MICHELIN MAGIC IN MOTOWN Michelin Teams Sweep Top 7 Spots; 14 of 15 and All Four ALMS Classes DETROIT (Sept. 1, 2007) - Porsche and Audi met in a classic road racing battle decided with a daring pass by the ...
MICHELIN MAGIC IN MOTOWN
Michelin Teams Sweep Top 7 Spots; 14 of 15 and All Four ALMS Classes
DETROIT (Sept. 1, 2007) - Porsche and Audi met in a classic road racing battle decided with a daring pass by the #7 Penske Porsche RS Spyder of Romain Dumas as he ducked under the race leading #2 Audi R10 diesel of Emanuele Pirro to claim victory in the inaugural Detroit Sports Car Challenge on Belle Isle.
Timing a re-start perfectly to leap from fourth place to the lead on lap 71, Pirro's LMP1 class Audi R10 led for 32 laps under increasing pressure from Dumas' lighter, but less powerful LMP2 class Porsche RS Spyder. The exciting "cat and mouse" battle saw the lighter Porsche repeatedly closing in through the slower corners and braking only to be rebuffed by the heavier Audi using its diesel power to pull away on the straight-aways. With just five minutes remaining, Dumas was able to make what he called, "a perfect move" to trigger the pass, counter-move and final pass as the lead changed hands three times on the decisive lap 103 of the 106 laps in the two hour 45 minute race on the 2.07 mile circuit.
Surprisingly, Pirro agrees. "It was a perfect move," he said. "When you lead so long, you start to believe. But, we knew that they were quicker. I did everything I could to defend the lead, but it was a very, very fair battle and we never touched."
"When the tires came up to temperature, the grip was very good and I could use my front grip to follow until I tried my move," said Dumas, whose Penske team had earlier double-stinted their Michelin tires on co-driver Timo Bernhard's first pit stop.
The #1 Audi R10 of Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello finished third, followed by the #16 Dyson Porsche RS Spyder of Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger and the #9 Highcroft Acura ARX-01a of David Brabham and Stefan Johansson.
Michelin partner teams took the top seven positions overall, all four ALMS classes and 14 of the top 15 positions.
HOMETOWN CORVETTES TAKE GT1
Racing within sight of the General Motors world headquarters to take GT1 class honors for the second consecutive race and third time this season was the #3 Corvette C6.R Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen.
RISI FERRARI SCORES AGAIN IN GT2
Jaime Melo and Mika Salo continued their domination of the 2007 ALMS GT2 competition, scoring their seventh class win in ten races this season aboard the Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT.
GT1 Winner #3 Corvette C6.R driver Jan Magnussen: "We had to keep pushing and pushing but the car was very good and the Michelins were perfect."
GT2 Winner #62 Ferrari F-430GT driver Mika Salo: "We have had a lot of success on street circuits (winning St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Houston and now Detroit). The car is really good and the support from Michelin is incredible. We could probably have run the entire race on one set of tires, the car was perfect."
LMP1 Winner #2 Audi R10 driver Emanuele Pirro: "When I got in the car, I had no idea what pace we could keep, but we had a new set of Michelin tires so I could steadily pull away."
LMP2 and Overall Race Winner Romain Dumas: "The tires were perfect. We could run the softest tires and still have no concerns with wear. Thank you to Michelin."
"Racing at a new venue on a compressed schedule is a difficult challenge for Michelin and our partner teams who must find good solutions with very limited track time," said Silvia Mammone, Michelin manager of motorsports N.A. "We are pleased that we were able to provide our partner teams with the tires and support to help them to be successful today. We would like to congratulate Roger Penske and the race organizers on a very successful new event," said Mammone.
Michelin teams have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the past ten consecutive years and have swept all four classes at every ALMS race this season. Michelin has 83 overall victories in the 86 ALMS races to date and now have at least one victory at all 23 tracks, including Detroit, on which the ALMS has competed.