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USCC Point Standings
After Rolex 24
Prototype Drivers
Pos Drivers Total
1 Scott Dixon 36
1 Tony Kanaan 36
1 Kyle Larson 36
1 Jamie McMurray 36
2 Joao Barbosa 33
2 Sebastien Bourdais 33
2 Christian Fittipaldi 33
3 Guy Cosmo 31
3 Mike Rockenfeller 31
3 Michael Valiante 31
3 Richard Westbrook 31
4 Dane Cameron 29
4 Eric Curran 29
4 Phil Keen 29
4 Max Papis 29
5 AJ Allmendinger 27
5 Matt McMurry 27
5 Oswaldo Negri Jr. 27
5 John Pew 27
6 Joey Hand 26
6 Sage Karam 26
6 Charlie Kimball 26
6 Scott Pruett 26
7 David Cheng 25
7 Robert Gewirtz 25
7 Mark Kvamme 25
7 Shane Lewis 25
8 Byron DeFoor 24
8 David Hinton 24
8 Jim Pace 24
8 Dorsey Schroeder 24
8 Doug Smith 24
9 Rubens Barrichello 23
9 Tor Graves 23
9 Brendon Hartley 23
9 Ryan Hunter-Reay 23
9 Scott Mayer 23
10 Ryan Dalziel 22
10 David Heinemeier Hansson 22
10 Scott Sharp 22
11 Ben Devlin 21
11 Tom Long 21
11 Joel Miller 21
12 Jonathan Bomarito 20
12 James Hinchcliffe 20
12 Tristan Nunez 20
12 Sylvain Tremblay 20
13 Alex Brundle 19
13 Nic Jonsson 19
13 Tracy Krohn 19
13 Olivier Pla 19
14 Ed Brown 18
14 Jon Fogarty 18
14 Johannes van Overbeek 18
15 Gabby Chaves 17
15 Katherine Legge 17
15 Andy Meyrick 17
15 Memo Rojas 17
16 Max Angelelli 16
16 Jordan Taylor 16 Ricky Taylor 16

1 #02 Chip Ganassi Racing 36
2 #5 Action Express Racing 33
3 #90 Racing 31
4 #31 Action Express Racing 29
5 #60 Michael Shank Racing 27
6 #01 Chip Ganassi Racing 26
7 #66 RG Racing 25
8 #50 Highway To Help Race Team 24
9 #7 Starworks Motorsport 23
10 #1 Tequila Patrn ESM 22
11 #07 SpeedSource 21
12 #70 SpeedSource 20
13 #57 Krohn Racing 19
14 #2 Tequila Patron ESM 18
15 #0 DeltaWing Racing 17
16 #10 Wayne Taylor Racing 16

1 Ford 35
2 Chevrolet 32
3 Honda 30
4 BMW 28
5 Mazda 26
The Road to LeMans

Monday, June 6, 2011


LeMans pits at night
Participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans is more than filling out an entry form or accepting an invitation. To perform well at this famous event, teams and drivers often need up to a year to fully prepare for the challenge. For this year’s 79th edition of the celebrated endurance race, set for this Saturday 10 June, the battle looks to be between the teams of Audi and Peugeot, both of which began their preparations as early as last fall.

To succeed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans one needs a fast, reliable sports car, a team of skilled engineers who can set-up and run the many pit stops during the race and, of course, three dedicated drivers who are up to the challenge. Whether one participates in the GT class, like Corvette, Ferrari, BMW or Porsche, or in the LMP class like Peugeot or Audi, all preparations must have fallen into place by the Wednesday before the race; the day the sports cars start practice on the 13.629-kilometer Le Mans track. Peugeot’s sports director Olivier Quesnel: “Right after the 2010 edition of the race we started to work on the new car, which was built according to the new rules set by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.” The French manufacturer had their new V6 Diesel-powered car ready late 2010 and began testing in the south of Europe. Peugeot’ challenger, Audi, did not have their car ready until early January. “Although we tested mid-January, we were not ready to race the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, so we ran the older R15Plus there,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, director of Audi Sport. “Then we had another test with the new Audi R18 the week following the 12 hour race in Sebring.” Yet as helpful as private testing may be, whether in the south of Europe or in Florida, the best test is racing. “We had our new 908 ready for the Sebring race and although the track does not resemble the track in France, it gave us a lot of information,” said Alexander Wurz (AUT), one of the Peugeot works drivers. For the new Audi, the 12-hour race at Sebring, which also represented the first round in the newly created Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) series, came too early. Rolex Testimonee Tom Kristensen (DNK), the record eight-time winner of the Le Mans race, found Sebring to be a good test. “Although we used the older car, we could test all race strategies and work on the pit stops.”

LeMans straight
The drivers themselves did a lot of training as well. Audi even organizes a team-building week in the Bavarian Alps every winter. Kristensen, like his regular teammates McNish (MCO) and Capello (ITA), only participates in the long endurance races, while Mike Rockenfeller (DEU) and other Audi drivers participate in various select events over the year. Rockenfeller, the defending Le Mans winner – and winner of the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona – also participates in the German DTM Series. The Young German won his first race last month at Zandvoort in the Netherlands.

In May, the second round of the ILMC was run at the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps track, an event often considered to be the ultimate test for Le Mans for prototypes and GT teams. Marc Gené, the Spanish driver who was part of the winning Peugeot team at Spa-Francorchamps, was happy with Peugeot’s win in Belgium but said it was just a test for Le Mans: “We did a lot of testing in Spain and France and of course we ran in Sebring, but those are, just like Spa-Francorchamps, tests. Everything must be in perfect condition for Le Mans.”

Teams will arrive in Le Mans more than a week before race days. There was a technical inspection on Sunday 5 June and practice will start on Wednesday 8 June. Tom Kristensen is already in the spirit: “I love this race; as soon as I am on the highway to Le Mans and see the signs on the side of the road, I start getting excited. Le Mans is so special; you can not compare it with any other event.”

The 79th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will start on Saturday 10 June at 15:00. It will be the third round of this year’s ILMC series. After Le Mans, races are scheduled at Imola in Italy in July, at Silverstone in England in September and at Road Atlanta in the USA in October. The season will have its final in Zhuhai, China, mid-November. Rolex is the official timekeeper of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.

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