BRASELTON, GA - The American Le Mans Series will make its only appearance of the 2004 season in Canada this weekend for the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport at the 2.45-mile Mosport International Raceway near Toronto. Sunday's two-hour, 45-minute...
BRASELTON, GA - The American Le Mans Series will make its only appearance of the 2004 season in Canada this weekend for the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport at the 2.45-mile Mosport International Raceway near Toronto.
Sunday's two-hour, 45-minute timed event will be televised live in North America by CBS Sports from 1-3 p.m. (EDT) and will also be shown live in Europe by MotorsTV beginning at 17:00 (UK time). The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage of the race, as well as Saturday's qualifying, online at www.americanlemans.com.
Toronto Grand Prix Of Mosport News & Notes
* Mosport International Raceway is one of five race tracks that have hosted American Le Mans Series events in every season in the history of the series dating back to 1999. It is the home track of two-time ALMS GTS champion Ron Fellows, and his popularity along with the growth of the series coupled with strong motor racing interest by Canadian fans last year led to the largest Mosport crowd since Formula One visited in the late 1970s.
* Mosport International Raceway was the site for the closest finish in the history of the American Le Mans Series. In 2000, on a track that was drying from a rain shower, the Audi R8 of Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish edged the BMW V12 LMR of JJ Lehto and Jorg Muller by just .148 second.
* Ron Fellows and teammate Johnny O'Connell have won the GTS class in the ALMS event at Mosport in three straight years (2001-2002-2003) and this year will be going for a record-tying fourth straight. If they win, they will tie a record that they set earlier this year at Infineon Raceway for the most consecutive wins at a single venue by drivers. Lucas Luhr (2000-2003) and Sascha Maassen (2001-2004) also have four consecutive wins at Sebring, their wins coming in the GT class.
* Johnny O'Connell, who notched an overall win at Mosport in 1999 in a Panoz LMP, could become the first driver to win five times at any ALMS track if he joins Fellows on the top rung of the victory podium at Mosport. Except for the LMP1 overall win in 1999, all of O'Connell's 20 ALMS wins have been in the GTS class with Corvette Racing.
* Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell reached the 20-win plateau in the American Le Mans Series with their GTS class win for Corvette Racing in the recent ALMS event at Portland. They are now one win away from tying Sascha Maassen for the top spot in all-time career wins in the series with 21. Maassen, who has been racing in Europe this season, will return to the ALMS at Mosport with the BAM! Porsche team and will run all of the remaining races this season.
* Ron Fellows is the all-time ALMS leader in pole positions (fast qualifiers) with 14, ahead of Dirk Muller. Corvette teammate Olivier Beretta is in third place with 12. The mark for most pole positions in a single season (6) is held by Beretta (2000, GTS), Muller (1999, GT) and Fellows (2002, GTS).
* Enhanced Qualifying is set to return for the ALMS at Mosport. The new system, tried for the first time at Infineon Raceway, is an enhanced version of single-car qualifying and puts all cars in the same qualifying session rather than breaking into LMP1-LMP2 and GTS-GT sessions. Five cars are on the track at the same time.
* Among ALMS drivers competing in 2004, Sascha Maassen is the only driver to win a race in all six years of the American Le Mans Series, including a victory at Sebring to open the current season. Kelly Collins, David Brabham and Jan Magnussen can join the group with a win in the remaining races of 2004. Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell, Frank Biela and JJ Lehto have won at least one race in five of the six ALMS seasons and Lucas Luhr (4) needs a victory in 2004 to climb into that second place group.
* Porsche has posted more all-time ALMS marquee victories (44) than any manufacturer followed by Audi (37), Corvette (27) and Lola (23).
* The GT class has proved to be very competitive in 2004 as the last four consecutive races have produced four different winners. The four different winners is an all-time ALMS record. Timo Bernhard, who won at Sebring with Sascha Maassen and at Infineon with Jorg Bergmeister, is the only repeat winner of 2004.
* Porsche will look to extend its string of most all-time ALMS pole positions (45) at Mosport, a streak that was extended last race at Portland. The last GT pole not won by Porsche was in 2001 at Petit Le Mans and was produced by JJ Lehto in his Schnitzer BMW M3 GTR.
In all-time ALMS pole positions, Audi ranks second with 34. Corvette and Lola have each have posted 21 all-time ALMS pole positions.
* Alex Job Racing takes a 22-race streak of ALMS GT class pole positions into the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport. The last time that an ALMS GT pole was won by a team other than AJR was in May of 2002 at Infineon Raceway when Kevin Buckler qualified fastest in a Porsche from The Racer's Group. Romain Dumas, in his first season with Job Racing and teamed with Marc Lieb, has claimed the pole position in three consecutive events beginning with Lime Rock Park and continuing through Infineon and Portland two weeks ago.
* JJ Lehto and Marco Werner scored their fourth consecutive ALMS overall race win at Portland, tying Rinaldo Capello for the series record for most consecutive overall race wins. Capello won the last race of 2000 and then the first three of 2001 but was not with the same co-drivers in every race. Lehto and Werner are the only ALMS drivers to win four straight as a driving team.
Lehto's win streak has surpassed his previous three-race GT class string in 2001 while driving a BMW Schnitzer M3 GTR.
* As JJ Lehto continues to win races in the American Le Mans Series, he also continues to close in on the series record for the most overall wins by a driver. His victory at Portland was his 14th overall race win in the ALMS, tying him with Rinaldo Capello and Frank Biela for the top spot in the all-time listing. A win at Mosport would make him the all-time leader in overall race wins.
Lehto's win at Portland moved him within one win of tying Biela for the most LMP1 class wins in ALMS history. Biela got his 15th career LMP1 win earlier this year when he won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. One of Biela's 15 career LMP1 wins was not an overall win.
* Defending LMP1 champion Marco Werner continues to be the hottest and most productive driver on the ALMS circuit in just his second season. A teammate with Frank Biela last year, Werner has produced nine (9) victories in 14 career prototype starts, notched four (4) poles and finished in the top three of all 14 of his ALMS career starts to date.
* Champion Audi, the entrant for JJ Lehto and Marco Werner, has produced eight overall victories in the last two years 0x2022 four (4) times in 2003 and four (of five times) in 2004, finishing second at Sebring behind Audi UK.
* Among the competitors at Mosport will be three (of four) class winning teams from this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, including Clint Field and Intersport Racing (LMP2), Corvette Racing (GTS) with Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta and Petersen/White Lightning Racing in GT. At Portland two weeks ago, Champion Audi started third on the grid, the lowest starting position for an LMP1 and overall winner to date in 2004.
* Marc Lieb scored his first-ever ALMS win when he and Romain Dumas co-drove to victory in the GT class at Portland for Alex Job Racing. Lieb became the 99th different driver to win a race in the six-year history of the ALMS.
* Olivier Beretta's Corvette win in GTS a few weeks ago at Lime Rock Park vaulted him into an exclusive group of 14 drivers who have won ALMS races in two types of cars. In scoring his 15th ALMS career victory at Lime Rock, Beretta won for the first time in his Chevrolet Corvette. All of his previous wins had been in Dodge Vipers.
* Nine (9) of the 14 drivers who have won ALMS races in two types of cars (marques) are entered at Mosport:
Olivier Beretta (Dodge & Corvette) JJ Lehto (BMW & Audi)
David Brabham (Panoz & Ferrari) Johnny O'Connell (Panoz & Corvette)
Clint Field (Lola MG & Lola Judd) Johannes Van Overbeek
Jon Field (Lola MG & Lola Judd) (BMW, Porsche)
Oliver Gavin (Saleen & Corvette) Andy Wallace (Panoz & Lola)
JJ Lehto (BMW & Audi)
Drivers competing in Mosport who have won in two different classes include David Brabham (GTP/LMP); JJ Lehto (GTP, GT); Johnny O'Connell (GTP, GTS) and Andy Wallace (GTP, LMP 675).
* Audi's carries its ALMS record 19-race LMP1 win streak into round #6 at the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport. Audi has won all five ALMS races held this season to extend its record
* Twelve different chassis marques have won ALMS races to date: Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ferrari, Lola, Panoz, Pilbeam, Porsche, Riley & Scott, Reynard and Saleen while 10 engine marques have notched victories including Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Judd, MG, Nissan and Porsche.
* Alex Job Racing is the all-time ALMS leader in entrant victories with 28, but Corvette Racing now has 27 after wins in the first five events of the current season compared to three victories (Sebring, Infineon, Portland). Alex Job Racing also owns the mark for the most 1-2 GT finishes (10).
* The Risi Competizione Ferrari 360 Modena posted its first victory in ALMS history July 5 at Lime Rock Park, a triumph that stopped a 21-race Porsche winning streak in the GT class dating back to the first event of 2002 at Sebring. The Risi Ferrari became only the third marque to score a GT victory in ALMS GT competition, joining Porsche and BMS. The Risi Competizione team's win at Lime Rock Park was its first win of any kind in the ALMS.
The last non-Porsche win had been by a BMW M3 GTR in the 2001 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Boris Said, Bill Auberlen and Hans Stuck drove that car. The Risi Ferrari became the 20th different race car model type to score a victory and the seventh to do so in GT. Four types of Porsches have won in GT (911 RSR, 911 GT3 R, GT3 RS, GT3 RSR).
* In the LMP2 ranks (formerly LMP 675), MG power has posted 13 race victories, Judd 10, Nissan (7) and Ford (2).
* ALMS records or streaks of note:
Lola chassis: 17 in LMP 675/LMP2
Audi R8: 19 in LMP 900/LMP1
Corvette C5R: 5 in GTS
Johnny O'Connell continues to lead in all-time starts (49) followed by David Brabham (48).
JJ Lehto is the all-time top 3 finishes leader (37) over Ron Fellows (35)
Lehto and O'Connell continue to lead in all-time ALMS top 5 finishes (42), followed by Fellows (40).
O'Connell leads in all-time top 10 finishes (47) with Brabham second (45) and Fellow and Lehto (44)
* Mosport will mark the two-year anniversary of the last win scored by Team Bucknum Racing in the American Le Mans Series. The trio of Jeff Bucknum, Chris McMurry and Bryan Willman took three LMP2 class wins in the ALMS in 2002, the third one coming at Mosport.
ALMS ALL-TIME COMPETITION
'BY THE NUMBERS'
* 52 All-time championship races
* 606 Drivers have starts in at least one ALMS race
* 99 Drivers have won at least one race
* 219 Drivers have at least one top three finish
* 332 Drivers have at least one top five finish
* 504 Drivers have at least one top 10 finish
* 43 Drivers have won at least one pole (fast qualifier)
* 53 Drivers have posted fast laps in an ALMS event