TO THE POINT: CHAMPIONSHIPS ON LINE AT MOSPORT As the 2009 American Le Mans Series enters the homestretch with three events remaining in the season, class championship pictures are starting to become clearer as the Series heads north to Mosport...
TO THE POINT: CHAMPIONSHIPS ON LINE AT MOSPORT
As the 2009 American Le Mans Series enters the homestretch with three events remaining in the season, class championship pictures are starting to become clearer as the Series heads north to Mosport International Raceway and Sunday's Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport.
A total of 75 championship points are available in the remaining three races, including the prestigious Petit Le Mans and its 1,000-mile/10-hour format and the four-hour chase into the darkness at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. With the additional available points comes a number of possibilities.
In the prototype ranks, Acura is on the verge winning not only its first manufacturer championship in the Series but indeed two. It needs a second- place finish in LMP1 by either Patron Highcroft Racing or de Ferran Motorsports at Mosport to claim the chassis and engine championships over Lola and AER, respectively. The same scenario exists for Michelin to win the P1 tire championship over Dunlop.
The driver and team championships in LMP1 appear to be going down to the wire in the three remaining events. Patron Highcroft's David Brabham and Scott Sharp lead de Ferran Motorsports' Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud by 13 points; the gap in the team race is the same.
In LMP2, a seventh class victory for Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz also will net them their first driver championships in the Series. They lead Dyson Racing's Butch Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti by 55 points. The two Lola-Mazda drivers need to finish ahead of the Lowe's Fernandez Racing duo to stay alive.
Lowe's Fernandez also can wrap up the class team championship with a victory and a third-place finish by either of the two Dyson coupes. Such a result also will clinch the P2 chassis and engine titles for Acura.
Michelin already has won the P2 tire manufacturer championship.
Thanks to five consecutive GT2 victories from St. Petersburg to Mid-Ohio, Flying Lizard Motorsports' pairing of Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long on the verge of the drivers title - it would be Bergmeister's fourth and second for Long. Should they win a hotly contested race, the two Porsche factory drivers would need Risi Competizione's Jaime Melo and Pierre Kaffer to place seventh or worse.
Should that occur, Porsche would claim the manufacturer championship and Flying Lizard would successfully defend its team championship. The gap in all three races stands at 39 points.
If one believes in trends, then that may be highly unlikely. Risi has won three straight seasons at Mosport dating back to 2006.
In the tire battle, Michelin needs a victory and third-place finish for any of the Dunlop-shod cars to win the championship.
Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 30. The race will air live on SPEED. American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche and Living Timing & Scoring will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com. Live coverage also can be heard on Sirius 126 in the US and XM 242. You can follow the Series on Twitter (almsnotes).
The race will also mark the eighth round of the 2009 MICHELIN? GREEN X? Challenge. Tickets are available at americanlemans.com and mosport.com.