MICHELIN ALMS TEAMS SWEEP, BREAK MOSPORT TRACK RECORDS and the track! BOWMANVILLE, CANADA (August 25, 2008) - Michelin kept its perfect 2008 American Le Mans Series record intact, sweeping all four classes here in an exciting, dramatic...
MICHELIN ALMS TEAMS SWEEP, BREAK MOSPORT TRACK RECORDS
and the track!
BOWMANVILLE, CANADA (August 25, 2008) - Michelin kept its perfect 2008 American Le Mans Series record intact, sweeping all four classes here in an exciting, dramatic and furiously paced Grand Prix of Mosport, the eighth race of the 2008 ALMS season.
Taking the victory and leading a third consecutive Audi 1-2 finish was the #2 Audi R10 TDI driven by Marco Werner and Lucas Luhr. Luhr pitted for fuel and tires with just under 40 minutes left, returning to the battle in eighth position and nearly 30 seconds adrift of race leader Gil de Ferran's Acura. Luhr, who later admitted, "Sometimes I was a little bit crazy getting through traffic," charged through the fuel-conserving field to take the lead with just under ten minutes remaining.
Anticipating the white flag to signal the final lap of the 2-hour 45-minute race, Luhr arrived at the finish line one-second ahead of schedule, extending the race for an additional lap. That extra lap cost de Ferran and LMP2 championship leader Romain Dumas as both ran out of fuel.
David Brabham and Scott Sharp were the beneficiaries of de Ferran's misfortune, claiming their third LMP2 class victory in four races and narrowing the championship chase. Adrian Fernandez and Luiz Diaz finished second in their Acura.
Taking GT1 honors in their Corvette C6.R were Jan Magnussen and Johnny O'Connell. Ending a string of disappointing results in 2008 ALMS competition, including an inadvertent last-lap block by their teammates at the most recent event, the GT2 Le Mans 24 Hours race winners Jaime Melo and Mika Salo took the GT2 victory.
Even the venerable 2.459-mile ten-turn circuit seemingly had to pause to catch its breath to repair the broken tarmac as Audi's Dindo Capello slashed a stunning 1.735 seconds or 2.8 percent off the track record in qualifying. In dropping the lap mark to 1:04.080 seconds, Capello helped Mosport reclaim top honors as North America's fastest road circuit, raising the average lap speed record to over 138 miles per hour.
The race produced more of the same as pitched battles saw frequent passes and repasses as the Audi, Porsche and Acura prototypes encountered traffic, sometimes in one of the three high-speed blind turns.
The top-ten cars in qualifying, all from Michelin technical partner teams, broke the previous track record then swept the top-ten finishing positions in the race. The pace was all the more impressive given that the LMP2 cars are carrying an additional 25kg (55lbs) in 2008 ALMS competition.
COMMENTS FROM JAIME MELO, #62 RISI COMPETIZIONE "We tested earlier in the week and improved, especially in the high-speed corners. I'm happy. The MICHELIN® tires and the car worked well together. We are so happy to finally get an ALMS win this year."
COMMENTS FROM MIKA SALO, #62 RISI COMPETIZIONE
"The corners here are very fast and you must be confident to be successful. Thank you to Michelin. The tires were perfect and they were consistent from the very first lap to the very last lap. We were fastest in every session."
COMMENTS FROM RINALDO CAPELLO, #1 AUDI (New track record at Mosport)
"We started working with Michelin on tires for 2008 almost a year ago. We went through many choices and tests at Road Atlanta last fall, then in Jerez, Spain during the winter, and at Sebring this spring. Michelin has helped us to improve the car this year and we are enjoying the success."