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Classes

Prototype (P)

Prototype Challenge(PC)

GT Le Mans (GTLM

GT Daytona (GTD)

USCC Point Standings
2014 After Watkins Glen
Prototype Drivers
Pos Drivers Total
1 Joao Barbosa 31
1 Christian Fittipaldi 31
2 Brian Frisselle 26
2 Burt Frisselle 26
3 Sage Karam 26
4 Max Angelelli 25
4 Jordan Taylor 25
4 Ricky Taylor 25
5 Scott Pruett 24
5 Memo Rojas 24
6 Sebastien Bourdais 23
7 Michael Valiante 22
7 Richard Westbrook 22
8 Scott Dixon 22
8 Tony Kanaan 22
9 Ryan Dalziel 21
9 Scott Sharp 21
10 Johannes van Overbeek 21
10 Ed Brown 21
11 Marino Franchitti 20
12 Alex Brundle 20
12 Gustavo Yacaman 20
13 Eric Curran 18
13 Boris Said 18
14 Oswaldo Negri Jr. 18
14 John Pew 18
15 Joel Miller 18
15 Tristan Vautier 18
16 Gabby Chaves 18
16 Katherine Legge 18
17 David Brabham 17
18 Simon Pagenaud 17
19 Wayne Taylor 15
20 Fabien Giroix 14
20 John Martin 14

Manufacturers
1 Chevrolet 38
2 Ford 34
3 Nissan 28
4 Honda 26
5 Mazda 18
A win-win-win situation for ALMS

by David Phillips
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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Different classes make the racing interesting in ALMS
At Mid-Ohio a few weeks ago an old friend from the CART/Champ Car days observed - with more than a hint of condescension - one reason the American Le Mans Series has developed a fair degree of momentum is that “with four classes, everybody gets to win.  If we’d run Formula Atlantic and Champ Cars together we’d have had 35- and 40-car grids, too.”

There’s no doubting my friend’s arithmetic when it comes to car counts, although there are good reasons (safety for one) that open-wheel classes are rarely mixed together outside an SCCA regional. (Come to think of it, my closest brush with injury during my highly forgettable FF1600 “career” resulted from a coming together with a Formula A - aka F5000 - car in Turn 1 at Nelson Ledges).

Still, my chum unwittingly put his finger on one of the reasons the Series is attracting 30-plus fields of late when he said “everybody gets to win.” Clearly he meant that in any given race with 30-some starters, there will be four class winners, four second-place and three third-place finishers. In other words, upward of a third of the competitors will finish on the podium.

But at the risk of sounding like an ALMS shill, I would take his comments one step further - particularly in light of Saturday’s race at Road America - and suggest there were more than four winners at the Generac 500 presented by Time Warner Cable.  For in addition to Lucas Luhr, Marco Werner and Audi; David Brabham, Scott Sharp and Patr¢n Highcroft Racing; Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen and Corvette Racing; and Dirk Werner, Richard Westbrook, Bryce Miller and Farnbacher Loles Racing, I would argue the fans at Road America and those watching on television could be added to the list of winners.

By any measure, that was a heck of a race Saturday. Indeed, by my friend’s measure, it was at least three superb races with Audi battling Acura, Porsche and, for a time, Intersport Racing for the overall win (and in the case of Intersport, LMP1 honors); the Andretti Green, Lowe’s Fernandez and Patr¢n Highcroft Acuras battling the two DHL Penske Porsche RS Spyders and Dyson Racing’s Porsche driven by Butch Leitzinger/Marino Franchitti competing for the LMP2 win, and upward of half a dozen competitors vying for the GT2 victory. 

Certainly a succession of full-course yellows late in the race was the catalyst for a boffo finish that saw Marco Werner scythe through the battle between Brabham and AGR’s Franck Montagny for the overall win, and the door-handle-to-door-handle GT2 dice between Dirk Werner and Risi Competizione’s Mika Salo.  But as anyone paying attention could plainly see, the outcome of the overall win, LMP2 and GT2 was very much in doubt throughout. 

Heck, even the usual Corvette domination of GT1 was short-circuited when Oliver Gavin crashed out of the race at the three-hour mark (giving Champ Car one final blast of television time in the bargain). With Magnussen having made an unscheduled pit stop to investigate a handling anomaly - which probably was nothing worse than rubber pick-up on his Michelins - we were only one serious mechanical problem away from a real upset, namely a GT1 win by Terry Borcheller and Chapman Ducote in the Bell Motorsports Aston Martin. As it was, the team got an overdue measure of reward for their labors of the past few months with a nice run to second place, two laps down to O’Connell and Magnussen after four hours of racing.

So, yes there were three more winners in the Generac 500 than in any Champ Car, IndyCar, Formula One, GP2, A1GP or, for that matter, Formula Atlantic Championship race (although both Jonathan Bomarito and Jonathan Summerton won Atlantic races at Road America thanks to the doubleheader weekend).  Given the fierce competition throughout the afternoon and evening, however, it’s fair to say there were no gimmes, no gratuitous trophies handed-out Saturday night.

Nor, I dare say, were there many fans leaving the circuit or watching the post-race recap feeling they’d been short-changed.

David Phillips is one of North America’s most respected and renowned motorsports journalist. His ‘Another Turn’ features will appear periodically on americanlemans.com throughout the season. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Le Mans Series.

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