Tag - road atlanta

2009 Petit Le Mans – Day 1 Gallery

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Photos by Zerin Dube

The S:S:L team of Jack Baruth, Nick Salvatore and Zerin Dube are hard at work in Atlanta for the cornerstone race of the American Le Mans series, Petit Le Mans.  We arrived at Road Atlanta yesterday and spent the day meeting folks, getting some paperwork taken care of, and enjoying the sights and sounds of the race.  Today, we get to work to bring you as much photographic coverage as we can, along with a couple of interviews with the Audi Sport team.  In the meantime, enjoy these photos from Day 1.  We’ll have MANY more throughout the weekend!

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More photos after the jump!

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Speed Read: 2009 Ford Flex Limited


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Photography by Dave Everest

Price: $43,965
Major equipment: : Panoramic Vista Roof ($1,495), rear console fridge ($760), navigation system ($2,375), rear-seat DVD entertainment ($1,995)

In the fleet: 12/04/2008 – 12/11/2008

Approximate mileage driven: 1,850

J. BARUTH: The assignment we gave this “crossover utility wagon” sounded simple: Transport four people, plus all their gear, plus a full complement of tools and supplies for an eight-hour endurance race, from Powell, OH to Braselton, GA, in the dead of winter, on bad roads, in a single ten-hour stint the night before the race… and then turn around and do it in reverse two days later.

Oh yeah, a few more things. At least two, and usually three, of those people would want to be operating their laptops at all times. If they weren’t working, they would want to be entertained, and since there would be no time to stop for meals, there would have to be room in the car for everybody to stretch, eat, put their laptops aside, and take the occasional nap. Plus the roads would be unfamiliar, so we’d need a decent nav system. Everybody brought their iPods, but not everybody wanted to hear music.

In other words, it was a typical family road trip, except the “family” was a hastily assembled race team… which is the most dysfunctional family of all. An Explorer would have been too cramped; a Suburban would be too noisy, big, and bouncy; a Mercedes R-Class could probably do the job, but you’d need to spec one up to seventy-five grand to get the features. So we tried Ford’s avant-garde station-wagon-that-isn’t. Would the Flex be equal to the task? Could any Ford car be worth nearly forty-five grand? If so, why?

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10th Annual Petit Le Mans Finish a Nailbiter

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The 10th Annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta is done and in the books after one of the most exciting finishes of any American Le Mans races in recent memory.  After 1000 miles, it was just 0.923 seconds that put the LMP1 Audi R15 piloted by Dindo Capello and Allan McNish in front of the LMP2 Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder driven by Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Patrick Long.  This victory comes on the heels of a tough season for Audi where the Porsche RS Spyders have escaped them all year long.  The victory at Petit Le Mans is the first overall victory for Audi since the St. Petersburg race in March. 

The win for Audi wasn’t easy, as Dindo Capello had a seemingly insurmountable 30-second gap to close on Dumas with just a half hour of racing left.  Fortunately for Audi, a caution flag worked to Capello’s favor and allowed the R15 to work its way up through traffic.  With 15 laps to go, Capello took an amazing 8 minutes to pass Dumas and clinch the overall victory.  The victory gave Dindo Capello and co-driver Allan McNish their second consecutive LMP1 driver’s championship. 

#6 Penske Porsche RS Spyder of Maassen/Briscoe/Collard

#6 Penske Porsche RS Spyder of Maassen/Briscoe/Collard

In GT1, Oliver Gavin, Max Papis and Oliver Beretta took a class victory in their #4 Corvette Racing C6.R, escaping the fate of DNFs for the #3 Corvette Racing C6.R and the pole-sitting Lista Racing Maserati MC12.

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GT2 proved to be a great class to watch as the Porsches of Flying Lizard Motorsports battled it out with Wolf Henzler and Dominik Farnbacher in the Tafel Racing Porsches.  At the end of 1000 miles though, it was the team Jorg Bergmeister, Johannes van Overbeek and Mark Lieb in the #45 Flying Lizard 911 GT3 RSR that took a three lap victory over Tafel Racing.  The pole-sitting Risi Competizione Ferrari F430, driven by Jaime Melo, Mika Salo, and Johnny Mowlem, was the dominant car in GT2 until electrical problems took them out of contention. 

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All in all, this was the most exciting Petit Le Mans that we can recall in our minds.  Anytime a 10 hour or 1000 mile race comes down to a fraction of a second between first and second, you know the attendees got their money’s worth.   We hope next year’s race at Road Atlanta will be even better!

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Petit Le Mans @ Road Atlanta Race result (Round 10 of 11 races of the American Le Mans Series)
1. McNish/Capello/Pirro (GB/I/I), Audi R10 (LMP1), 394 laps
2. Minassian/Sarrzin/Klien (F/F/A), Peugeot 908, 394
3. Werner/Luhr (D/D), Audi R10 (LMP1), 394
4. Briscoe/Castroneves (AUS/BR), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
5. Bernhard/Dumas (D/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
6. Maassen/Long/Collard (D/USA/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 392
7. Leitzinger/Franchitti/Lally (USA/GB/USA), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 390
8. de Ferran/Pagenaud (BRA/F), Acura ARX-01B (LMP2), 388
9. Dyson/Smith (USA/GB), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 384
10. O’Conell/Magnussen/Fellows (USA/DK/USA), Chevrolet Corvette (GT1), 365

Result LMP2 class
1. Briscoe/Castroneves (AUS/BR), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
2. Bernhard/Dumas (D/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
3. Maassen/Long/Collard (D/USA/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 392
4. Leitzinger/Franchitti/Lally (USA/GB/USA), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 390
5. de Ferran/Pagenaud/Dixon (BRA/F/NZ), Acura ARX-01B (LMP2), 388
6. Dyson/Smith (USA/GB), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 384

Further class winners
LMP1: McNish/Capello/Pirro (GB/I/I), Audi R10
GT1: O’Connell/Magnussen/Fellows (USA/DK/USA), Chevrolet Corvette
GT2: Salo/Melo (FIN/BRA), Ferrari F430

Points’ standings
Drivers LMP2 class
1. Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Porsche, 189
2. David Brabham, Scott Sharp, Acura, 155
3. Patrick Long, Porsche, 121
4. Sascha Maassen, Porsche, 113
5. Butch Leitzinger, Marino Franchitti, Porsche, 102

Manufacturers LMP2 class – Engine
1. Porsche, 196
2. Acura, 188

Manufacturers LMP2 class – Chassis
1. Porsche, 196
2. Acura, 188

Teams LMP2 class
1. Penske Racing, Porsche, 196
2. Highcroft Racing, Acura, 155
3. Dyson Racing, Porsche, 116

Drivers GT2 class
1. Joerg Bergmeister, Wolf Henzler, Porsche, 181
2. Dominik Farnbacher, Dirk Müller, Ferrari, 150
3. Johannes van Overbeek, Patrick Pilet Porsche, 124

Manufacturers GT2 class
1. Porsche, 195
2. Ferrari, 190

Teams GT2 class
1. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 198
2. Tafel Racing, Ferrari, 160