By: Joey Selmants, ALMS Correspondent
- ALMS teams head to Canada
- Mosport offers speed with tricky turns
Popular Canadian event will offer plenty of action at Mosport
After returning from the three month break, due to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the American Le Mans Series took to the track two weekends ago at the scenic bullring of Lime Rock Park. The tight confines of the small Connecticut track provided some good, even if at times sloppy, racing as the cars tried to navigate such a tiny track. The series now heads to Canada's high-speed and flowing Mosport International Raceway where the track could not be more different.
Mosport is one of the fastest circuits in the world and features drastic elevation changes that make the track both difficult and extremely intimidating. Drivers will have to be especially careful with the infamous Turn 2, which goes up over a blind crest and quickly drops away to the left. Its blind nature makes finding the apex very difficult and it punishes mistakes. The off camber nature of the corner makes it easy to slide off after missing the apex and it has caught out some of the best driver's in the world. Turn 2 is bound to chew up somebody's car before the weekend is over.
The class to watch in the ALMS for sometime now has been the GT (formally GT2) class now featuring no less than seven manufacturers involved with the return of the Panoz. So far, BMW Team RLL's pair of M3 GTs has been the class of the field, winning the first three rounds of the championship. The famous yellow and black factory Corvettes have been fast and Flying Lizard's #45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was as quick as it has been all year at Lime Rock, but mistakes by both teams have allowed BMW to pull out to a rather healthy points lead. Risi Competizione's Ferrari F458 has also been quick, but reliability problems for the new car have prevented it from being a serious threat. Look for Joey Hand to keep the momentum rolling at Mosport for BMW, especially since IMSA has stated they will not restrict the Bimmers until after Mosport.
While GT provides everything a race fan could ask for, something seems to be missing in the ALMS prototype ranks this year. If anyone has ever been to a professional sporting event and the team's star player remains on the bench due to an injury you may have felt a similar feeling. It’s still great to watch, but without the star players there is a sort of empty feeling, that "buzz" just is not quite there. In the ALMS's case, the star players are the prototypes. The series has struggled to attract more prototype teams due to the costs involved and the budding World Endurance Championship is also not helping.
Not to take anything away from the level of racing we've seen between Muscle Milk Aston Martin's and Dyson's Mazda Lola B09/86 this season. They have provided some excellent battles at the front of the field. The opening stint scrap at Lime Rock between Muscle Milk's Lucas Luhr and Chris Dyson was a great example of this and reminiscent of the battles we've seen in year's past. It just makes you greedy for more teams to hopefully join the fray.
One more prototype will be at Mosport with series stalwarts, Autocon Racing, bringing their revised Lola B06/10 back to the series. Lime Rock saw the return of a second Dyson Racing entry and Steven Kane's ALMS debut in the #20 Lola where proved he has what it takes. Unfortunately for Steven, unless his teammate can find more pace he will find himself coming from the back of the field again while the #16 Dyson car and the Muscle Milk Aston Martin battle for top honors.
Be sure to catch all the action from Mosport live this Sunday on ESPN3 at 2:45 and a tape delayed broadcast on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. Sunday evening.