Road America: Pirelli preview

PIRELLI TEAMS HEAD TO ROAD AMERICA Aston Martins Score Two Victories in Last Three Races ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug.16, 2006 Pirelli-shod GT cars are collecting a lot of trophies around the globe this race season with 13 wins and 35...

PIRELLI TEAMS HEAD TO ROAD AMERICA

Aston Martins Score Two Victories in Last Three Races

ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug.16, 2006 Pirelli-shod GT cars are collecting a lot of trophies around the globe this race season with 13 wins and 35 podiums in only 14 races. The Pirelli-shod Aston Martin DBR9s are doing their share in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) returning from a fairly successful west coast swing and looking to add to their nine podiums at this Sunday's Generac 500 at Road America, the seventh round of the ALMS season.

The Astons have actually won two of the last three GT1 races with the #009 of Pedro Lamy (Portugal) and Stephane Sarrazin (France) edging the #3 factory Corvette at Lime Rock in the closest GT1 win in ALMS history. This win was followed by a dominant 1-2 finish at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City headed by Tomas Enge (Czech Republic) and Darren Turner (UK) in #007. The team ended the west coast swing with a difficult second-place finish in the oppressive heat at the Portland Grand Prix.

The two wins are significant in that the dominant factory Corvettes had not been beaten in 12 ALMS races dating back to the Aston's victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2005. Aston Martin Racing and Pirelli are currently second in GT1 points with Enge and Turner also second in the Drivers' Championship.

The 4.05-mile, 14-turn Road America circuit near Elkhart Lake was the longest road racing circuit in North America until the Miller Motorsports Park was opened in July of this year. The Wisconsin track should be a perfect circuit for the powerful Astons and Corvettes to "let it all hang out" so Pirelli is bringing a new P Zero radial to improve the team's chances of repeating its recent victories.

"The last three races have seen the closest GT1 competition in the ALMS since the Pro- Drive Ferraris challenged the Corvettes several years ago," stated Peter Tyson, vice president of Communications and Motorsports for Pirelli North America. "We're hoping that the new tire will make a significant contribution to Aston's effort this week."

In the GT2 class, the Pirelli-shod Multimatic Panoz Esperantes struggled for grip during the western swing; 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. However, with the British-based Team LNT Panoz Esperante's GT2 class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Panoz and Pirelli can now claim victory in both classic endurance races this year. Hopefully the team's recent tire testing at Road Atlanta and the new Pirelli radials will help return Panoz to the podium.

The 2 hours and 45 minutes Generac 500 Presented by Chicago Tribune will begin at 2 p.m. (CDT) on Sunday, Aug.20. SPEED Channel will broadcast the race live; ALMS Radio Web will also have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com. In addition, all ALMS races will again be televised in Europe in an arrangement between the series and MotorsTV, a European channel dedicated to motorsports.

More information about Pirelli's 99 years of motorsports can be found on the web at www.pirellicompetizioni.com.

-credit: pirelli

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Tomas Enge , Stéphane Sarrazin , Peter Tyson
Teams HART , Team LNT