PIRELLI-SHOD ASTON MARTIN PODIUMS FOR SIXTH-STRAIGHT TIME IN ALMS AT PORTLAND GRAND PRIX Race Run in Near 100-Degree Heat for Second Straight Week PORTLAND, Oregon, July 23, 2006 Last week Aston Martin and Pirelli won their second-straight ...
PIRELLI-SHOD ASTON MARTIN PODIUMS FOR SIXTH-STRAIGHT TIME IN ALMS AT PORTLAND GRAND PRIX
Race Run in Near 100-Degree Heat for Second Straight Week
PORTLAND, Oregon, July 23, 2006 Last week Aston Martin and Pirelli won their second-straight American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race of the season in the blazing three-digit heat of Salt Lake City. Shod with brand new Pirelli P Zero race tires and running on the brand new, European-like, Miller Motorsports Park circuit, the two Aston Martin DBR9s of Tomas Enge/Darren Turner (#007) and Andrea Piccini/Stephane Sarrazin (#009) ran away with their first 1-2 finish in the series.
Well, the temperatures were nearly as high tonight at the Portland Grand Prix but the humidity was much higher and the track as greasy as only Portland gets allowing Aston Martin to gain its sixth-straight podium of the season as Enge and Turner finished second behind the #4 factory Corvette.
In addition to the punishing heat, the Aston Martins were "penalized" by the IMSA sanctioning body by having previously established air and fuel restrictions removed from the Corvettes, thereby giving the Corvettes the competitive edge for Portland.
Pedro Lamy (#009) and Tomas Enge (#007) managed to stay within seconds of the GT1- leading #4 Corvette of Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin for the first thirty minutes of the race, but Lamy's Aston incurred a puncture from track debris, pitted for repairs and then received a one-minute penalty for working on the car during refueling. Although the #007 was able to gain a respectable second when the #3 Corvette had a long, late pit stop that was basically the end of Aston's aspirations for a third-straight class victory in the sixth round of the ALMS season.
The Astons have been competitive, though, all season, earning two wins, three seconds, nine podiums, four poles and fastest laps. Aston Martin Racing and Pirelli are currently second in GT1 points with Enge and Turner second in the Drivers' Championship.
In the GT2 class, the Pirelli-shod Multimatic Panoz Esperantes continued to struggle for grip during the entire weekend finishing 6th and 8th in class; disappointing for a team that showed strength early in the season with a victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring and a second at MidOhio.
After a few weeks mid-summer vacation, the ALMS heads back east for the seventh round of the series racing in the Generac 500 at Road America near Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Sunday, August 20, at 2 p.m. (CDT) with SPEED TV televising the race from 2 to 5 p.m. (CDT). American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA live timing and scoring.