SRT Motorsports have won their first race in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) almost exactly a year after debuting the programme at last season’s Road America race.
The car, taken over the line at Road America by Marc Goossens, was thankful for a late safety car period for saving what little fuel the car had left and barely made it up the hill towards the finish line.
The late caution period, due to the JDX Racing GTC Porsche crashing heavily into the tyres, meant the hard charging Corvette’s piloted at the death by Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin couldn’t take advantage of the slowing #91 Viper.
Fourth place in GT was Marco Holzer in the Paul Miller Racing car who battled hard with Patrick Long in the CORE Autosport before the caution in a 20 minute battle which saw the two Porsches switch positions throughout – whilst still keeping an eye on the #93 Viper which ended up sixth in the hands of Kuno Wittmer.
Into LMP1 and while Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will be recorded as the victors, it is the DeltaWing that should be given the plaudits as at points it had a lead of more than 20 seconds over the HPD through a run of perfect calls on strategy and pit stops.
While the Deltawing ended up third in class, the Panoz team should not be disheartened by a display that shows with a bit more straight line speed, the car could easily challenge for overall wins this year or next year in the USCR.
Indeed the Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda finished second overall and in class with Tony Burgess unable to catch up to Klaus Graf before the safety car neutralised the last ten minutes of the 2 hour 45 minute race.
One of the best results down the field was the ALMS class victory for the #9 RSR Racing LMPC car driven by Bruno Junqueira and Duncan Ende, as well as blocking out Kyle Marcelli the team scored an overall podium getting third.
The two PC cars ended up ahead of the entire LMP2 field which was headed by Level 5 Motorsports and Simon Pagenaud, who is sitting in for the injured Ryan Briscoe, beat out the #01 Extreme Speed Motorsports car with Guy Cosmo and the sister Level 5 HPD ARX-03b driven ably by Marino Franchitti who had to do stop for a splash and dash to make it to the end.
It wasn’t a good weekend for the second ESM car as it self destructed going into the Carousel – all that could be heard was a metallic grinding and crunching and finally flames shooting out the back as Johannes Van Overbeek tried desperately to extinguish the flames which thankfully didn’t spread too far.
Finally into GTC and a strong finish by Spencer Pumpelly capitalised on Nelson Canache‘s good work as Flying Lizards Motorsport scored themselves another win ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen in the #22 Alex Job Racing WeatherTech car.
Third place in GTC saw the toughest battle as Sean Edwards in the #30 MOMO racer battled with Andy Lally in the Dempsey Del Piero Porsche for third place with the Tully’s Coffee backed machine eventually being overtaken by the Englshman.
The ALMS now has a few weeks rest before taking to the streets of Baltimore for the third Grand Prix supporting the IndyCar race in the city. The race takes place on Saturday August 31st live on alms.com and Motors TV.