Road Atlanta ALMS Race Hosts A Field Of LMP1 Champions
This weekend's motorsports action features the running of the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda contested at Road Atlanta. Le Mans Series prototype cars from all over the world are lined up to take their shots on the 2011 European and American Le Mans Series Manufacturers' Championship cars in a 10 hour endurance race that ends the American Le Mans Series 2011 season.
Even though the seasons are not over for both the European and American 2011 series of Le Mans specification cars, the Lola-Toyota of Switzerland's REBELLION Racing and the Lola-Mazda of America's Dyson Racing have locked up the respective Manufacturers' Championship in races held two weeks ago. A field of 13 cars that include these two manufactures championship cars feature the 24 hours of Le Mans winning team of Audi Sport Team and its chief competitor Peugeot Sport ... both are powered by the impressive TDI diesel fuel propelled technology engines.
This excerpted and edited from ALMS -
DUMAS' FLYER MAKES AUDI FASTEST IN MONDAY TESTING
Preview of an epic battle for Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta
Audi Sport’s Romain Dumas waited until the second-to-last lap Monday to set the fastest time in the second day of testing for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda – a 1:08.394 (133.696 mph) lap at Road Atlanta. The Frenchman set the time in the diesel-powered Audi R18 TDI that he will share in Saturday’s 1,000-mile/10-hour race with Timo Bernhard and Marcel Fassler.
Dumas’ time ended what had been a day of dominance for Peugeot Sport Total, which sat 1-2 for most the afternoon. The No. 7 entry of Sebastien Bourdais, Anthony Davidson and Simon Pagenaud ended Monday second at 1:08.569 (133.355 mph). The second Peugeot of Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz sat third at 1:09.311 (131.927 mph).
Petit Le Mans, the final round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, marks the resumption of a Road Atlanta battle between the two diesel powers that dates back to 2008. Peugeot won the last two years, and both factory teams are back with first-year prototype coupes. The Audi bested Peugeot in June at the 24 Hours of the Le Mans and the French manufacturer is looking for retribution this weekend. The 908 was fastest at Road Atlanta on Sunday with a 1:08.291 (133.898 mph).
If this were not enough for just one of four classes of racing in 10 hours, the LMP1 Class Aston Martin powered entries from Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing and ALMS Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca winner of two weeks ago MEX Aston Martin Racing Gulf are ready to pounce.
The diesel-powered Audi R18 TDI driven by the team of Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Marcel Fassler. Image Credit: ALMS (2011)
LMP1 Class Entry List
CAR NO. - DRIVER(s) / HOMETOWN - TEAM NAME - SPONSOR - CAR TYPE - ENGINE - TIRE - FUEL
1 Timo Bernhard / DEU Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI Michelin Diesel
Marcel Fässler / CHE
2 Tom Kristensen / DNK Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI Michelin Diesel
Allan McNish / SCO
6 Lucas Luhr / Koblenz, Germany Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing Muscle Milk/ Biedermann Technologies AMR/Lola Coupe B08 62 Aston Martin Michelin E-85
Klaus Graf / Dornhan, Germany
7 Anthony Davidson / GBR Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908 Peugeot Michelin Diesel
Sèbastien Bourdais / FRA
Simon Pagenaud/ FRA
8 Franck Montagny / FRA Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908 Peugeot Michelin Diesel
Stéphane Sarrazin / FRA
Alexander Wurz / AUT
10 Nicolas Lapierre / FRA Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP Peugeot Michelin Diesel
Nicolas Minassian / FRA
Marc Gené / ESP
12 Nicolas Prost / FRA Rebellion Racing Lola B10/60 Coupé Toyota Michelin E-10
Neel Jani / CHE
Andrea Belicchi / ITA
15 Matthieu Lahaye / FRA Oak Racing Oak Pescarolo Judd Dunlop E-10
Guillaume Moreau / FRA
Pierre Ragues / FRA
16 Chris Dyson / Pleasant Valley, NY Dyson Racing Team Inc. Mazda/ G-Oil/ ModSpace/ Lola B09/86 Mazda Dunlop Isobutanol
Guy Smith / Beverley, UK Construct Corps/ Dunlop/ Thetford
Jay Cochran / Palm Beach, FL
20 Humaid Al Masaood / Abu Dhabi, UAE Oryx Dyson Racing Mazda/ Dunlop Lola B09/86 Mazda Dunlop Isobutanol
Steven Kane / Newtownards, Ireland
Butch Leitzinger / Reberburg, PA
24 Jacques Nicolet / FRA Oak Racing Oak Pescarolo Judd Dunlop E-10
Jean-François Yvon / FRA
007 Adrian Fernandez / MEX Aston Martin Racing Gulf/ Hackett/ Lowes/ Michelin AMR/ Lola Coupe B09 60 Aston Martin Michelin E-10
Stefan Mücke / DEU
Harold Primat / CHE
012 Tony Burgess / Toronto, ON Autocon Namesilo/ TDM/ Redline/ Cyclo Lola B06/10 AER Dunlop Isobutanol
Chris McMurry / Phoenix, AZ
Bryan Wilman / Seattle, WA
For those who focus on driving talent who have Open Wheel experience through the now IndyCar asorbed ChampCar World Series, one will recognize the names of Sebastien Bourdais (four-time CCWS Champion), Simon Pagenaud, and Franck Montagny driving for Peugeot, Neel Jani of the European Manufacturers' Champion REBELLION Racing Lola-Toyota, and Adrian Fernandez driving the MEX Aston Martin Racing Gulf.
The #7 and #8 Peugeot 908 LMP1 racing Lolas at Road Atlanta as they get ready to compete in the 10 hours of the Petit Le Mans. Image Credit: ALMS (2011)
Quotes from LMP1 competitors on the reaction to the track and the upcoming race:
Adrian Fernandez, Aston Martin Racing
Lola B09/60-Aston Martin (LMP1)
“It’s been a tough year but the win in Monterey was really good. We didn’t get the car until a month ago. There were some new rules for this year and we had to make some changes. We made more after the first session at Laguna and it really improved the car.”
Alexandre Premat, Oak Racing
Oak Pescarolo-Judd (LMP1)
“This is my first day here so everything is new to me. I like this track a lot; it reminds me a lot of the Nurburgring with lots of ups and down. I have heard a lot about the track and racing in America so I’m really excited to see it. For sure there are already a lot of teams here testing but it is the same for everyone. I can imagine as the race gets closer the track and the traffic will be amazing.”
Romain Dumas, Audi Sport Team Joest
Audi R18 TDI (LMP1)
“The car was quite quick this morning. The Peugeot did a (1:09.5 in the morning) and I did a 9.5. So it is already very, very close. We did much testing over the winter in preparation for Le Mans so I got to drive the car many times. But it is nice to be back in the Audi R18. Already there is a lot of traffic. It will get much worse later in the week. I do think that this will be most difficult race of my career.”
Stephane Sarrazin, Peugeot Sport Total
Peugeot 908 (LMP1)
“At first we had a problem finding the best setup on the car for the race. But in the afternoon I was very happy with the progress and balance. It felt really good. Yes the car is new but the track and the job are still the same. My last three years here have been very good with a runner-up in 2008 and wins in 2009 and 2010. Physically the race should not be too difficult because it is a shorter track. But you have to be extremely careful with traffic as it could quickly end your race.”
The 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is set for a 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 1 from Road Atlanta. The race will air on ABC at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 2. Live coverage will be available in the U.S. on ESPN3 or outside the U.S. on americanlemans.com.
... notes from The EDJE
(First published as Road Atlanta ALMS Race Hosts A Field Of LMP1 Champions at Technorati)