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USCC Point Standings
2014 After Long Beach
Prototype Drivers
1 Joao Barbosa 98
1 Christian Fittipaldi 98
2 Scott Pruett 93
2 Memo Rojas 93
3 Jordan Taylor 91
3 Ricky Taylor 91
4 Olivier Pla 84
4 Gustavo Yacaman 84
5 Michael Valiante 78
5 Richard Westbrook 78
6 Ed Brown 77
6 Johannes van Overbeek 77
7 Ryan Dalziel 76
7 Scott Sharp 76
8 Sebastien Bourdais 67
9 Oswaldo Negri Jr. 66
9 John Pew 66
10 Boris Said 64
11 Marino Franchitti 60
12 Joel Miller 59
13 Max Angelelli 58
14 Alex Brundle 56
15 Brian Frisselle 55
15 Burt Frisselle 55
16 Simon Pagenaud 52
17 Mike Rockenfeller 51
18 David Brabham 50
18 Scott Dixon 50
18 Tony Kanaan 50
19 Sage Karam 47
20 Klaus Graf 46
20 Lucas Luhr 46
21 Tristan Nunez 44
22 Eric Curran 43
22 Justin Wilson 43
23 Byron DeFoor 41
23 David Hinton 41
23 Jim Pace 41
24 Tom Long 40
24 Sylvain Tremblay 40
25 Tristan Vautier 35
26 Gabby Chaves 33
26 Katherine Legge 33
26 Andy Meyrick 33
26 Wayne Taylor 33
27 Fabien Giroix 31
27 John Martin 31
28 Alex Popow 30
29 Roman Rusinov 26
29 Oliver Webb 26
30 Jon Fogarty 25
30 Anthony Lazzaro 25
31 Kyle Larson 24
32 Frank Beck 23
33 Max Papis 22
33 Bradley Smith 22
34 Ben Devlin 21
34 Jamie McMurray 21
35 AJ Allmendinger 20
35 Guy Cosmo 20
36 Jann Mardenborough 19
37 James Hinchcliffe 18
38 Alexander Rossi 16
38 Sebastian Saavedra 16
39 Brendon Hartley 15
39 E.J. Viso 15
40 Memo Gidley 14
40 Alex Gurney 14
41 Scott Mayer 2
42 Pierre Kaffer 1
42 Darren Law 1
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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