GT Speed, Bentleyâ€™s fastest-ever road car, makes US debut Bentley today unveils its Continental GT3 race car in the US for the first time as the company forges ahead with its plans to return to motorsport towards the end of 2013. Bentley is also showing its new 205 mph (330 km/h) Continental GT Speed performance flagship, the sister car upon which the GT3 is based and the Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification, a highly distinctive and sporting interpretation of its flagship Mulsanne.
Lola-Toyota wins Petit Le Mans on drama-filled day Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, Level 5 Motorsports and Rebellion Racing were the big winners Saturday at Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. Neel Jani, Andrea Belicchi and Nicolas Prost won the 1,000-mile race for the first time with a three-lap victory in their Lola-Toyota. Muscle Milk Pickett Racing captured the big prize though with the P1 drivers and team championship in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf finished second in class but completed enough laps to sew up both titles.
Americaâ€™s Lost Hobby & the Salvation of Our Youth
by Stephen Cox I have figured out what is wrong with Americaâ€™s youth and their disconnect with racing. They donâ€™t race slot cars anymore. In addition to being overly tattooed, body pierced and not pulling their pants up, most of them couldnâ€™t define â€œHO scaleâ€ if you held a gun to their iPad. Racing HO scale Aurora AFX slot cars with the greatest man Iâ€™ve ever known â€“ my dad â€“ in our garage in the summer of 1969 taught me pretty much everything I needed to get through life. After slot car racing, formal education was anticlimactic.
A Muscle Milk Victory and Championships Galore at VIR
Gavin, Milner, Popow and MacNeil claim class titles Muscle Milk Pickett Racing returned to its winning ways Saturday in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron, the same day where three class driver championship battles ended at VIRginia International Raceway. It marked a magical day for the ALMS in its debut at VIR. Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr teamed for a three-lap victory in the four-hour race driving Muscle Milkâ€™s Honda Performance Development ARX-03a.
Record-setting qualifying lap headlines trackâ€™s first official ALMS action Klaus Graf and Muscle Milk Pickett Racing cemented their place in the history books Friday at VIRginia International Raceway. Graf set an all-time track record en route to pole position for Saturdayâ€™s VIR 240 â€“ the first race at the circuit for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila PatrÂ¢n. His lap of 1:35.434 (123.352 mph) bested the previous record: a 1:36.3 from a Benetton ex-F1 car in 2004. Graf was 0.932 seconds quicker than Dyson Racingâ€™s Guy Smith in the No. 16 Lola-Mazda that is running a flywheel KERS hybrid system for the first time this season.
Grand-Am For Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato, the GRAND-AM Rolex Series Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered by Mazda was a battle that enabled them to win the season-long war for the Rolex Series GT championship. For Richard Westbrook and Antonio Garcia, Sundayâ€™s race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca represented their Rolex Series-leading third Daytona Prototype victory of the season.
by Bob Heathcote Richard Westbrook and Antonio Garcia raced their series-leading third Daytona Prototype class victory of the Grand-Am Rolex Series season Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Garcia, in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP, beat Alex Gurney's No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP by 3.878 seconds. Our Bob Heathcote was there to capture all the action in these photos.
Grand-Am buys out ALMS The most significant development in the history of sports car racing in North America was announced today, with plans for a landmark merger of GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) unveiled at Daytona International Speedway. Under terms of the merger, the following entities will combine with GRAND-AM: the American Le Mans Series; the International Motor Sports Association, which sanctions ALMS events; the Road Atlanta race track facility in Braselton, Ga.; the Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center in Sebring, Fla.; and Sebring International Raceway.
by Adriano Manocchia Saturday on the streets of Baltimore ALMS ran their race late in the day and finished just before the rains hit. Level 5 finished 1-2 with their LMP2 cars. The IndyCars qualified with Will Power taking pole comfortably and support series saw Indy Lights and USF2000 in action. Adriano Manocchia was there and captured all the action with these captioned photos.
ALMS Christophe Bouchut and Scott Tucker led a 1-2 finish for Level 5 Motorsports at the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge on Saturday, the teamâ€™s second overall win in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron this year. Bouchut, the P2 pole-sitter in the No. 055 Honda Performance Development ARX-03b prototype, beat Luis Diaz in the No. 95 entry by 2.158 seconds as the two P2 cars led the way in an wild race on the streets of Baltimore.
by Adriano Manocchia Due to cars launching over railroad tracks on the front straight in Baltimore Friday track time for the ALMS and IndyCars was shortened. Lucas Luhr put his Muscle Milk car on pole for the ALMS race and points leader Will Power was the fastest IndyCar in afternoon practice. Even though track management didn't bother to cut any photo holes for the photographers, Adriano Manocchia was there and did his best to capture all the action.
Practice crash doesnâ€™t deter Gavin from taking GT pole After narrowly missing out on victory two weeks ago in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron, Muscle Milk Pickett Racingâ€™s Lucas Luhr took pole position for the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT on Friday. The German set a time of 1:25.174 (86.223 mph) in his No. 6 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a prototype.
by David Phillips Time can be a funny thing. Consider eight hours, three minutes, 35.264 seconds. Thatâ€™s the total elapsed time of the past two ALMS races at Road America. Now consider .195 seconds. Thatâ€™s the total margin of victory in the P1 class the past two years at Road America, divided between last year (.112s) when Muscle Milk pipped Dyson Racing for the win and this year when Dysonâ€™s Guy Smith held off Lucas Luhrâ€™s furious charge to win by just 0.083s.
by Gary Parravani Over 35,000 visitors to Silverstone witnessed Audi being crowned as the inaugural FIA World Endurance Manufacturer Champions as they claimed a first and third placed finish at the 6 Hours of Silverstone. Andre Lotterer, Marcel FÃ¤ssler and Benoit Treluyer in the nr1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro, followed up their victory at the 24 Heures du Mans in June with a win at the Home of British Motor Racing. Gary Parravani was there to capture all the action.
by Stephen Cox I'd like you to conduct an experiment. Go to your local racetrack this weekend. Makes no difference if it's a drag strip, oval or road course, big or small. Just go. Look around, estimate the average age of the fans and let me know what you find. Did you see a lot of kids there? Not likely. Racing fans are aging and there aren't enough new, young fans to take their place. Which begs an interesting question...At the Mecum Monterey auction last weekend, someone coughed up 5.5 million dollars to purchase the L&M Porsche 917/10 that won the Can Am championship more than forty years ago.
Closest finish in ALMS history for Dyson/Smith â€“ 0.083 seconds Guy Smith and Dyson Racing were on the other end this time around at Road America. A year after missing out by 0.112 seconds, Smith delivered victory for Dyson Racing on Saturday in the closest overall finish in the history of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron â€“ 0.083 seconds.
Grand-Am in Montreal A nifty pass, some quick pit work and a strong finish helped Chip Ganassi Racing achieve a lofty milestone Saturday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas pulled away to their second win of the season in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series' Montreal 200, clinching the Ganassi operation's 150th win in all forms of major motorsports.
ALMS Muscle Milk Pickett Racing picked up their fifth American Le Mans Series pole position of the season on Friday during qualifying for tomorrow's Road America Road Race Showcase. Klaus Graf, who was on qualifying duty for Round 7 of the 2012 season, posted a fastest lap of one minute 50.191 seconds on his second timed lap around the 4.048-mile 14-turn road course. Graf's best time was 3.2 seconds faster than the second place #20 Dyson car.
by David Phillips - Mid-Ohio victory a much needed bright spot Rarely has a race driver savored a victory more than Marino Franchitti after teaming with Rudy Junco to pilot the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA FLM09 to a Prototype Challenge win two weeks ago at Mid-Ohio. Not only was it Franchittiâ€™s first win of the season, it came in just the second time he actually raced an automobile in competition in 2012.
Dalziel and Luhr prevail in Grand-Am Starworks Motorsport appears to be hitting its stride at just the right time as Ryan Dalziel and Lucas Luhr led a 1-2 sweep for the team in the Continental Tire 200 presented by Dunn Tire, giving the team its second straight GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory. After building a comfortable lead, Dalziel pulled away from teammate Sebastien Bourdais on the raceâ€™s final restart with four laps remaining to finish 0.817 seconds ahead of Bourdais.
by Adriano Manocchia Carl Edwards, making his first Nationwide start of the season, beat Keselowski on a two-lap dash to the checkered flag on Saturday and won the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. In Grand-Am Ryan Dalziel outdueled Sebastien Bourdais to give Starworks a 1-2 finish.
by Adriano Manocchia Rain early in the day Friday canceled a scheduled Sprint Cup practice at Watkins Glen International, forcing NASCAR officials to add a final practice for Saturday morning. NASCAR has afforded teams an additional 85-minute session to prepare their cars. The Grand-Am cars were also in action Friday. Our Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action.
by Adriano Manocchia The Izod IndyCar Series' best road-course racer finally returned to the top of the qualifying chart Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, ending a drought of seven sessions. Power ran a lap of 1 minute, 5.6474 seconds to win the Firestone Fast Six portion of qualifying. Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won the American Le Mans Series race Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Graf, from Germany, and Luhr, from Monaco, drove the Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing entry.
Corvetteâ€™s Gavin and Milner win in GT Muscle Milk Pickett Racingâ€™s completed its drive for five Saturday with a victory in the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge and sixth round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila PatrÂ¢n. Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the second year in a row and led for 108 of 123 laps in their No. 6 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a.
by Adriano Manocchia The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge & The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio doubleheader on August 3-5 highlight the summer schedule at Mid-Ohio. On Friday Team Penske driver Will Power, turned the fastest lap in opening practice for The Honda Indy 200. American Le Mans Series drivers Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won the pole position for the ALMS race to be run Saturday. Adriano Manocchia captured these photos.
BMWâ€™s Muller takes GT pole at RLLâ€™s home track Lucas Luhr stood tallest Friday in qualifying for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge - a day of knockdown, drag-out fights throughout the five classes in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila PatrÂ¢n. The German set a time of 1:11.019 (114.460 mph) in Muscle Milk Pickett Racingâ€™s Honda Performance Development ARX-03a prototype to take pole position.
by Gary Parravani Phoenix Audi won the 24 Hours of Spa 2012 this weekend with an Audi R8 LMS Ultra. The winning drivers were Frank Stippler, Rene Rast and Andrea Piccini. It was an Audi one-two with the WRT Audi R8 LMS Ultra coming a very close second. Over 53,000 fans came to view the race and our Gary Parravani was there to capture all the action.
by Stephen Cox A car was more than transportation when I was a kid. Your car represented who you were. Everyone knew what a car meant... freedom! The liberty to go where you want, to be with your friends and to get into mischief. An automobile was true, genuine freedom and every one of us wanted it. Not so anymore. The average high school kid is far more concerned with grabbing the latest iPad or the coolest cell phone than driving the right automobile.
Brian Carroccio Friday's inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was one of the stranger races I remember watching. Whether it was the seemingly empty IMS grandstands, the rare Friday afternoon start, the cars going backwards down the straightaway (something I've yet to get used to) the constantly changing weather, or all of those things combined, I cannot exactly pinpoint. However, I can definitively pinpoint one thing I found odd yesterday: I was rooting for Sebastien Bourdais.
Grand-Am Sebastien Bourdais and Alex Popow survived a rough-and-tumble round of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series to win the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bourdais, who drove the anchor leg for Starworks Motorsport in the No. 2 Soloson Ford/Riley, pulled away on the final restart on the 2.534-mile Indy road course to win.
ALMS Muscle Milk Pickett Racing won for the third straight year at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with a victory Sunday in the fifth round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila PatrÂ¢n. Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport in the No. 6 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a by more than 10 seconds over Dyson Racingâ€™s Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in their No. 16 Lola-Mazda coupe
ALMS Muscle Milk Pickett Racing scored a victory for the ages at Lime Rock Park on Saturday. Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf came from four laps down to win the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix. It was the second victory at Lime Rock Park for the Muscle Milk team but first with Honda Performance Developmentâ€™s ARX-03a prototype. Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long won in GT for Flying Lizard Motorsports in a fantastic fight with Corvette Racing and Extreme Speed Motorsports.
Smith, Dyson Take Epic Lime Rock Qualifying Battle
ALMS at Lime Rock The Lime Rock weekendâ€™s first battle went to the home-track team. Guy Smith put Dyson Racing on pole position Friday for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix in an epic 15-minute session. Smith set a lap of 44.017 (120.553 mph) in Dyson Racingâ€™s Mazda-powered Lola coupe that he drives with Chris Dyson. All five classes set qualifying records on the 1.5-mile, eight-turn layout. The unquestioned highlight was the fast and furious fight between Smith and Lucas Luhr from Muscle Milk Pickett Racing. Luhr set a lap of 44.119 (120.275 mph) to end up just 0.102 seconds behind his chief rival.
by Adriano Manocchia When all was said and done, Joao Barbosa and Darren Law earned their second Daytona Prototype victory of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season, while Robin Liddell and John Edwards celebrated their first GT victory of the season in the Sahlenâ€™s Six Hours of The Glen. Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action.
by Adriano Manocchia Scott Pruett took his first Daytona Prototype pole position in two years and Jordan Taylor claimed the Sahlenâ€™s Six Hours of The Glen GT pole for the second consecutive year in Saturdayâ€™s qualifying sessions at Watkins Glen International. Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action.
Win both Grand-Am DP and GT Driving the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, Joao Barbosa held off Alex Gurney in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP to take the win and give Chevrolet a one-two finish today in the Rolex Sports Car Series at Watkins Glen International. In a thrilling finish to capture the Sahlenâ€™s Six Hours of The Glen, Barbosa caught Gurney in traffic with 20 minutes remaining and used lapped cars to his advantage throughout the stretch run, to take the victory by a slim 0.238 seconds.
by Adriano Manocchia Alex Gurney posted the quickest lap of Fridayâ€™s three practice sessions at Watkins Glen International, lapping the 3.4-mile road circuit at 1 minute, 42.532 seconds/119.377 mph in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP. Gurneyâ€™s lap was just four hundredths of a second quicker than Ricky Taylorâ€™s best lap in the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP of 1 minute, 42.574 seconds/119.328 mph. Our Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action.
Grand-Am Rolex Series Corvetteâ€™s Daytona Prototype winning streak wasnâ€™t the only thing that ended Saturday at Road America. So did the winless streak for co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. Pruett and Rojas ended the Corvette DP run of five-straight Rolex Series wins by taking the checkered flag in the Rolex 250 Driven by VISITFLORIDA.com. It snapped a nine-race winless streak for the defending Daytona Prototype co-champions.
by Gary Parravani Defending champions Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer overcame driving mistakes Sunday to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and give Audi its 11th title. Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander completed 336 laps to finish 17th overall in Ferrari No. 51 but first in the GTE class, three laps clear of Ferrari No. 59 driven by Dominik Farnbacher, Frederic Makowiecki and Jaime Melo. Our Gary Parravani was to capture these photos.
Audi take historic win at the 80th 24 Hours with R18
Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer lead 1-2-3 finish As the No.1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Andre Lotterer-Marcel Fassler-Benoit Treluyer took the checkered flag at exactly 1500 hours, Audi Sport today secured their 11th victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But this was historic for a number of reasons as it was the first win at the worldâ€™s most famous endurance race by a hybrid-powered car, it was on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the 24 Hours.
Biggest sporting event in the world The start of the 80th Le Mans 24 hours will be given tomorrow at 15h00. It looks like the greatest endurance race in the world, the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, will be a cracking event. A quick roundup before the pack is unleashed in the wake of the pole sitter, the no. 1 Audi. In February of this year the prestigious American Company, the National Geographic, again classified the Le Mans 24 Hours as the no.1 sporting event in the world which all sports lovers should attend at least once in their lives.
SPC Les 24 Heures du Mans is surely a trial of machine: cars are expected to race at top levels for 24-hours non-stop. But winning Les 24 Heures du Mans is really much more than a feat in mechanical engineering; it is an undeniable test of man and his limits. To stand on top of the podium in Le Mans, with the â€œ24â€ trophy and the winning Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, demands not only hard work and sacrifice, but also true team spirit in order to come out on top.
Provisional pole sitter goes even faster Thursday night Last year's Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andre Lotterer won the first pole position for a hybrid car on the 80th running of the 24 Hours of LeMans. The German's #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro set a blistering 3m23.787s lap as last year's winning teammates (Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer) will start up front in their quest to win two straight. Toyota's broke up Audi's dominance up front with Anthony Davidson setting an impressive third fastest time overall.
'67 Le Mans Winning Mark IV Celebrated 45 Years Later
The greatest USA victory on foreign soil Forty-five years ago this past week, American racing history was made, and thus far has never been matched again. With the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, Racing in America reflects on the 45th anniversary of the Ford Mark IV claiming the second of four consecutive victories for Ford Motor Company cars at Le Mans, arguably the greatest American racing victory on foreign soil.
Grand-Am Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante put the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP in victory lane at Mid-Ohio Sports Course in the EMCO Gears Classic for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. It is the second victory of the season for the Troy Flis-owned team to give Corvette DP its fifth consecutive win in the first six races of the 2012 season.
The glory days are born again at Le Mans this year Three decades on, Group C still has a powerful hold on the imagination of sports car fans. To celebrate the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans ,the ACO has a 45-minute Group C race as an appetizer on Saturday morning. It did this before to rave reviews. As a special bonus, one Derek Bell â€“ 962-star extraordinaire â€“ will take to the Circuit Permanente du Sarthe in Martin Overingtonâ€™s Porsche 962 still wearing its Kenwood livery.
by Adriano Manocchia The weather was better on Saturday on Belle Isle for the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle which saw Grand-Am, SCCA World Challenge, and Firestone Indy Lights race, while the IZOD IndyCar series qualified. Scott Dixon won the pole for the IndyCar race while Action Motorsports finished 1-2 in the Grand-AM race. Adriano Manocchia was on hand and captured these captioned photos.
by Mark Scheuern On Saturday Scott Dixon won his first IndyCar pole of the year and snapped Penske Racing's streak of having the fastest car in IndyCar qualifying this season. Dixon set a track record of 1 minute, 10.3162 seconds Saturday on the Detroit Grand Prix's slick and tight 2-mile course. Penske's Will Power, the points leader, will start Sunday's race second followed by Alex Tagliani and Simon Pagenaud.
Action Express Scores 1-2 Win For Corvette In Detroit
Grand-Am Portugal's Joao Barbosa led home an Action Express Racing 1-2 on the streets of Detroit Saturday night in the Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200, with teammate David Donohue in tow and helping to complete a dominant run for the Corvette Daytona Prototype team. Ganassi Racing's Scott Pruett crossed the finish line in third, just 3.9 seconds behind Barbosa in his BMW-powered Riley.
by Adriano Manocchia The Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle is back this year after a couple of years hiatus with IndyCar, as well as for the first time - Grand-Am. Friday was practice day for Grand-Am, SCCA World Challenge, Firestone Indy Lights and the IZOD IndyCar series. Adriano Manocchia was on hand and braved the wet and damp conditions to capture all the actions for us in these captioned photos.
Grand-Am Jon Fogarty made the most of the first dry track conditions of the day Friday, padding his GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series record by earning the top starting spot for Saturday's Chevrolet GRAND-AM Detroit 200 at Belle Isle and the TOTAL Pole Award. Fogarty, the Rolex Series' all-time leader in poles, notched his first top qualifying spot of the season and the 20th of his career.
Wants to see DeltaWing race on after LeMans The upcoming race debut of the Nissan powered DeltaWing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans completes a remarkable year of hard work and dedication by the team at DeltaWing Racing Cars. But according to Managing Partner, Don Panoz, the assault on this yearâ€™s famous French enduro is not the finish line for 12 months of remarkable effort by the manufacturer and its partners including Nissan and Michelin, but the start of a unique future for the carâ€™s design.
by Gary Parravani Audi vanquished the opposition at the 2012 Nurburgring 24 Hours with a dominant 1-2 finish courtesy of customer squads Team Phoenix and Mamerow Racing. The race included carnage from multiple punctures in the early laps, as many as 17 GT3 cars running on the lead lap with nine hours already run. Our Gary Parravani was there to capture all the action.
by Stephen Cox The 25th edition of Mecum's Spring Classic was held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week, producing high-dollar sales on some of the most desirable automobiles in the world. The real news to come from this auction was the announcement that a pair of historic racecars will sell at Mecum's Monterey event in August. The first car is a massive blockbuster.
R18 e-tron quattro In a month from now a prestigious success will be at stake for Audi. On June 16/17, a hybrid vehicle could be winning the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time. Electrified drive and quattro all-wheel drive - what looks like two different worlds at first glance has been merged into a technological synthesis by Audi. "Soon after the TDI phase had begun we started to think about the hybridization of a Le Mans sports prototype, when it was foreseeable that the regulations would open up this option," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.
Carroll Shelby was part of Ford Family for 60 years
Video talking about winning LeMans in the 60s Carroll Shelby was a member of the Ford family for the better part of 60 years, producing stunning performance vehicles from concepts to production models. He once said his energy and passion for performance products were always strongest when he was working with Ford. Shelby most recently collaborated with the company on the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang, the most powerful production V8 in the world. Working with SVT engineers at Sebring and the Arizona Proving Grounds, at times he drove for more than eight hours â€“ at the ripe old age of 88. He was having so much fun, he didnâ€™t want to stop.
In New Jersey Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor sent a message to their competitors in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series that they are contenders for the championship by taking the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (DP) to victory lane today at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The win was the third for the Corvette DP in the first four races of the 2012 season.
by Bob Heathcote Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf were untouchable Saturday in their Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Le Mans prototype, running away with the overall title at the American Le Mans Series Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Luhr and Graf were not challenged in the P1 class, beating the Dyson Racing entry driven by Guy Smith and Chris Dyson by 20 laps.
What a Day at Laguna: Vette Wins as GT Steals Show
Graf, Luhr win overall for second straight ALMS race Muscle Milk Pickett Racing cruised to its second straight victory in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron on Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. But another fabulous GT battle stole the show as Corvette Racingâ€™s Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner also took their second consecutive class win. The last 90 minutes of the GT race undoubtedly was the highlight of the race.
by Bob Heathcote A home race for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will see the team start on pole position. Klaus Graf was the fastest qualifier for the American Le Mans Monterey presented by PatrÂ¢n on Friday with a lap of 1:13.573 (109.508 mph) in his Honda Performance Development ARX-03a prototype.
ALMS A home race for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will see the team start on pole position. Klaus Graf was the fastest qualifier for the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron on Friday with a lap of 1:13.573 o(109.508 mph) in his Honda Performance Development ARX-03a prototype. He and Lucas Luhr will try to deliver Muscle Milk its first victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.
by Bob Heathcote Lucas Luhr ended a damp practice Friday morning with the fastest time in a two-hour session for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila PatrÂ¢n. The two-time ALMS winner at Long Beach set a time of 1:33.121 (76.082 mph) in Muscle Milk Pickett Racingâ€™s Honda Performance Development ARX-03a. Our Bob Heathcote was there to capture all the action in these photos.
by Pete McCole Topping their respective divisions during Fridayâ€™s opening qualifying rounds, Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana, Sr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) remained atop the leaderboards following Saturdayâ€™s qualifying for the 32nd Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event at Atlanta Dragway.
Audi R18 e-tron quattro to contest its first race The race debut of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend signifies the beginning of a new era at Audi. For the first time ever, a Le Mans sports car with diesel hybrid drive and two driven axles will compete in a race. For Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, this is arguably the most challenging project in the more than 30-year history of Audi Sport.
Grand-Am After a tough start to their season, luck was on SunTrust Racing's side at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli won Sunday's rain-shortened Grand Prix of Miami. The contest was shortened following downpours that resulted in a lack of visibility for drivers. It was the first victory of the season for the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette Daytona Prototype (DP) and 19th career DP win.
by Bob Heathcote The weather returned to a normal day in Long Beach California - sunny and nice as the IZOD IndyCars qualified, the Indy Lights drivers qualified, ALMS ran their Saturday feature event and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity drivers bumped and banged their way around the 1.97-mile street circuit. Our Bob Heathcote captured these photographs.
Graf, Luhr win again; Corvette takes landmark GT victory Fuel strategy won out at Long Beach on Saturday with Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr winning the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach for the second straight season. The Muscle Milk Honda Performance Development ARX-03a stopped twice during the raceâ€™s sole caution period and ran the final 56 minutes without another stop to win over Dyson Racing. The Graf-Luhr pairing became the first to repeat at Long Beach in the ALMSâ€™ six visits.
Qualifying washed out, grid set by championship points An unusual rainy day in southern California washed away qualifying for the Tequila PatrÂ¢n American Le Mans Series at Long Beach. That left Dyson Racingâ€™s Mazda-powered Lola coupe on pole position for Saturdayâ€™s second round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. As a result of the inclement weather, championship points set the grid for the Saturdayâ€™s two-hour race on the 1.968-mile Long Beach street circuit. Thanks to their P1 victory in the season-opener at Sebring, Guy Smith and Chris Dyson will start on the inside of the front row.
by Bob Heathcote On an unusual (for southern California) wet, windy and cold day in Long Beach California the IZOD IndyCars practiced, the Indy Lights drivers practiced, ALMS practiced and qualified and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity drivers practiced but their qualifying was rained out. Our Bob Heathcote captured these photographs.
by Scott Morris, Firestone and IndyCar The IndyCar series qualified at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL and Helio Castroneves won the pole. Grand-Am held their feature race Saturday afternoon and the pole winning No. 90 Corvette DP went on to win. The weekend to date has been hindered by rain and fog, thereby limiting running time on the track.
Grand-Am at Barber After more than seven years of trying, everything came together for Spirit of Daytona in a near-perfect day at Barber Motorsports Park. Richard Westbrook and Antonio Garcia combined to lead all but 19 of the 103 laps to win the Porsche 250 in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP - the first Daytona Prototype victory for the team and the first victory for the new car in GRAND-AM Rolex Series competition.
Westbrook, Edwards Prevail In Porsche 250 Qualifying
Grand-AM Richard Westbrook saved his best for last in qualifying for Saturday's Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park, capturing his first career GRAND-AM Rolex Series pole on his final lap of qualifying on Friday morning. Westbrook's last lap at 101.695 mph (1:21.420) in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP supplanted Jon Fogarty and brought the new Corvette DP program its first Rolex Series pole position.
FIA WEC opener showed close competition in all classes The 60th anniversary of the 12 Hours of Sebring, the opening round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, was an event full of tension all the way to the finish. After covering 325 laps at Sebring International Raceway, it was the Audi team of Tom Kristensen (DEN), Allan McNish (GBR) and Rinaldo Capello (ITA) that repeated their 2006 and 2009 victories.
McNish, Kristensen and Capello win 12 Hours of Sebring
ALMS Audi returned to victory at Sebring International Raceway for the first time since 2009 on Saturday with a convincing victory in the 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish completed 301 laps in their Audi R18 to win by four laps in the opening round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Grid set for 2012 opener for ALMS, FIA WEC Andre Lotterer led an Audi sweep of the top three positions in qualifying Friday for the 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. It was an expected result for the trio of diesel-powered prototypes, and Lotterer led the German factory squad with a lap of 1:45.820 (125.874 mph) in the Audi R18 he will drive with Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler. The three seek to add a Sebring victory to their win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year.
12 Hours of Sebring Tom Kristensenâ€™s Audi R18 was the only one of the three diesel-powered factory prototypes to emerge unscathed from a hectic nighttime practice session Thursday at Sebring International Raceway. The Dane made his fortunes count with the fastest time on the evening â€“ a 1:47.049 in the Audi R18 that he will share with Allan McNish and Dindo Capello in Saturdayâ€™s 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
ALMS Over 60 teams made their way to Sebring International Raceway for this coming Saturdayâ€™s 60th edition of the 12-hour race, also the official opening round of this yearâ€™s FIA World Endurance Championship. â€œWe are honored to be the opening round of the new WEC,â€ said Sebring International Raceway President and General Manager Tres Stephenson.
Audi Sport Team Joest ended Tuesday at Sebring International Raceway the same way it closed Monday â€“ with the top three times in testing for Americaâ€™s greatest sports car race. The Audi R18 of Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish set the best time of the day at 1:48.138 (124.508 mph) as all of the German factory prototypes were under the 1:49 mark.
ALMS Audi Sport Team Joestâ€™s Allan McNish set the best time of Mondayâ€™s opening test for the 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The three-time winner of Americaâ€™s greatest sports car race set a time of 1:47.187 (125.612 mph) in the Audi R18 he will share with Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen. McNish led a trio of Audis at the top of the time sheets Monday afternoon.
Gianpiero Moretti - Witness to the times, Part 4 of 4
by Paolo D'Alessio and edited by Louis Galanos On the eve of MOMO's return to a full time racing program in the American Le Mans Series with MOMO NGT Motorsport, MOMO is pleased to bring you the last installment of the original story of its founder's career. Gianpiero Moretti, the man who helped define the term "gentleman racer," passed away in January at the age of 71, in Milan, Italy.
ALMS' premier event draws a big field On the 17th of March, Sebring International Raceway in Florida will host the opening round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, welcoming a large field of over 60 cars entered for the 60th anniversary of the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring. 2012 marks a very memorable motorsport year as all three major sports car endurance races are celebrating an anniversary: earlier this year, the Rolex 24 At Daytona held its 50th anniversary and later, in June, Les 24 Heures du Mans will have its 80th running.
Gianpiero Moretti - Witness to the times, Part 3 of 4
by Paolo D'Alessio and edited by Louis Galanos We are only less than a few days away from the return of MOMO to a full time racing program in the American Le Mans Series with MOMO NGT Motorsport. MOMO is pleased to share the original story of the career of its founder, Gianpiero Moretti. Gianpiero Moretti, the man who helped define the term "gentleman racer," passed away in January at the age of 71, in Milan, Italy.
Gianpiero Moretti - Witness to the times, Part 2 of 4
by Paolo D'Alessio and edited by Louis Galanos With less than a couple of weeks to go before the return of MOMO to a full time racing program in the American Le Mans Series with MOMO NGT Motorsport, MOMO is pleased to bring you the original story of the career of its founder, Gianpiero Moretti. Gianpiero Moretti, the man who helped define the term "gentleman racer," passed away in January at the age of 71, in Milan, Italy. Part 2 of this original story was written by Paolo D'Alessio and edited by Louis Galanos in Sports Car Digest on 20 May 2011 and is re-published here with his kind permission.
Gianpiero Moretti - Witness to the times, Part 1 of 4
by Paolo D'Alessio and edited by Louis Galanos Earlier this year, Gianpiero Moretti, the man who founded MOMO and helped define the term "gentleman racer," passed away at the age of 71 in Milan, Italy. Thanks to Paolo D'Alessio, here is Part 1 of the true original story of his racing career.
by Mark J. Cipolloni In a battle of ex-Champ Car drivers where the best drivers in American racing were produced, A.J. Allmendinger outdueled polesitter Ryan Dalziel to win the 50th running of the Rolex 24 classic at Daytona International Raceway Sunday afternoon. Years ago Michael Shank (who himself used to drive in Champ Car Atlantics and was a team owner) started a team and struggled for years making it into a winner and today he won the biggest Grand-Am race of the year.
Grand-Am After 18 hours of racing in the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona, the stage was set for a final, six-hour battle between the No. 60 LiveOn.com Ford/Riley from Michael Shank Racing and the No. 01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates for overall honors. Driving the No. 60, ex-Champ Car driver Justin Wilson held a 36.586-second lead over ex-Champ Car Atlantics driver Joey Hand in the No. 01 with 18 hours and 569 laps in the books.
Grand-Am Halfway through the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona things were still trending in the direction of it being anybody's race. At the 12-hour mark, nine different leaders had paced the field with the defending race and series champion No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley Daytona Prototype of Chip Ganassi Racing and its sister No. 02 Target BMW/Riley dominating large portions. Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Graham Rahal and Joey Hand piloted the No. 01 while Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon, Jamie McMurray and Dario Franchitti wheeled the No. 02. However, at 2:44 a.m. the No. 02 with Dixon at the wheel went to the garage to repair a broken shifter.
Historic Rolex 24 Grand-Am cars on the streets of Daytona While much-needed rain showered Daytona International Speedway this morning, it in no way dampened the excitement of spectators and competitors who have assembled for this weekendâ€™s golden anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. With 2012 marking the 50th running of the twice-around-the-clock challenge, fans are not the only ones to have turned out in force to be part of this historic event.
Spoils Chevy Corvette DP Grand-Am debut While already a Rolex 24 At Daytona champion, having won in 2010, today Ryan Dalziel (Orlando, Fla.), earned his first career pole in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series while driving the #8 Starworks Motorsports Ford Riley. The 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series DP Champion, Dalziel, who is a native of Scotland, was not surprised with the DP qualifying position â€“ even though he was at the wheel of the last new Riley to be delivered, which was run for the first time during the second practice today.
Daytona 24H Q & A with A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti
Grand-Am Two of racing's most celebrated names -- A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti -- said some of their most memorable moments of their careers happened in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The race will commemorate its 50th anniversary this week. Several unique activities are planned to celebrate the history of the endurance race, recognized as one of the world's most significant motorsports events.
Grand-Am In less than a week, an event 50 years in the making is set to take place as the motorsports world celebrates the golden anniversary of one of the most famous endurance races in the world â€“ the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The historic endurance race is set for January 28-29, 2012, at Daytona International Speedway, and the excitement surrounding the race has never been greater. From a display of championship winning cars, to the participation of famous drivers, along with new GT entries from Ferrari and Audi and five new Corvette DPs, all indications are that the Rolex 24 At Daytona will deliver a high octane start as the season opener to the 2012 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Grand-Am Two final on-track sessions at Daytona International Speedway closed out the third and final day of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 â€“ the last test event leading into the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 28-29, 2012. Max Angelelli ran the fastest lap of the three-day session on Sunday morning with a lap of 126.712 mph in the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP.
Grand-Am Day two of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 â€“ the last test event leading into the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 28-29, 2012 â€“ saw a larger than typical turnout of fans today at Daytona International Speedway. The chance to see motorsports stars and celebrity drivers, along with the exciting new GT cars, including the purpose-built Ferrari 458 Italia Grand-Am along with Audiâ€™s R8, combined with perfect weather to bring out the crowds which included lots of youngsters.
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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