petersburg, things perked up considerably at Long Beach. There was a lively - if controversial - scrap for LMP1 honors between the Acuras of De Ferran Motorsports and PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racing. Loweâ€™s Fernandez had to work for Acuraâ€™s LMP2 win over Dyson Racingâ€™s BP Lola-Mazdas.
Grand-Am Alex Gurney took the lead on a four-wide pass on Lap 65 of 81 laps in the two-hour, 45-minute Bosch Engineering 250, and then held off Michael Valiante in a sprint to the finish to capture the race at Virginia International Raceway, Round 2 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.
Grand-Am Memo Rojas prevailed in a back-and-forth battle with Timo Bernhard to capture the Daytona Prototype pole position for the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway. Nick Ham turned in the fastest lap in GT qualifying, with both pole winners shattering the existing track records.
De Ferran and Pagenaud finally get win at Long Beach
ALMS Gil de Ferran finally got his win at Long Beach, and de Ferran Motorsports took victory in the American Le Mans Series on Saturday as de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud won at the Tequila PatrÂ¢n American Le Mans Series at Long Beach. de Ferran and his Acura ARX-02a beat PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racingâ€™s David Brabham across the finish line on Shoreline Drive under yellow.
ALMS A year after helping PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racing score a landmark class victory at Long Beach, David Brabham took the overall pole position Friday for the Tequila PatrÂ¢n American Le Mans Series at Long Beach. Brabham turned a lap of 1:11.627 in the Acura ARX-02a that he will share with Scott Sharp. Brabham outpaced de Ferran Motorsportsâ€™ Gil de Ferran by just 0.072 seconds for PatrÂ¢n Highcroftâ€™s first pole in LMP1 and its fourth in the last two seasons.
Porsche understands significance of Long Beach race
Porsche Preview of Long Beach Ever since the Formula 5000 race cars proved that the Long Beach Grand Prix street circuit could handle world-class road racing in 1975, the history of Formula 1 and IndyCar racing in the U.S. has been impacted by this Southern California venue â€“ and now sports car racing is making its mark as well. The Indy cars, which have been running as the feature race since 1984, were joined by the sports cars in the American Le Mans Series three years ago, and the results have been spectacular, including the 2007 race where the LMP2 Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyders took the top three overall positions, even though they were short 200 horsepower to the LMP1 prototypes.
ALMS Scott Sharp and David Brabham won the second round of the 2009 American Le Mans Series with a convincing victory in the seasonâ€™s first street race. Brabham and his Acura ARX-02a finished 32.150 seconds ahead of Adrian Fernandez as Acura took the top two positions and swept the prototype classes for the first time.
ALMS Qualifying Ex-Champ Car driver Simon Pagenaud claimed his first American Le Mans Series pole position Friday with a storming lap of 1:03.776 (101.606 mph) in qualifying for Saturday's Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg. The Frenchman and his Acura ARX-02a prototype outpaced Scott Sharp by 0.946 seconds over the 1.8-mile, 14-turn circuit.
By David Phillips Even the most ardent supporters of Risi Competizione had to wonder which team would show up for the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. Would it be the team that ran away with the 2007 American Le Mans Seriesâ€™ GT2 title on the strength of eight wins in 12 races? Or the team that couldnâ€™t win for losing in last yearâ€™s edition of the Series, earning but two GT2 wins in 11 outings?
ALMS The new Audi R15 TDI won today's 57th 12 Hours of Sebring race going away. Alan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello had a race long battle with the Peugeot 908 of Franck Montagny, Sebastien Bourdais and Stephane Sarrazin but in the end the new Audi had too much pace for the Peugeot and won by 22.279s. The Adrian Fernandez Acura won the LMP2 class, Corvette won GT1 and the Risi Ferrari won the GT2 class.
by David Phillips The Sebring record book reads like a Whoâ€™s Who of the great automotive marques of the late 20th and early 21st century: Porsche, Ferrari, Audi, Nissan, BMW, Ford, Jaguar and Maserati (in order of laps led). Am I missing any? How about Riley & Scott, Toyota, Chaparral, Lancia, Cunningham, Spice, Corvette and Aston Martin. Thereâ€™s many more, but those marques have all led 100 laps or more at Sebring over the years.
ALMS founder is proud With all the work and effort that went into launching the first American Le Mans Series race in March of 1999 at Sebring International Raceway, Series founder Dr. Don Panoz never thought about the day when the Series would hold its 100th race. A decade later, though, itâ€™s here. And itâ€™s quite appropriate that the event that started the Series also serves as the backdrop for Race No. 100, the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida.
ALMS IndyCar champion Scott Dixon shocked Sebring International Raceway on Thursday with the overall pole position for the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, upsetting the factory diesel powers from Audi and Peugeot in the first round of qualifying for the 2009 American Le Mans Series.
ALMS The start of another American Le Mans Series season is here, and the excitement is mounting for the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. No one shares that anticipation more than Series President and CEO Scott Atherton, who offers a few reasons for his enthusiasm.
ALMS lead up to Sebring The week sports car fans worldwide have been waiting for is finally here. The 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, the opening round of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, is less than five days away. An epic battle is shaping up in LMP1, and drivers from Acura, Audi and Peugeot were part of a media teleconference Monday to discuss Americaâ€™s greatest sports car race.
ALMS At the 2006 New York Auto Show, Acura made its claim to enter the ALMS tour and eventually compete for the overall prize in the most powerful, technically-advanced category in all of sports car competition. In 2007, Acura began its trek into ALMS competition with three LMP2 cars in action. â€œAcura Advanceâ€ is the label for Acuraâ€™s luxury and performance models. Now in Acura Motorsports is also advancingâ€¦.to the LMP1 class in the ALMS.
Scott Dixon after famous 12-Hour race win Reigning IndyCar champion, Scott Dixon, has already won two of North Americaâ€™s greatest races: the Indianapolis 500 in 2008 and 24 Hours of Daytona in 2006. Now the 28-year-old New Zealander is targeting victory in the annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. On Saturday 21 March, Dixon will drive the new no.66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a contesting this yearâ€™s running of the annual day-night classic in Florida.
Will only run Sebring and LeMans The world got its first look Monday at Audiâ€™s new R15 TDI, the latest diesel-powered factory prototype from Audi AG that will race for the first time at the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. It will mark the start of the 2009 American Le Mans Series and serve as its 100th all-time event.
ALMS The second decade of the American Le Mans Series will be off to a roaring start with one of the most exciting and diverse fields ever seen for the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, Americaâ€™s greatest sports car race. Thirteen manufacturers are present with the initial entry list release, already more than any other motorsport series.
by David Phillips A pretty compelling case can be made to support the proposition that the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida will be THE premier sports car endurance race of the 2009 season. One need look no further than the LMP1 entry which, with the addition of a second Peugeot entry, not only boasts more manufacturer depth than last yearâ€™s 12 Hours but far and away the deepest manufacturer involvement of any sports car race this year.
ALMS Scott Dixon turned in the fastest time on the final day of the American Le Mans Seriesâ€™ annual Winter Test on Wednesday. The reigning Indy 500 and IndyCar champion turned a lap of 1:45.671 (126.052 mph) in the morning session at Sebring International Raceway.
ALMS American Le Mans Series President and CEO Scott Atherton gave a brief glimpse at what 2009 holds for the worldâ€™s leading sports car championship. From green racing and manufacturer diversity to economic strategies and the overall brand and platform were highlights of his address. â€œThe 2008 season was our strongest on record,â€ Atherton said from the Seriesâ€™ annual Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway. â€œWe are the best-positioned motorsports series for the current day: economic, environment and otherwise.â€
During ALMS Winter test The much-anticipated debut of the new Acura ARX-02a LMP1 prototype sports cars took place today at the famed Sebring International Raceway with the launch of Acuraâ€™s latest American Le Mans Series vehicles from de Ferran Motorsports and PatrÂ¢n Highcroft Racing.
Pagenaud fastest in new Acura LMP1 Simon Pagenaud capped the first day of the American Le Mans Seriesâ€™ annual Winter Test with the fastest time of the day for de Ferran Motorsports at Sebring International Raceway on Monday. The young Frenchman led all competitors with a 1:45.503 (126.723 mph) around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn circuit at Sebring.
Brumos Porsche smokes Ganassi Lexus to win Rolex24
Donohue beats NASCAR star Montoya for Rolex 24 win David Donohue with Porsche power smoked Juan Pablo Montoya's Lexus with 39 minutes remaining and held on to win the 47th Rolex 24 At Daytona - on the 40th anniversary of his father, Mark Donohue's, victory in the 1969 event. Donohue joined Darren Law, Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia to give Brumos Racing its first Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series sine '03 and denied the Ganassi team a 4th-straight win.
Can Ganassi's Preparation Lead to 4th Rolex 24 win
Grand-Am The months of preparation are over, and now a wide-open battle is expected when the green flag waves at 3:30 p.m. Saturday for the 47th running of America's premier sports car race, the Rolex 24 At Daytona. â€œIt's going to be close,â€ said Chip Ganassi, who is seeking his fourth consecutive Rolex 24 victory with a star-studded two-car entry.
40 Years After Father's Victory David Donohue edged Timo Bernhard by a scant .001 seconds Thursday to capture the pole position for the 47th Rolex 24 At Daytona, breaking the Daytona Prototype track record in the process. Donohue turned in a lap of 1:40.540 (127.472 mph) in the No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley he will share with Darren Law, Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia.
Grand-Am's premier event A wide-open race is expected for Saturday's 47th Rolex 24 At Daytona, when Grand-Am Road Racing's top competitors join stars of NASCAR, the IndyCar Series and international sports car racing battling for top overall honors in America's premier sports car event.
NASCAR, Grand-Am The Daytona 500 and the start of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is less than three weeks away but a number of drivers and owners will make an early visit to Daytona International Speedway for Saturdayâ€™s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Since 1962, NASCAR stars have been a part of the historic, twice-around-the-clock sports car race.
Final Day of "Roar Before the Rolex 24" Testing Darren Law and Dominik Farnbacher waited until the final day to set the fastest laps of the "Roar Before the Rolex 24" Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 at Daytona International Speedway. Law, driving the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley, led the Daytona Prototypes in the Monday's conclusion of the three-day session with a lap of 1:31.733 (125.977 mph).
Jamie Howe For decades Dyson Racing has been a cornerstone of American sports car racing. The news of Dyson joining forces with Mazda for 2009 in the American Le Mans Series is good news for motorsports. Perhaps I am reading too much into the teamâ€™s press release or perhaps there really is more good news to comeâ€¦
1 Joao Barbosa 285
1 Christian Fittipaldi 285
2 Jordan Taylor 269
2 Ricky Taylor 269
3 Michael Valiante 267
3 Richard Westbrook 267
4 Gustavo Yacaman 253
5 Scott Pruett 250
6 Ed Brown 233
6 Johannes van Overbeek 233
7 Ryan Dalziel 228
7 Oswaldo Negri Jr. 228
7 John Pew 228
7 Scott Sharp 228
8 Memo Rojas 218
9 Joel Miller 198
10 Olivier Pla 172
11 Tristan Nunez 164
12 Sylvain Tremblay 133
13 Brian Frisselle
14 Eric Curran 124
15 Boris Said 117
16 Alex Brundle 113
17 Tom Long 18
18 Sage Karam 104
19 Katherine Legge 102
120 Max Angelelli 85
21 Brian Frisselle 84
22 Andy Meyrick 82
23 Sebastien Bourdais 67
24 Marino Franchitti 60
25 Tristan Vautier 19 58
26 HoPin Tung 57
27 Jon Fogarty 1 54
28 Gabby Chaves 16 53
29 Simon Pagenaud 52
30 Mike Rockenfeller 51
31 David Brabham 50
31 Scott Dixon 50
31 Tony Kanaan 50
32 Guy Cosmo 46
32 Klaus Graf 46
32 Anthony Lazzaro 46
32 Lucas Luhr 46
33 Justin Wilson 43
34 Byron DeFoor 41
34 David Hinton 41
34 Jim Pace 41
35 Wayne Taylor 33
36 Fabien Giroix 31
36 John Martin 31
37 Alex Popow 30
38 Roman Rusinov 26
38 Oliver Webb 26
39 Kyle Larson 24
40 Frank Beck 23
41 Ben Devlin 22
41 Max Papis 22
41 Bradley Smith 22
42 Jamie McMurray 21
43 AJ Allmendinger 20
44 James Hinchcliffe 19
44 Jann Mardenborough 19
45 Alexander Rossi 16
45 Sebastian Saavedra 16
46 Brendon Hartley 15
46 E.J. Viso 15
47 Memo Gidley 14
47 Alex Gurney 14
48 Scott Mayer 1 3
49 Pierre Kaffer 1
49 Darren Law 1
TOP SPEED: 190 mph
WEIGHT: 1,990 to 2,285 Lbs
WIDTH: 74 inches
CHASSIS: Carbon or Tubing
TRACTION CONTROL: Yes
Prototype Challenge (PC)
TOP SPEED: 175 mph
WEIGHT: 1,990 pounds
HEIGHT: 40 inches
WIDTH: 74 inches
CARS: ORECA FLM09
ENGINES: Chevrolet LS3
FUEL: VP Racing Fuel E-10
CHASSIS: Carbon Fiber
TRACTION CONTROL: No
GT Le Mans (GTLM)
TOP SPEED: 180
WEIGHT: 2,745 minimum
CARS: Production based
GEARBOX: 5-sp or 6-sp
CHASSIS: Tube Frame
TRACTION CONTROL: No
GT Daytona (GTD)
TOP SPEED: 180
WEIGHT: 2,680 pounds
CARS: Production Based
GEARBOX: 5-sp or 6-sp
CHASSIS: Tube frame
TRACTION CONTROL: No
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