Intersport Racing See Missed Opportunity at Road America Plagued with continuing engine issues, American Le Mans Series premier privateer team, Intersport Racing, was forced to start Sunday's American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patron...
Intersport Racing See Missed Opportunity at Road America
Plagued with continuing engine issues, American Le Mans Series premier privateer team, Intersport Racing, was forced to start Sunday's American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patron Time Warner Cable Showcase at Road America from pit lane. Faced with an engine change, the team was unable to make the Saturday qualifying session.
Coming off a stunning performance at last weeks American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, Intersport Racing came to Road America extremely confident they could finish what they had started.
In Friday's practice, Clint Field put the No. 37 AER powered Lenco Mobile Lola through its paces on the 4.048-mile, 14-turn track, North America's longest sports car course. Road America is extremely well suited to the twin-turbo power of the AER. Unfortunately, the motor let go just a few laps into the session.
With the current ALMS schedule calling for three races in four weeks, and two engine failures at Mid-Ohio, the team was out of bullets. It was only through the generous display of sportsmanship by Autocon Racing, Intersport was able to borrow a motor for Sunday's race.
"We had the motor from Mid Ohio being rebuilt to be ready for next week at Mosport," noted team manager, Brian Alder. "And the motor we were using here was fresh. This sort of failure rate is not something you expect."
"Thankfully," Brian continued, "Autocon really stepped up for us. That's what makes this series great, thoughâ^À¦ while we're all competitors, people are always willing to help each other out. We can't thank Mike Lewis and the guys from Autocon enough."
Things looked better for the team when the green flag dropped. Jon pulled the No. 37 Lenco Mobile Lola out of pit lane to start the race. Within three laps, Jon had cleared all the GT and LMPC cars he was behind the LMP cars. A yellow flag came out and the No. 37 car was now positioned right behind the leaders. Then the crew noticed smoke coming from the exhaust. The race was actually playing out perfectlyâ^À¦ except the tell-tale smoke would continue. Just 20 minutes into the race, another motor let go.
"This was probably one of the most frustrating weekends I can recall," said Jon Field. "I look forward to coming to Road America every year.. I love driving this track. To be here all week and not be out on the track is driving me crazyâ^À¦ I did a six mile run last night just to try and relieve some of the frustration."
Meanwhile, Kyle Marcelli and Chapman Ducote were having a terrific week in the No. 89 Intersport Oreca FLM09 LMPC car. The car was fast in practice and qualified second for Sunday's race.
"We had a great run going," said Kyle Marcelli. "I got a good start and ran up front for the first half hour. Then Chapman (Ducote) got in and did a great job of keeping us in the hunt. The Intersport guys did a great job on the car."
A caution came out with 55 minutes remaining in the race. Ducote pitted the car for fuel and a driver change and the car was good to go the finish. Unfortunately, luck was not on the side of the No. 89 car. A miscue put Marcelli off the track in turn three and the car made contact with the wall. With damage to the left front of the car, the team's day came to an end.
The next round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron is this weekend's Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport, set for 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 29 from Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. SPEED will air the race in its entirety starting at 4 p.m. ET with live radio coverage available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche â^À" a production of Radio Show Limited â^À" as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Americanlemans.com will stream qualifying live starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on Saturday. 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.
-source: intersport racing