DUMAS, GRAF COME OUT ON TOP AT MOSPORT Third win for Muscle Milk Team CytoSport in drama-filled race Klaus Graf and Romain Dumas won Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport on Sunday, taking Muscle Milk Team CytoSport's Porsche RS Spyder to...
DUMAS, GRAF COME OUT ON TOP AT MOSPORT
Third win for Muscle Milk Team CytoSport in drama-filled race
Klaus Graf and Romain Dumas won Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport on Sunday, taking Muscle Milk Team CytoSport's Porsche RS Spyder to victory in a race called after 2:19 running. A heavy accident between Luke Hines and Jonny Cocker on Mosport International Raceway's Andretti Straight damaged the Armco safety barrier beyond timely repair.
Patrón Highcroft Racing's David Brabham and Simon Pagenaud finished second and still hold the lead in the LMP championship of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón heading into the final race in a month's time at Road Atlanta's Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA2. The red flag came following Hines' hard crash into the safety barrier on the left side of the circuit on Mosport's fastest section.
Officials from the International Motor Sports Association, the Series' sanctioning body, estimated more than three hours of repair work to replace the barrier and restart the race. The event finished under yellow.
Muscle Milk's Porsche was the quickest car in every session at Mosport during the weekend. This despite Dumas joining the team for the first time; the Porsche factory driver and reigning Le Mans 24 Hours winner for Audi subbed for team owner Greg Pickett, who was injured in testing at Mid-Ohio earlier this month.
Autocon Motorsports' pairing of Johnny Mowlem and Toronto's Tony Burgess placed third in class with their Lola B06/10-AER.
"This car had a really balanced package," Graf said. "It has been developed a lot over the years, it's probably one of the best sports cars ever built. With this track you really have to work hard to find the right balance. I think we're learning a lot more with the Porsche engineers and the Michelin engineers. We get closer every race. And then to bring in the factory drivers, and someone like Romain, we get even that much closer."
It showed. The Porsche never trailed, and Dumas set the track on fire in his opening 65-minute stint. He led by nearly 20 seconds at one point as Patrón Highcroft, Autocon Motorsports and Dyson Racing each swapped the second-place position early and often. Pagenaud had to drive hard to keep from going a lap down, and the final
"It was for sure a good stint," said Dumas, who also won overall in a Porsche at Mosport in 2007. "I knew at the start I had to push because we were a bit slower on the straight. I was pushing hard for five or six laps, when I got more than a 10-second gap I started saving fuel. We lapped nearly every car. We had a good strategy and Klaus was really good in qualifying. We were confident for the weekend and we walked away with the win."
And in the process kept CytoSport's championship hopes alive.
"Obviously Romain had no trouble getting ahead," Graf said. "The caution came out and I almost had a whole lap on the whole field. Most of the GT cars were fighting for position, so there were a lot of tough corners. I couldn't take too many risks because I had such a good lead. We had a really, really good package and I just wanted to stay close if the opportunity came maybe put Simon down."
Patrick Long and Jörg Bergmeister were GT winners for the fourth time this year with their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Flying Lizard Motorsports' ace pairing solidified their hold on the class championship with a hard-fought victory that saw three manufacturers - Porsche, Ferrari and BMW - on the class podium.
"The start was wild. There was oil dry on the front straight down into turns 1 and 2 which made visibility really tough," Long said. "It was really tense when it came down to the yellows, it made it more about strategy instead of running flat out. If it was any other weekend I might have let Oliver by and raced for points, but as a team we want to go out and go for the wins. We wouldn't want to disappoint anyone - the team, sponsors, friends, family, fans who came out to see us. So week-in and week- out we're going for the win."
Risi Competizione's Toni Vilander and Gimmi Bruni placed second in their Ferrari F430 GT. Vilander started from the rear of the grid due to Jaime Melo being removed from the entry due to an illness. Bill Auberlen and Tommy Milner finished third for BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team.
Milner, Bergmeister and Bruni ran in that order, nose-to-tail for the better part of 20 minutes. Bergmeister made the winning pass at the 1:50 mark and brought Bruni with him past the BMW.
"It took a while to get by the BMW even though they had older tires," Bergmeister said. "Every time we got close we picked up a bit of understeer. But (Milner's) tires came off just enough I could get by him in Turn 1. I had just a bit more traction on the last turn; luckily he didn't defend too hard. Once I had no one in front of me, I could open a gap to Gimmi. Even if we went green again I knew we might be able to hold them off."
Long and Bergmeister lead the class drivers championship by 18 points over Bruni. In the team and manufacturer championships, Flying Lizard and Porsche have only a 1-point lead over BMW Rahal Letterman and BMW.
"It's better to have the 4-point advantage from today," Bergmeister said. "The outlook (for Petit Le Mans) doesn't change. We still have to finish the last race. We don't want to take too many risks but we still have to stay focused."
Gunnar Jeannette and Elton Julian were LMP Challenge winners for the fourth time for Green Earth Team Gunnar with their ORECA FLM09. The victory moved Jeannette and Julian into a tie with Level 5 Motorsports' Scott Tucker for the class championship; Tucker drove to a runner-up finish with Christophe Bouchut.
The G-Oil GETG car led all but nine laps. Julian went around PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports' Ricardo Gonzalez on the race's seventh lap.
"We had a lot of targets for the day," Julian said. "I either had to follow somebody all day long, or pass them and open the gap. I got the lead and I got to just putting down fast laps. I opened that gap and put almost 30 seconds against the 52 team, which says a lot because that team has been so quick and so strong. And we didn't have a car that was quick right as we got off the truck. Our team worked all weekend getting us more and more speed."
Frankie Montecalvo and Christian Zugel placed third in class for Genoa Racing. But for the third time in four races, the day belonged to GETG. Jeannette posted the fastest lap of the race, pretty impressive for a car still on the same motor that was in the car when the team took delivery of it in the winter.
"What a great job the team did today. It stayed green a long time. It made my job really easy," Jeannette said. "It wasn't like Road America where we really had to fight, but we'll take this win.
"We are up to 83.5 hours on the engine at the completion of this race," he added. "I was happy we didn't have to do another 29 minutes on it. Just mentioning too, G-Oil and their product is really holding up. Some of our other competitors who aren't running G-Oil have had some engine troubles. We did finally change the oil today though."
Velox Racing won its first American Le Mans Series race as Shane Lewis and Lawson Aschenbach drove their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to a hard-earned victory. The duo was running second to Hines when the ORBIT/Paul Miller Racing entry crashed.
The Velox duo drove back from a pitstop penalty during the race's first full-course caution. Lewis and Aschenbach ran second to the ORBIT car the entire way.
"Shane was driving so well; we stayed with the No. 48 the whole time and the two of us had almost lapped the field," Aschenbach said. "The team was working hard all weekend and we knew we could make it (the penalty) up on the track. We knew it was a big wreck, we didn't know it was going to take so long."
Class championship leaders Tim Pappas and Jeroen Bleekemolen placed second for Black Swan Racing. Alex Job Racing's Bill Sweedler and Mitch Pagerey came home third.
"I knew my job was just to stay on (the No. 48's) bumper for the solid hour and just keep pushing and pushing," Lewis said. "I knew we didn't have to take any risks and just wait for him to make a mistake, and he never did. But it made for a great afternoon. I don't tap too many products or talk about them, but we are all Porsches in the GTC and look at this car. There were two bad accidents this weekend and both drivers walked away fine. Plus this motor has 58 hours on it without a rebuild. Now to have a win on that motor. That says a lot."
The Brabham/Pagenaud pairing won the LMP portion of the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge, given to the entry that goes the farthest the fastest with the least environmental impact. Corvette Racing's pairing of Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen were the GT winners.
The final round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA2 at Road Atlanta. The 1,000- mile/10-hour race is set for 11:15 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 2. SPEED will air the race starting at 11 a.m., with live radio coverage available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche - a production of Radio Show Limited - as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Americanlemans.com will stream qualifying live starting at 3:15 p.m. ET on Friday, October 1. Visit the Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.