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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
Titles on the line at Petit LeMans

by David Phillips
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

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Penske LMP2 Porsches
While attention is rightly focused on a variety of facets associated with Petit Le Mans Powered by the Totally New MAZDA6 ranging from a boffo entry featuring perhaps the most technologically diverse and ambitious field of sports car machinery ever assembled to the inaugural Green Challenge and a bevy of former Indy 500 winners, let’s not forget there’s still some championships on the line at Road Atlanta and, in a fortnight, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Sure, Corvette wrapped-up the GT1 title long ago and Audi clinched the LMP1 crown at Mosport in two of the - errr - less shocking developments of the season. Likewise, Audi’s Marco Werner and Lucas Luhr clinched the LMP1 drivers title at Detroit.

On the other hand, Audi’s lost weekend at Belle Isle moved Clint and Jon Field (103 points) into a virtual tie with Emanuele Pirro (105 points) in the contest for second place in the LMP1 drivers points. And if Corvette has long since cleared a spot for its eighth straight GT1 manufacturer’s crown in its trophy case, nothing has been settled in the intramural squabble between the driver pairings of Johnny O’Connell/Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin/Olivier Beretta.

Although they’ve come out on top in seven of nine races so far this season, O’Connell and Magnussen only lead Gavin and Beretta by 23 points with as many as 55 points to be had in the final two races. Sure, Jan and Johnny O are the clear favorites for the drivers’ title, but they’re just a DNF at Road Atlanta away from a dogfight at the Corvette Corral in Monterey.

Then there’s LMP2 and GT2. The LMP2 landscape is little short of fascinating, featuring three distinct battles that could hardly be closer approaching the final 14 hours of racing in the 2008 American Le Mans Series. Penske Racing’s Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas (159) hold a slim lead over Patr¢n Highcroft Racing’s David Brabham and Scott Sharp (154), while the manufacturer standings are just as close, but reversed with Acura at 170 points and Porsche 166 heading to Road Atlanta. Meanwhile, when it comes to the team totals Team Penske (166) enjoys a comparatively comfortable 14-point lead over Patron Highcroft (155).

Small wonder Penske and Porsche have upped the ante by supplementing their normal driver roster with two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, while Acura has added the last two Indy 500 and IndyCar champions in Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti to the lineup at De Ferran Motorsports and Patr¢n Highcroft Racing, respectively. 

Lizard Porsche
GT2- After a torrid battle throughout the season, the Flying Lizards Motorsports team has managed to eek out a fair bit of breathing room over Tafel Racing of late and takes a healthy 35-point lead into the final two races. Similarly, Lizard drivers Jörg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler are 28 points up on Tafel’s pairing of Dominik Farnbacher and Dirk Mueller. Substantial margins to be sure but, again, with 14 hours of racing to go - and 55 points to be had for winning at both Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca - nothing’s settled.

And when it comes to the GT2 manufacturers points race, it’s even closer with Porsche holding a 19-point cushion over Ferrari, 179 to 160. Again, the safe money is on Porsche, but anything can happen…

So this weekend, by all means revel in the technological diversity from the Audi R10 and Peugeot 908 HDi diesels, to Corsa Motorsports’ radical new Zytek 07S and the totally new Mazda/Lola B08/86 coupe. Take in what is, by any estimate, the deepest, most diverse and competitive field of prototypes on American soil since the glory days of the Camel GT Series (at last count 10 LMP1 and 10 LMP2 entries). Rest assured this won’t be the last time you’ll see the Corvettes do battle, and speculate on what surprises for 2009 may (or may not) be revealed. But don’t lose sight of the fact that no less than seven driver, manufacturer and team championships will be on the line when the green flag waves Saturday morning.

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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