Michelin ALMS victory streak snapped at 38 Michelin teams finish 2-3-4-5-6 at Infineon Grand Prix in Sonoma Sonoma, Calif-A four year long, 38 race Michelin winning string was finally snapped Sunday at the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma as a...
Michelin ALMS victory streak snapped at 38
Michelin teams finish 2-3-4-5-6 at Infineon Grand Prix in Sonoma
Sonoma, Calif-A four year long, 38 race Michelin winning string was finally snapped Sunday at the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma as a Dyson Racing MG Lola overtook the leading Michelin fitted Audi R8 with 16 laps remaining to score the team's first ALMS overall race victory and the first overall win ever for an LMP 675 class entry.
Michelin teams have now won 39 of the 41 races in ALMS history, dating back to the 1999 season.
The #1 Audi R8 driven by Frank Biela and Marco Werner finished second by 3.708 seconds, followed by the #38 Champion Audi driven by JJ Lehto and the fast closing Johnny Herbert. Herbert overtook the #27 Dallara MG of Bill Auberlen around the outside on the final turn to claim the third podium position.
The Panoz entry of Olivier Beretta and Gunnar Jeannette took fifth place honors just ahead of teammates David Saelens and Benjamin Leuenberger.
The race featured extended battles throughout the field and twice saw the #1 Audi establish leads in excess of ten seconds, only to have them negated by yellow caution flags. The final caution flew on lap 83, coming after the #1 Audi had pulled out a 20 second advantage over the eventual race winning Lola/AER..
Michelin fitted teams swept the race's largest class, taking the top nine spots in the eighteen car GT class field with the defending ALMS series GT champion Alex Job Porsche 911 GT3 RS's joined on the podium by the Risi Competizione Ferrari 360 Modena.
With multiple switchbacks and no long open straights, the 2.52 mile track was expected to provide a significant opportunity for the rapidly improving LMP 675 entries which enjoy a lower weight and virtually equal power to the larger LMP 900 cars..
The next race on the 2003 American LeMans Series will be at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec on August 3. The race will be broadcast live on Speed Channel beginning at 3:00 pm Eastern time