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Classes

Prototype (P)

Prototype Challenge(PC)

GT Le Mans (GTLM

GT Daytona (GTD)

IMSA Point Standings
After Austin
Prototype Drivers
Pos Drivers Total
1 Jordan Taylor 226
1 Ricky Taylor 226
2 Christian Fittipaldi 207
2 Joao Barbosa 207
3 Misha Goikhberg 200
3 Stephen Simpson 200
4 Dane Cameron 199
4 Eric Curran 199
5 Ryan Dalziel 183
5 Scott Sharp 183
6 Tristan Nunez 181
6 Jonathan Bomarito 181
7 Tom Long 168
7 Joel Miller 168
8 Johannes Van Overbeek 162
9 Renger Van Der Zande 148
9 Marc Goossens 148
10 Ed Brown 117

PC
1 Patricio O'ward 216
1 James French 216
2 Don Yount 182
3 Buddy Rice 120
4 Kyle Masson 108
5 Gustavo Yacaman 89
6 Nicholas Boulle 68
7 Garett Grist 62
8 Ryan Lewis 62
9 Sean Rayhall 60
10 Daniel Burkett 60

GTLM
1 Jan Magnussen 182
1 Antonio Garcia 182
2 Alexander Sims 179
2 Bill Auberlen 179
3 Joey Hand 172
3 Dirk Mueller 172
4 Richard Westbrook 169
4 Ryan Briscoe 169
5 Dirk Werner 159
5 Patrick Pilet 159
6 Oliver Gavin 151
6 Tommy Milner 151
7 John Edwards 151
7 Martin Tomczyk 151
8 Laurens Vanthoor 151
9 Giancarlo Fisichella 104
9 Toni Vilander 104
10 Kevin Estre 78

GTD
1 Christina Nielsen 203
1 Alessandro Balzan 203
2 Jeroen Bleekemolen 195
2 Ben Keating 195
3 Andy Lally 179
3 Katherine Legge 179
4 Jens Klingmann 168
5 Lawson Aschenbach 166
5 Andrew Davis 166
6 Madison Snow 165
6 Bryan Sellers 165
7 Daniel Morad 162
8 Oswaldo Negri Jr. 152
8 Jeff Segal 152
9 Patrick Lindsey 150
10 Cooper Macneil 147

Prototype Teams
Rank Teams Total
1 #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac 226
2 #5 Mustang Sampling Racing 207
3 #85 Jdc-Miller Motorsports 200
4 #31 Whelen Engineering 199
5 #2 Tequila Patron Esm 183

PC
1 #38 Performance Tech 216
2 #26 Bar1 Motorsports 185
3 #20 Bar1 Motorsports 182
4 #8 Starworks Motorsports 58
5 #88 Starworks Motorsport 28

GTLM
1 #3 Corvette Racing 182
2 #25 BMW Team Rll 179
3 #66 Ford Chip Ganassi 172
4 #67 Ford Chip Ganassi 169
5 #911 Porsche Gt Team 159
6 #4 Corvette Racing 151
7 #24 BMW Team Rll 151
8 #912 Porsche Gt Team 151
9 #62 Risi Competizione 104
10 #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Uk 50

GTD
1 #63 Scuderia Corsa 203
2 #33 Riley Motorsports - AMG 195
3 #93 M. Shank W/ Curb-Aga 179
4 #96 Turner Motorsport 168
5 #57 Stevenson Motorsports 166
The changing face of LMP2

by David Phillips
Thursday, November 20, 2008

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Laguna Seca action
The past couple of seasons have seen LMP2 vie with GT2 as the most fiercely-contested class in the American Le Mans Series. Acura’s entry into the category in 2007 (and its remarkable debut victory at Sebring) triggered a head-to-head confrontation with Porsche that produced some of the best prototype racing in years. Indeed, Acura vs. Porsche generally had outshown the “bigger, faster” LMP1 class where Audi usually had its way, notwithstanding flashes of speed from Intersport Racing and cameo appearances by Peugeot.

Spearheaded by Penske Racing with Dyson Racing chipping-in, Porsche managed to win the LMP2 team, driver and manufacturers titles in ’07 and ’08, but not without a real fight from Acura’s Andretti Green, Patr¢n Highcroft and Lowes Fernandez Racing and, in ’08, de Ferran Motorsports.

But those heady days of Acura vs. Porsche, Romain Dumas/Timo Bernhard vs. David Brabham/Scott Sharp, Patrick Long/Sascha Maassen vs. Adrian Fernandez/Luis Diaz, Chris Dyson/Guy Smith vs. Gil de Ferran/Simon Pagenaud have been consigned to the historical vaults now that Acura is going LMP1, Penske is racing elsewhere and Porsche has, evidently, withdrawn its factory support for LMP2.

All is not lost in LMP2, however. Acura will still have a strong presence in the category with Lowe’s Fernandez returning for a third season even as Patr¢n Highcroft and De Ferran move “up” to LMP1 and Andretti Green Racing (at least as of now) moves out of Series competition altogether. Although the cost of fielding an Acura ARX-01b is not insignificant and the worldwide economic meltdown makes new sponsors scarcer than hens teeth, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that another team could step forward to run LMP2 Acuras (or Porsches, for that matter) otherwise destined to become show cars in 2009.

What’s more intriguing, however, are the prospects for a revitalized LMP2 program from Mazda. Dyson Racing recently revealed it will not be racing Porsche RS Spyders next year and - while nobody is talking on the record - it appears the Poughkeepsie-based team will take over the Mazda LMP2 program from B-K Motorsports in the coming season. That’s a prospect that figures to be good for Dyson, for Mazda and LMP2.

Dyson, of course, is one of the most accomplished teams in American sports car racing with a dozen wins in the storied Camel GT series and another nine wins (including four overall) in American Le Mans Series competition since 1999. And while it fielded a typically professional effort with its Porsche RS Spyders the past two seasons, Dyson Racing was generally a step or two behind its cohorts at Penske in the Porsche development pipeline.

That would no longer be an issue should rumors of Dyson’s partnership with Mazda come to fruition.

For its part, Mazda is widely believed to have been more competitive than the small B-K Motorsports team had been able to demonstrate the past couple of years. And a partnership with a veteran outfit like Dyson - particularly if Dyson’s deal with Michelin tires is part of the bargain - would enable Mazda to really show what it’s got. And the Mazda MZR-R engine - now installed in the handsome Lola B08/86 coupe - figures to give the Acura LM V8 a run for its money.

This is not to imply LMP2 circa 2009 will match the past two seasons where four (and at times five) Porsche RS Spyders did battle with three or (in ’08) four Acuras for class honors and, many a time, with the Audi R10s for the overall win. But it is to say the prospects of Acura going head-to-head with Mazda next season on a more or less equal playing field promise to be intriguing.

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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