Audi continued its dominance of the American Le Mans series today by sweeping the top three places at the 3-hour Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres. Corvette Racing and Alex Job Racing both finished 1-2 in the GTS and GT classes, respectively. Bucknum...
Audi continued its dominance of the American Le Mans series today by sweeping the top three places at the 3-hour Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres. Corvette Racing and Alex Job Racing both finished 1-2 in the GTS and GT classes, respectively. Bucknum Racing's Pilbeam MP84-Nissan won their first LMP 675 class race after the Ben Devlin/Marc-Antoine Camirand Archangel racer blew its engine with less than two minutes to go in the race.
Turn 1 was the hot real estate today at this quick track located on the shores of the St. Lawrence Seaway halfway between Montreal and Quebec. The start turned into a massive traffic jam when the sprint to Turn One left the front runners vying for space that just was not there. Johnny Herbert spun the #38 Audi when the #11 Lola of Steve Knight could not check up and tapped his rear. The #44 Viper of Kevin Allen also spun to avoid contact with the other two cars. The Audi and the Viper continued but there was a full course yellow in order to extract the Lola from in front of the Turn One tire wall.
The Panoz drivers Bryan Herta and Jan Magnussen made great starts and found themselves in 2nd and 3rd place behind the leading Audi of Emmanulle Piro. While still under the yellow, Johnny Herbert pitted his Audi to change damaged body work and Pirro stopped to check on a loose rear driver plate.
When the green flag was dropped, the #26 Saleen of Terry Borcheller was passed by the #3 Corvette of Ron Fellows to take the class lead. Jan Magnussen quickly passed his teammate Bryan Herta to take second place after making contact with the #43 Porsche 911 of Leo Hindery.
Johnny Herbert drove a brilliant race by coming back his initial tangle at the start to finish third with co-driver Stefan Johansson.
Turn One claimed the races most spectacular crashes and spins. Melanie Patterson in her LMP class 675 racer spun twice in as many minutes. The #40 BMW M3 of Carlos de Quesada, the #89 Porsche 911 of Robert Julien and the #0 GTS Ferrari of Emanuelle Naspetti all fell victim to the slickness of Turn One. "It's not really their fault. They shaved the turn off and now there is no grip there," commented Bill Auberlen after the race, "but then again, there is very little grip anywhere."
With 55 minutes remaining in the race, Kevin Allen completely buried his Dodge Viper in the tire barrier. "I think the A-arm broke and took out the brake caliper with it. It was the hardest hit I have ever taken. The first thing I thought after the impact was, 'Thank God, Jim Downing came up with the HANS device!'"
Winner Capello credited a late race pit stop, under yellow flag, for fresh rubber as the main reason for the win. "The new tires were definitely the key to victory. We lost the last race at Washington because we didn't change tires under the yellow flag, so it was a lesson learned." He punctuated that lesson by doing multiple victory "donuts" in Turn One.
"I love racing here! It's great to race at a track where the fans really love motor racing. Canadians really love their motorsports!