Photo: Audi Sport File Photo
The second full day of testing ahead of the 14th annual Petit Le Mans was held yesterday during a four hour testing session. Romain Dumas set the fastest time of the session during his second to last lap in the #1 Audi Sport Team Joest R18 TDI with a lap time of 1:08.394.
Credit: Peugeot Sport File Photo
Testing kicked off Sunday at Road Atlanta ahead of the 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans enduro set to run on Saturday, October 1st. The pair of diesel powered factory-backed Peugeot 908s topped the fast lap time charts, finishing 1-2 ahead of the two Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDIs.
The 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans winning Audi R18 TDI is set to make its U.S. debut at next week’s Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Audi will field two R18 TDIs in LMP1 as they aim for their tenth overall victory at Petit Le Mans. Audi went undefeated from 2000 to 2005 with their successful Audi R8 and won overall in 2006, 2007 and 2008 with the Audi R10 TDI. Despite their success, the Audi Sport team has lost to the factory Peugeot team in their 908 Hdi-FAP cars in 2009 and 2010 but are hoping to change their luck with the new R18 TDI at Road Atlanta.
It’s the height of presumption for a club-level racer such as myself to believe that I can effectively analyze a race like the 2009 Petit LeMans. To some degree, until the day comes that I put on my helmet and sit behind the wheel of an LMP1 in a major race, I’ll be doing nothing but vaguely educated guessing as regards what goes on beneath the surface in the ALMS — and that day will mostly likely never arrive. Still, after some conversations with the people who did put their helmets on for this one, and after reviewing the video at length, I think it’s safe to make some basic observations about what happened during this most unusual episode of America’s roadracing history.
Photos by Zerin Dube
When we hit the road for the 2009 Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6, we knew we were in for a special few days at the race track. With the weather reports predicting gloom and doom over the skies of Atlanta, we prepared for the worst and figured the weather would at least for some interesting racing. We weren’t disappointed in the least. Thankfully, the weather gave us a couple of days of fantastic weather with blue skies and sunshine before the heavens opened up on Saturday.
Now that we’re back home (with a few bumps, bruises and fire ant bites), we can get to work. Jack Baruth will be posting up his thoughts on the weekend in a new Avoidable Contact post that will be up soon, and Nick Salvatore is busy twittering away about the weekend. So, I guess that leaves me to produce something of value from the trip by way of these photo galleries. I’ve created several galleries from the various events throughout the weekend and inserted them all into this post. I probably have a few more photos to upload to each of the galleries throughout the day, but this should get you started.
View full 2009 Petit Le Mans Photo Galleries after the jump
Story by ALMS Communications
Photos by Zerin Dube
Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin gave Peugeot its first American Le Mans Series victory on Friday, winning a weather-shortened 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. Race officials, citing hazardous conditions due to torrential rains that fell at Road Atlanta just past the four-hour mark, called the race at eight hours, 44 minutes running.
Peugeot’s two diesel-powered factory prototype coupes finished 1-2 with the pole-sitting 908 HDi of Pedro Lamy and Nic Minassian in second. The first of Audi Sport Team Joest’s Audi R15 TDIs placed third, the car driven by Allan McNish and Dindo Capello. The Peugeot-Peugeot-Audi finish mirrored the end result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, and it ended Audi’s nine-year unbeaten streak at Road Atlanta.
“We only did three races this year,” Montagny said. “We missed Sebring by only 22 seconds, and it was a win for the Peugeot team at Le Mans and a win here. I think if we had a full time we really would have battled it out with the Audis.”