Petit LeMans Pre-Race Notebook
In GT2, Flying Lizard Motorsports firmed up its lineup by reuniting Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb with fellow works pilots Jörg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler in the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The trio won in class at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this year. Bergmeister and Henzler can wrap up the driver’s championship next week, as can Flying Lizard in the team standings.
Johannes van Overbeek and Patrick Pilet will drive the No. 46 entry. Seth Neiman, Darren Law and Lonnie Pechnik are teaming in the No. 44 Porsche.
LG BACK ON THE GRID: Lou Gigliotti will bring his Riley Technologies-built Corvette C6 back to GT2 at Road Atlanta and team with Tomy Drissi, who will drive in GT2 for the first time in his American Le Mans Series career.
Gigliotti raced the Corvette for the first four rounds of the Series, teaming with Doug Stevens. The pairing added Marc Goossens for Sebring, and the Riley factory driver could end up as the team’s third driver at Road Atlanta next week.
The Corvette ran as high as third in class at Miller Motorsports Park in May before finishing sixth.
WATTS, PLA IN GINETTA-ZYTEK: Frenchman Olivier Pla, a two-time winner in GP2, will team with Danny Watts in Team LNT’s new Ginetta-Zytek LMP1 entry. Pla made the transition to sports cars this year and placed fourth in LMP2 with ASM-Quifel Racing at the 24 Hours Le Mans; one of his teammates was Dyson Racing’s Guy Smith.
Pla also finished third in P2 at the Le Mans Series’ season-ending race at Silverstone two weeks ago, where he showed blistering pace particularly during a triple stint behind the wheel.
A LOLA FOR AUTOCON: When Autocon Motorsports rolls out of the pits for the first practice at upcoming Petit Le Mans, it will be in a Lola-AER the team recently acquired from Chamberlain-Synergy Racing, rather than the Creation CA06H-Judd that it campaigned since the Utah Grand Prix last season.
The Lola is the fourth different car Autocon has run in the American Le Mans Series since its inaugural series entry of the a Riley & Scott MXIII at Petit Le Mans in 2004. In 2006 and part of 2007, Autocon ran an ex-Dyson Racing Lola EX257, and produced its best performances in that car including leading overall at Lime Rock, and finishing second and third in team points in consecutive years in the P1 class.
The car is outfitted with an AER twin turbo V8 engine, which Autocon will run at Petit Le Mans and the Monterey Sports Car Championship incorporating cellulosic E85R ethanol racing fuel, before deciding on its 2009 power plans.
Chris McMurry, Tony Burgess and Bryan Willman will race the Lola in its first American Le Mans Series start.
ZOOM-ZOOM AWAY: As part of the celebration for the 11th Annual Petit Le Mans Powered By The Totally New MAZDA6 celebration, Mazda is giving away a 2009 Mazda6 i Sports Automatic - PLUS BP fuel for a year and additionally two sets of Yokohama Tires.
Mazda has teamed with 790TheZone (790-AM in Atlanta) for the Mazda Zoom on the Zone Sweepstakes. Through Thursday Oct. 2, Georgia residents over the age of 21 have three ways to register to win:
• Tune in to 790TheZone (790AM) at ":06" past the hour during the hours of 6:06 a.m. and 12:06 p.m. and 4:06 p.m.-6:06 p.m. daily and be the correct caller when the Mazda Zoom in the Zone sounder plays. If you are the correct caller when the sounder plays, you are automatically entered into the Grand Prize Drawing. A total of 90 qualifiers will be selected in this manner.
The final drawing will take place on Friday, October 3 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET during the live broadcast of “Brandon and Woolvey” from the Jim Ellis Mazda of Chamblee dealership on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. Contestants must be present to win.
Sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of Georgia, who are 21 years of age, Legal residents with a valid driver's license and proof of insurance. See complete Rules and list of other prizes here: 790thezone.com/Contests/Register.aspx?ContestID=100887.
ATLANTIC STATION, HERE WE COME: Road Atlanta and the American Le Mans Series return to Atlantic Station near downtown Atlanta on Tuesday, September 30 for one of the week’s biggest promotions for Petit Le Mans. Cars will be on display in front of the Fox Sports Grill starting at noon, and a pit-stop demonstration featuring Primetime Racing Group’s Dodge Viper Competition Coupe of Joel Feinberg and Chris Hall will start between 5:30 and 6:30 pm.
From 7 to 9 p.m., Mike Bell's popular motorsports show “Speed Zone” will be broadcast live from Fox Sports Grill. The show will be dedicated to Petit Le Mans with a number of American Le Mans Series drivers on hand for radio interviews as well as autographs.
An iRacing Simulator will be set up for fans’ enjoyment as well. iRacing recently announced that Road Atlanta, Sebring International Raceway and Mosport International Raceway - all tracks owned by the Panoz Motor Sports Group - will be feature circuits on its racing simulators.
Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6 is the 10th round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series. The 1,000-mile/10-hour race is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Saturday, October 4 from Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. SPEED will televise the race live with XM Satellite Radio airing live race coverage throughout the day on Channel 166. Live coverage from American Le Mans Radio will be available at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA’s Live Timing & Scoring.
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