Lime Rock: Chase for ALMS Championships Resume
BRASELTON, Ga. - As is normally tradition – except for one season since 2004 – the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n starts its summer swing at Lime Rock Park. This year’s American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix will see 32 entries on the grid: 15 prototypes and 17 GT cars.
It’ll be close quarters for the fourth round of the ALMS championship. The 1.5-mile, seven-turn circuit at Lime Rock provides no room for error in a race featuring multiple classes with differing speeds and performance capabilities.
Dyson Racing’s Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in P1, and BMW Team RLL’s Joey Hand and Dirk Müller in GT are back to defend class wins from the 2011 season. They are part of a field that begins the run to ALMS championships with six races over the next 11 weeks.
Dyson Racing – based in nearby Poughkeepsie, N.Y. – has two Mazda-powered coupes against Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s Honda Performance Development ARX-03a. The Muscle Milk duo of Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won the last two ALMS rounds and holds the P1 championship lead.
Eleven entries from seven teams representing five manufacturers are in the GT field. Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner lead the drivers championship after winning the last two races. BMW Team RLL’s Hand and Müller are second in the title standings, and Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long were second last year at Lime Rock in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
All six are among the GT competitors at Lime Rock Park.
In P2, Level 5 Motorsports hasn’t lost this season and brings two HPD ARX-03bs to Lime Rock for team owner Scott Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz. Conquest Endurance – with a Morgan-Nissan – and Dempsey Racing’s Lola-Judd – featuring Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey in his second career ALMS race – round out the field.
Just like Level 5, CORE autosport is unbeaten in three Prototype Challenge races – two for Alex Popow at Sebring and Long Beach, while Colin Braun and team owner Jon Bennett won at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Both of CORE’s ORECA FLM09s are on the Lime Rock entry as are entries from Merchant Services Racing (two cars) and RSR Racing, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, Performance Tech Motorsports and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports.
Alex Job Racing leads the GT Challenge team championship as does AJR driver Cooper MacNeil. The gap in the team title chase is only five points between Alex Job and Green Hornet Racing, with MacNeil only one point ahead of Green Hornet drivers Damien Faulkner and Peter LeSaffre. Green Hornet is set to debut a second Porsche 911 GT3 Cup at Lime Rock.
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix is Saturday, July 7. The two-hour, 45-minute race is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET from the 1.5-mile, 10-turn Lime Rock Park circuit. ESPN2 airs the race the same day at 4 p.m. ET. Live coverage is available starting at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN3.