Mosport International Raceway - 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course - Fastest circuit in the American Le Mans Series. Audi’s Dindo Capello posted the fastest Class qualifying lap (138.116 mph) in 2008. … Three different cars and six different drivers have won overall at Mosport since 2008. … Johnny O’Connell has started every Mosport race. He and Jan Magnussen gave Corvette its first GT2 victory in 2009. … Mosport, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010, is one of four tracks to play host to a Series event in each of its 12 seasons. … Track was Canada’s first purpose-built road course and has held Formula 1, Can-Am, Indy Car and the World Sports Car Championship races in its history. Image Credit: ALMS presented by Tequila Patrón
MOBIL 1 Presents THE ALMS GRAND PRIX OF MOSPORT - Round 4 Of 9 Set-Up
Here we are at a point with only six races left to make a sizable impact in a trend of lopsided wins in the GT Class.
One may really like the fact that the American Le Mans Series style of closed body, street/road track, timed distance format (sometimes straddling day-part), and multiple performance/body style classes running at different speeds, makes for interesting viewing and tracking, but let's be honest ... the only real competition on the track that exists for the duration of most any season, and certainly this one in 2011, is the class of the Classes, the GT Class.
2010 season marked Jaguar’s first full year of competition in American Le Mans Series with Paul Gentilozzi’s RSR entering a Jaguar XKR in GT. ChampCar open wheel driving refugees Bruno Junqueira and Cristiano Da Matta (past CCWS champion) team up to drive the #99 XKR while motorsport name standouts PJ Jones and Rocky Moran Jr. share piloting duties on the #98 XKR Jaguar in its second season. Image Credit: ALMS presented by Tequila Patrón
The exotics in the LMP1, LMP2 (not at Lime Rock) and LMPC Classes are very interesting but there are not enough players to make this portion of what is going on down on the track, except for style and speed, interesting. The GTC Class has multiple entrants, but do not have the wide representation of manufacturers that the GT ClaSS puts up. So we choose to follow, with interest and some intensity, the GT Class in this round #4, American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón - Mosport International Raceway / Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada - July 22 – 24, 2011, contest.
The set up at Mosport is simple, BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) has been running a hot Hand (driver Joey Hand, that is) and former Ferrari stand out, Dirk Muller (Mosport fastest lap holder at 1:18.012 - 113.475 mph, August 2008 - Ferrari F430 GT), with three wins in three races. All other teams need to beat the #56 BMW in order to eat into a possible walk into the championship by season's end by both Hand and Muller.
Those who hold the remote possibility of a chance to even think of a championship is held by the two classic annual rivals, last year's champions, Joerg Bergmeister / Patrick Long of the factory Porsche Flying Lizard team and Oliver Gavin / Jan Magnussen of Corvette Racing. The driver pairings and teams are almost tied at 37 points for Corvette, 34 points for Porsche, against the 70 points held by the #56 of Hand and Muller. The biggest and most glaring difference between these two challenging teams is that the 34 points held by Flying Lizard Porsche team was achieved in only two races with one DNF whereas the Corvette Racing challenge of 37 points was achieved in all three races.
Patrick Long stalks Joey Hand as they turn laps at Lime Rock. Patrick Long and teammate, Joerg Bergmeister end up 20 seconds down in P2 and register their first podium of the year. Image Credit: ALMS presented by Tequila Patrón
Porsche Flying Lizard Team Quotes before the race:
Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of motorsport: "Mosport is a track where engine performance is more important than on any other circuit. For this reason we were thrilled to hear that the rule-makers in the USA want to revise the imbalance that disadvantaged our cars. I hope that Flying Lizard and the Falken and Miller teams can continue their upward trend that they showed in Lime Rock."
Joerg Bergmeister, #45 co-driver: "Last year we travelled to Mosport without high expectations and we won. It’s not normally a circuit that particularly suits us and it features too many straights. But if we can manage to make everything come together like in Lime Rock recently then we might bring home a podium result. I’d be very happy with this."
Patrick Long, #45 co-driver: "It’s not easy making a reliable prediction for Mosport. The track is very fast, and very demanding for the driver. It’s unforgiving with mistakes. That should work in our favour. I hope we can use this to our advantage."
(ht: Porsche AG Media Database via Dede Seward)
"Never give up!" was Chevrolet's motto, and the team was true to that credo after a chain reaction accident damaged both Compuware Corvette C6.Rs at just 20 minutes into the two-hour, 45-minute race. After the Corvette crew repaired their battered race cars, Olivier Beretta and Tommy Milner battled back to bring the No. 3 Corvette C6.R home in ninth place while Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin finished 10th in the No. 4 Corvette C6.R. Image Credit: ALMS presented by Tequila Patrón
This excerpted and edited from Corvette Racing website:
Mosport has been the stage for many of Corvette Racing's winning performances. The team has tallied eight victories there, including its first win in the GT2 category (since renamed GT) in 2009. That race featured a spectacular wheel-to-wheel duel between Jan Magnussen and Ferrari rival Pierre Kaffer in the final 30 minutes. Magnussen prevailed by .331 seconds at the finish.
"The whole circuit is a huge challenge, one that I relish," said Magnussen's teammate, Oliver Gavin. "We always go into that race with a strong car and the track seems to suit the Corvette's strengths.
"Our car's balance and braking is very good, and we seem to be quick in the tight Turn 5 area and coming into Turn 8 at the end of the back straight," Gavin explained. "One of the most daunting parts is Turn 2, and it's also the most fun when you get it right. The corner entry is blind, you turn in and the track starts to fall away almost immediately. You need absolute trust in the marshals to tell you if there's a problem ahead."
Corvette Racing has unfinished business at Mosport. Last year's event was red-flagged with 30 minutes remaining when the guardrail lining the high-speed Andretti Straightaway was severely damaged in an accident. The twin Corvettes had completed their final pit stops and were in position to race for the win when officials cancelled the remainder of the race.
"If the race had restarted we would have been in a good position," said Magnussen. "We had a strong car, things were shaping up, and we would have had a shot at it. I'm looking forward to going back there and setting the record straight."
There are many more cars on the track, starting with one more BMW (#55 driven by Bill Auberlen / Dirk Werner) from the Team RLL stable which sits fourth in the points overall tied with one more Corvette (#3 driven by Olivier Beretta / Tommy Milner) at 33 points in GT Class, but none have more at stake against another winning performance from the #56 BMW of Hand and Muller than the #45 Porsche and the #4 Corvette.
... notes from The EDJE
Event Broadcast Notes:
EVENT: Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport - Round Four of 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón
LOCATION: Mosport International Raceway - Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada - 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course
WHEN: 3:05 p.m. (ET) Sunday, July 24, 2011
LENGTH: 2 hours, 45 minutes (time certain)
TELEVISION: ESPN3.com / americanlemans.com (LIVE coverage)
Qualifying: Saturday, July 23, 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. (ET)
Race: Sunday, July 24, 2:50 – 6:05 p.m. (ET)
ESPN2 - Sunday, July 24 - 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. (ET)
ESPN Player available throughout Europe
ESPN360 available to more than 12 million households in Brazil, Australia and New Zealand
ESPN Player available to 3.5 million households in 12 countries across Latin America. Mexico added in March (additional 8 million households)
ESPN Star Sports available in Asia
Rogers Sportsnet in Canada (LIVE coverage)