It was one of the most chaotic ALMS races i’ve ever experienced.
It wasn’t even a endurance race, it was more a crashfest.
Everything began at the start, were the Dyson Lola from Chris Dsyon jumped the start.
Klaus Graf bracked to signal a wave off for a restart. Tucker, who was behind Graf didn’t see that one coming and was hard on the brakes. Lazarro couldn’t do anything and touched Tucker at the rear.
Tucker spun and was in the middle of the track, in opposite direction.
The Falken Tire Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from Wolf Henzler made an big frontal impact with the #551 Level 5 HPD from Tucker in 4th gear.
Then it became full chaos and suddenly 8 cars were involved in the crash, including the Paul Miller Racing and Core Autosport Porsche 911 GT cars, one Risi Ferrari 458, #93 SRT Viper and a LMPC car.
The GTC field had luck that they weren’t involved. Also the GT front runners, especially the RLL BMW’s were pretty lucky to escape from that one.
After half an hour of cleaning up all that mess, restart was attended from the drivers.
And again the Dsyon car jumped the start, so let’s try again folks! Eventually, a clean restart was made and everybody was coming unscafed through Turn 1, but Green flag only lasted for 3 turns.
The #2 ESM HPD from Lazarro spun the RSR PC car into the tire wall at Turn 4, another full cause caution.
So we already lost an hour of the race and not a single lap was made, pathetic isn’t it? Finally we hade our 4th restart of the day and everything went fine now.
Another full cause yellow, the rear bumper from Maxime Martin was in the middle of the cricuit. Then the 5th restart was made and there only 25 minutes to go.
After the restart, the #552 Level 5 HPD entry from Guy Cosmo made a driver change with Marino Franchitti.
Franchitti was on cold tires, slid off and ran into a tire bundle at chicane on the start/finish straight.
So the BMW Z4 from Dirk Müller had to brake hard as he saw the crashing Level 5 LMP2 machine and got overtaken by the two Corvettes.
Magnussen/Garcia won for the first time the Baltimore GP in the GT class.
But there was also action in the LMP1 class, as Guy Smith in the Dsyon Lola suddenly overtook Lucas Luhr for the lead. Luhr had some sort of a problem, but got the 1st position back, 3 minutes until the end.
The chicane is an issue that needs to be under investigation for the next years event.
It doens’t make it safer to drive on these railways, it makes it even more dangerous.
The next race of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron will be at the 21st to 22nd September at the Circuit of the Americas, making a Super Enduance Weekend with the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Full results of the GP of Baltimore presented by SRT:
The last season of the ALMS in 2013.
For the last time we’re seeing the LMP1 prototypes in North America endurance racing.
The ALMS and the Grand Am will merger next season to the USCR.
So this year is a very special year for North American Motorsport.
So everyone from every class is wants to win the championship in their class.
Pikket vs. Dyson vs. Rebillion vs. Delta Wing in LMP1 and ESM vs. Level 5 in LMP2.
The LMPC will be close again and the GTE will be though as ever.
SRT, Corvette, Porsche, BMW, Aston Martin and Ferrari are battling for the last ALMS GTE title.
The calender stays the same as last years, with the classic season opener in Sebring, than with classy racing tracks like Mazda Laguna Seca, Road America or Lime Rock and of course for the big season finale at Road Atlanta- The Petit Le Mans.
Some memorable moments from the ALMS history:
2013 Race calender
Sebring 12h (11-16th March)
Long Beach (with Indycar) (19-20th April)
Mazda Laguna Seca (9-11th May)
Lime Rock (5-6th July)
Mosport (19-21st July)
Road America (9-11 August)
Baltimore (with Indycar) (30-31st August)
Circuit of the Americas (with WEC) (19-21st September)
VIR (3-5th October)
Petit Le Mans (16-19th October)
The 61st Sebring 12h wil be the last that has been held of the American Le Mans Series.
The ALMS is helding this endurance race since 1999.
So overall 42 cars are coming to one of the biggest endurance race in the world, but without the field of the WEC though.
I will now show who are the favourites to win this race.
Audi has the biggest chances to win the race.
They won this race from 2000-2008 and 2012.
Audi revised their R18 for 2013, especially in the aerodynamics.
Audi will use two R18 for Sebring, driven by Fassler/Treluyer/Jarvis and the 2nd car by di Grassi/Kristensen/McNish.
Rebillion are the best privatiers in the LMP1 class.
This Lola B12/60 has an reliable Toyota engine, so it shouln’t be a problem to claim the 12 hours.
But Rebillion is 2 seconds off the pace, set by Audi so i can’t see a realistic chance for a pole, but for win?
Maybe, if McNish is driving his R18 against the tire barrier like he did in FP1 or of course a technical failure.
The Rebillion-Lotus-Lola-Toyota will be driven by Beche/Cheng/Belicchi and Prost/Heidfeld/Jani.
Pikket won the ALMS title last year, so they know how to win races especially the Sebring 12h.
I don’t think that Dyson as an chance to beat them, see last season.
The HPD ARX-03c is way faster.
This car will driven by Graf/Luhr/Dumas
Start list of the 61st Sebring 12 hour:
Fassler/Treluyer/Jarvis Audi R18 e-tron quattro
di Grassi/Kristensen/McNish Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Graf/Luhr/Dumas HPD ARX-03c
Prost/Heidfeld/Jani Lola B12/60
Beche/Cheng/Belicchi Lola B12/60
Dyson/Smith/Leitzinger Lola B12/60
Meyrick/Pla Delta Wing LM12
Tucker/Hunter-Reay/Pagenaud HPD ARX-03b
Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe HPD ARX-03b
Kimber-Smith/Zugel/Lux Zytek Z11SN
Brown/van Overbeek/Lazzaro HPD ARX-03b
Bennett/Braun/Wilkins ORECA FLM09
Marcelli/Cumming/Johansson ORECA FLM09
Drissi/Mitchell/Ducote ORECA FLM09
Nunez/Shears/Heinemeier Hansson ORECA FLM09
Junqueira/Popow/Ende ORECA FLM09
Schultis/Simon/Kaffer ORECA FLM09
Cheng/Guasch/Ostella ORECA FLM09
Bruni/Beretta/Malucelli Ferrari 458 Italia
Turner/Mucke/Senna Aston Martin V12 Vantage
Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette ZR1
Auberlen/Martin/Müller J. BMW Z4
Müller D./Hand/Edwards BMW Z4
Henzler/Sellers/Tandy Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor Corvette ZR1
Dalziel/Farnbacher/Goossens SRT Viper GTS-R
Bomarito/Kendall/Wittmer SRT Viper GTS-R
Miller/Holzer/Lietz Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Sweedler/Bell/Keen Ferrari 458 Italia
Dalla Lana/Johnson/Lamy Aston Martin V12 Vantage
GTC (IMSA GTC Cup Challenge):
MacNeil/Bleekemolen/von Moltke Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
Length: 3.74 miles (6.02 km)
Lap Record: 1:43.274 (Sebastian Bourdais, Peugoet 908 HDI FAP 2009)
Facebook: Sebring International Raceway