ALMS Road America Friday Notebook
Bryce Miller’s second start in the American Le Mans Series ended with a trip to the top step of the GT2 podium. The Summit, NJ driver is back at Road America this weekend with Farnbacher Loles Racing and Porsche, all eager for a repeat in the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase.
“It is a good feeling to be back. There is a little bit of pressure to reenact the win from last year but this is one of my favorite tracks,” said Miller, who is teaming with Porsche factory ace Wolf Henzler. “This year with the restrictor and two new Corvettes, who came out of the box really well at Mid-Ohio, it will be close racing. Last year was a four-hour race and we experienced temperature changes because we finished with headlights. So this year we will not have as much guess work.”
Miller, Dirk Werner and Richard Westbrook won in a wild finish last year at Road America with the Porsche taking the lead on the race’s final lap.
MY FAVORITE: A lap around Road America is long, fast and thrilling with a section for every driver. Just look…
“The part of the track I like is one that I find so challenging - Turn 11 going into Turn 12,” said Robertson Racing’s Andrea Robertson, who is driving the team’s Ford GT-R with husband David along with David Murry. “You become surrounded by two cement walls and go into the Kink going so slight on the brakes, subtle, smooth, and go on the gas…it’s about 161.3 mph thru that part of the track.”
“The most fun on the track is the sequence from the Canada Corner to the Bill Mitchell Bend. It is a classic motor racing circuit with the elevation change and the high speed. I hit a high third gear halfway through at 70 mph and then am in the middle of fourth by the end going 100 mph.”
“The Carousel into the Kink…it is all raw edge,” said Intersport Racing’s Jon Field, who will drive the AER-powered Lola LMP1 with son Clint. “It can be a disaster but its my favorite part. I always look forward to seeing how strong we can push it.”
HOW TO PLAY IT: Pit strategy is often the difference between winning and losing races in the American Le Mans Series. It’s hard enough with conventional sports cars, but throwing new and innovative technologies like hybrid powertrains only makes things more complex. So how does the strategy change for Corsa Motorsports with its Corsa Motorsports’ Ginetta-Zytek 09HS prototype at a track as long as Road America?
“It is too early to say because the hybrid is so unused,” said Stefan Johansson, teammate of Johnny Mowlem in the revolutionary prototype. “It all depends on how much fuel the hybrid is using. The car is relatively thirsty (uses a lot of gas). We can save a little driving a certain way and pay attention to yellows.”
WELCOME BACK, ED: ORBIT Racing’s Ed Brown was back on track Friday, five days after being taken to a Mansfield, Ohio hospital after a collision at the start of the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio. He was pushed off track from behind at the start of the race but returned after a very brief observation period.
“I’m bruised and a little sore,” said Brown, CEO of the Patr¢n Spirits Company and teammate of Bill Sweedler. “But I’m doing OK and ready to go this weekend.”
The Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase is set for 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 16 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The race will air live on SPEED. American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche and Live Timing & Scoring will be available at Racehub on americanlemans.com. Radio coverage also will air live on Sirius Channel 126 and XM Channel 242. You also can follow the Series on Twitter (almsnotes).
The race also will mark the seventh round of the 2009 MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge. Tickets are available at americanlemans.com and roadamerica.com.