Road America: Track preview

CLOSE FINISHES NOTHING NEW AT ROAD AMERICA At 4.048 miles, Road America is the second-longest circuit on the American Le Mans Series schedule. It also is the fastest Series venue with average qualifying speeds in excess of 133 mph for prototypes...

CLOSE FINISHES NOTHING NEW AT ROAD AMERICA

At 4.048 miles, Road America is the second-longest circuit on the American Le Mans Series schedule. It also is the fastest Series venue with average qualifying speeds in excess of 133 mph for prototypes and 120 for production-based GT cars. But despite Road America's length and the speed, it has had a knack lately for providing some of the best and closest finishes in the American Le Mans Series.

Six of the last eight class finishes in the Generac 500, site of next week's eighth round of the 2007 American Le Mans Series season, have come down to the final lap. And in four of those cases, the winning margin has been less than 0.4 seconds.

Last year's race saw the top six cars finish on the lead lap. Three of the 10 closest finishes in the Series' nine-year history have come at the circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Last year, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro won in LMP1 and the overall race by 0.4 seconds over Audi mates Dindo Capello and Allan McNish. The gap in P2 between Penske Motorsports two Porsche RS Spyders was even closer at 0.15 seconds with Sascha Maassen and Timo Bernhard coming home the winners. The GT2 battle also went down to the end with Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long taking a 4.237-second win in the Petersen/White Lightning Porsche over BMW's Joey Hand and Bill Auberlen.

That came a year after Long and Bergmeister posted the closest GT2 finish in Series history, a 0.298-second win over Bernhard and Dumas for Alex Job Racing. The same race saw Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin win by 0.142 seconds for Corvette Racing in GT1. Pirro and Biela won the overall race by 3.239 seconds in an Audi R8.

The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Generac 500 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. The four-hour race is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 11. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA Live Timing & Scoring. NBC Sports will broadcast the race from 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 12.

-credit: alms

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Series ALMS
Drivers Allan McNish , Frank Biela , Bill Auberlen , Joey Hand , Sascha Maassen , Oliver Gavin , Jörg Bergmeister , Timo Bernhard , Olivier Beretta , Alex Job , Dindo Capello , Emanuele Pirro
Teams Corvette Racing