Road America: Lola race summary

Clint Field and his uncle Joel claimed fourth position overall in the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series at the daunting Road America track, Wisconsin, at the weekend. The pair, driving aJudd-powered Lola B2K/10, had a trouble-free run to...

Clint Field and his uncle Joel claimed fourth position overall in the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series at the daunting Road America track, Wisconsin, at the weekend. The pair, driving aJudd-powered Lola B2K/10, had a trouble-free run to the position, to finish first behind the three Audis that filled the podium.

Ben Devlin, Larry Oberto and Peter McLeod won the LMP675 category in their Ford-powered Lola B2K/40, delayed only when a slight miscalculation by the team saw Devlin run out of fuel in the pitlane! The Archangel Motorsport Lola Millington Ford was running in the lead of the class when Devlin made his fateful pitstop, but it recovered to take the chequer flag with a gap ofmore than 50 seconds to the second-placed LMP675 finisher. "We were running very hot," said Devlin. "We have a different engine, a twin-turbo Ford, and we have had to change it to keep it running cooler. That left us struggling a little bit for top-end speed."

The MG Lola EX3257s once again proved their pace in the hands of customers, Jon Field putting the Intersport Lola into fifth position overall in qualifying, just half a second slower than the Panoz LMP900 of David Brabham and Jan Magnussen. Anelectrical problem prevented Field from taking the start but, when he did take to the track, he was on class-winning pace before the electrical problem re-occurred.

The KnightHawk Racing MG Lola EX257, which qualified tenth, was the scourge of the front-runners, able to match the Audis on pace in a straight line. The car had been repaired following its retirement from the Le Mans 24 hours last month, but an oil line came loose and set the car alight once again. Though damage was limited, the team lost41 minutes in the pits, and Mel Hawkins and Steve Knight came home third in the LMP675 class.

The race was won by Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen, the Dane celebrating his 35th birthday with his first victory in the ALMS for more than a year. Capello was hit with two stop-and-go penalties for overtaking under yellows, but the sister car of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro lost the lead with a puncture, and lost further time when the Audi R8 refused to fire up following the stop. They came home insecond, ahead of the Champion Audi of Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson.

Johansson was running in second but surrendered that to Capello with little less than 90 minutes of the four-and-a-quarter hour race remaining. He then made a mistake, his foot slipping off the brake pedal and onto the throttle, spinning into the gravel though the pair came back to take the final podium position.

Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim won the GTS class in their Corvette, their team-mates losing time with aproblem with the side netting that replaced the driver's window. Two stops to repair the net put them a lap behind.

The Alex Job Racing Porsches finished first and second in the LM-GT class, Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister scoring their first victory in the series ahead of Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr.

-lola-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny Herbert , David Brabham , Stefan Johansson , Rinaldo Capello , Tom Kristensen , Jan Magnussen , Frank Biela , Andy Pilgrim , Ben Devlin , Jon Field , Sascha Maassen , Kelly Collins , Lucas Luhr , Jörg Bergmeister , Timo Bernhard , Steve Knight , Clint Field , Larry Oberto , Alex Job
Teams Alex Job Racing