A HAND FOR ROAD AMERICA: ANALYZING LAST YEAR'S SUCCESS Ready for shot at BMW repeat victory in Elkhart Lake One of the reasons Road America is so popular among the driving community is its variety of sections. Think of the slow left-hander...
A HAND FOR ROAD AMERICA: ANALYZING LAST YEAR'S SUCCESS
Ready for shot at BMW repeat victory in Elkhart Lake
One of the reasons Road America is so popular among the driving community is its variety of sections. Think of the slow left-hander before the steep climb to Turn 6, mid-cornering speeds through the Carousel to the ultra- fast Kink. Throw in some of the highest straight-line speeds in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and it's easy to see why the 4.048-mile, 14-turn layout is so highly regarded.
But the fastest cars aren't always the ones that win races at Road America, site of this weekend's American Le Mans Series powered by eStar. BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team's two BMW M3s won in GT2 last year, using their superior braking and cornering abilities to launch out of corner exits with greater speed than their counterparts at Porsche, Ferrari and others. At least that's Joey Hand's theory.
"Most think that Road America is about long straights, but it is just as much about the corners," said last year's winner alongside Bill Auberlen. "Even though they look simple, they are not; apex speeds are critical here and using every bit of track is mandatory."
And like any good road-racer, Hand has more than one part of Road America that suits his eye.
"There are two special parts of the track - the Carousel and the Uphill left to the last corner," added Hand, who will drive this year with Dirk Muller. "Our BMW M3 is very close to flat through the Kink making it quite a ride. Hard on the brakes into Canada Corner and get ready for my second favorite section, the Uphill left that takes you to the last corner. It's just the smallest lift off the throttle and then plant it for the track out, using a bit of the access road and a tiny piece of grass to carry as much exit speed as possible."
Will BMW repeat this weekend? We'll find out at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 22. SPEED will air the race live at 3 p.m. ET 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 Friday's qualifying session starting at 3:10 p.m. CT. 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.