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:
Luhr/Graf were the fastest through the 2 hours and 45 minutes of the Road America race, the 7th round of the American Le Mans Series 2013 presented by Tequila Patron. The Dyson Lola of Burgess/McMurry came into 2nd, they were quite unobtrusive allong the way.
But the Delta Wing of Legge/Meyrick was the most impressive.
Delta Wing had a good strategy and lead the race for a while until the Muscle Milk HPD from Klaus Graf was catching up and overtook the Delta Wing for 1st. Legge/Meyrick showed the real pace of the car and what it’s cappable of.
And that was actually the first finish of the Delta Wing since Petit Le Mans 2012.
LMP2, LMPC: Tucker/Pagenaud win in P2, Junqueira/Ende in PC
Tucker/Pagenaud were battling with the ESM car of Cosmo/Sharp for the P2 lead and no this time the Dsyon Lola was actually ahead of the P2 cars (not like CTMP).
However it was nearly a Level 5 1-2 as Franchitti/Gonzales made their last pitstop, the #01 ESM car of Cosmo/Sharp overtook them for 2nd position, and kept that till the last full cause caution.
In LMPC Ende/Junqueira won in class and were even 3rd overall (!).
Duncan Ende again showed fantastic pace, but this time he had no bad luck and secured the well deserved win for RSR Racing.
GT,GTC: Again Vette vs. Viper, Flying Lizard win in GTC
The #93 Viper of Bomarito/Wittmer was starting on pole for the 2nd in a row, but then lost the lead due pit strategy.
But the #91 Viper of Farnbacher/Gossens was making progress from 8th on the starting grid and overtoake the #93 Viper in the early stages of the race.
Then the two Corvettes of Milner/Gavin and Garcia/Magnussen were catching up and finally overtoke the #91 Viper after these guys made their last pitstop. But #91 Viper came back and overtoke both of the Corvettes to get the lead back.
The the RLL BMW team who were the favourites for the GT win there (they won 3 times in Road America since 2009) but the #56 BMW Z4 of Auberlen/Martin had early trouble in the race.
The Paul Miller Porsche of Miller/Holzer was trying to avoid the spinning RSR PC car and then also spun.
The #56 BMW the also tried to avoid the Paul Miller Porsche and onto the grass and made four 360’s.
The Flying Lizard Porsche of Canache/Pumpelly won in GTC after a great battle with the AJR Porsche of MacNeil/Bleekemon.
The race was finished under yellow flags because 9 minutes before the end of the race a GTC car crashed at Turn 1, there’s no Green-White-Checkered in the ALMS.
Toyota announced today, that they will only run one TS030 Hybrid LMP1 (the #7 with Sarrazin, Davidson and Buemi) for the rest of the 2013 WEC season.
Expect of the 6h of Fuji were they, obviously, bring a two car entry there, because it’s their home race (and with Nakajima a local hero).
That means we’re only going to see four LMP1 cars, two Audi’s, one Toyota and one Rebellion-Lola (see last sports car racing post), what is quite poor for a World Endurance Championship.
To this time last year, we had 7 LMP1 cars, one of them included the JRM HPD entry who are now in the Blaincpain Endurance Series with the Nissan GT-R GT3 car and another HPD from Strakka who retired from this season, despite their LMP1 privatiers win at Le Mans.
And all these withdrawals happen because of the preperation for next year with the new cars.
But why didn’t ACO/FIA said that the teams could run this years cars also next year?
I mean it worked out in 2011, were some of the teams were racing the 2010 machines, back then we had nearly 13-15 LMP1 cars through the ILMC season.
So Wurz and Lapierre will do the simulator and test work with the 2014 car and Nakajima will drive in Super GT and the Super Formula.
Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park GP 6 laps ahead of the Dyson Racing Lola Mazda from Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry, who were driving this car for the first time under race conditions.
The Delta Wing however from Andy Meyrick and Katherine Legge was on a surprising P2 on the starting grid.
The car was staying there in the first half an hour of the race but then electrical problems stopped the experimantel car and they had to retire.
So Luhr/Graf were having a perfect race, with no competition at all.
LMP2, LMPC: Cracking battles in both classes
In LMP2, the two Level 5 HPD’s battled with the ESM HPD from Cosmo/Sharp for the first three postions through the whole race.
Cosmo and Conway were battling 45 minutes long for the lead until their first pitstop.
After the driver changes were done by ESM and Level 5, Franchitti passed his teammate Tucker at the end of the race.
Sharp also passed Tucker for 2nd and then closed the gap to Franchitti to 2 seconds at the last lap.
Franchitti/Tucker won in LMP2 and they’re leading the championship standings.
In LMPC, it looked like a win from RSR Racing until they made their last pitstop, were they had problems with the starter and had to retire.
So Colin Braun and CORE Autosport won in PC.
Van der Zande and Marcelli were battling for 2nd until the last lap, Van der Zande was 2nd then, Marcelli 3rd.
GT,GTC: Vette vs. Viper, Top 3 battle in GTC
The SRT Viper from Wittmer/Bomarito was on a fantastic pole and lead the race in GT, but then they became a penalty for speeding in the pitlane and finished 3rd.
The teammates however Farnbacher/Gossens were hunting down the #3 Corvette from Gavin/Milner for the win of the race.
Farnbacher then had a cracking battle with Milner in the last 20 minutes and it nearly became a photo finish.
Milner won the first race for Corvette in the 2013 ALMS season since the Sebring 12h.
SRT Motorsports got a 2nd and 3rd, what is the best result for the Viper since it’s return in GT compettion at Mid-Ohio last year.
In GTC, Pumpelly was chasing Edwards for 2nd in class.
Then Edwards got spun by the Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT from Bryan Sellers, who got a 30 seconds stop & go penalty for that.
Pumpelly then got 2nd and tried to overtake the leading AJR Porsche from Bleekemolen at the last lap, but Bleekemolen hold on and won in GTC.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series is on the 11th of August at Road America.
Porsche just started their LMP1 test programm for the WEC in 2014, were they’re making a two car entry for the whole WEC season, including the 24h of Le Mans.
But when it comes to private teams and Porsche LMP’s, than Penske Racing is coming to our mind.
Penske Racing was using the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 car for the American Le Mans Series from 2005-2008, winning many races including the 12h of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
However Penske chief Roger Penske said that they would like to comeback to endurance racing, but they just don’t have time to build up a LMP programm for next year, USCR or WEC. Penske could comeback with Porsche in 2015.
But if the WEC is too expensive for them, than the USCR (United Sports Car Racing) is another option.
The problem is that LMP1 cars aren’t allowed in the USCR, the Prototype class there will be with Daytona Prototypes, LMP2’s and the Delta Wing. But Porsche has no interest in building a LMP2 or a DP.
As Penske doesn’t want to do a GT programm, they will have to look for another manufactuer. Audi maybe? As Penske has 32 station were they’re selling Audi’s roadcars and Audi has an interes to build an engine for the DP’s or even a brand new DP.
But for now we’re only going to see Penske Racing in Indycar and NASCAR.