American Le Mans series at Mosport
Archived Articles 05 Sep 2008 Udo RobiEWR
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Racing at Mosport from August 21-24 Audi R10 TDI drivers Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner continued their winning ways by capturing the top spot on the podium with their teammates Emanuele Pirro and Rinaldo Capello earning the runner-up spot.

Next in line were two Acura ARX-1Bs with third place taken by David Brabham of the UK and Scott Sharp of USA, fourth went to Mexican drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz. Sascha Maassen and Patrick Long of Germany in their Porsche RS Spyder number 6 rounded out the top 5.

There is an interesting story about car number 66 driven by Gil de Ferran of De Ferran Motorsports, which was not running at the finish. With about 8 minutes to go to the end of the 2 hour 45 minute race de Ferran was the overall leader. However, he ran out of fuel on the last lap within sight of the finish line due to a miscalculation on the part of his pit crew, allowing all other competitors to pass him on the Andretti straight.

De Ferran and his co-driver Simon Pagenaud were awarded 7th place overall in the ratings. It should be noted that the two pilots had never driven on this track previously.

As luck would have it the Porsche Spyder of Romain Dumas/ Timo Bernard, last year’s overall winners on this track, also suffered the same fate by running out of fuel about 200 meters from the finish line. The driver then tried to use the starter motor to cross the line and was awarded 6th position in class ( P2) and 8th overall for his trouble.

Other results:

GT1 class winners were Corvette’s Jan Magnussen of Denmark and Johnny O’Connell of USA over their sister Corvette driven by Gavin/Beretta. 3rd place belonged to Borcheller/Ducote in an Aston Martin.

In the GT2 class the winners were Mika Salo of Finland ( of F1 fame) and Jamie Melo of Brazil in their Ferrari F430 GT Berlinetta. Both drivers were absolutely delighted with their win as it was their only one in this Series. Salo and Melo did make it to the podium in the 24 hours of Le Mans in France this last June.

It is interesting to note that in comparison to the 2007 American Le Mans at Mosport the qualifying times for the first 10 cars in P1 and P2 classes this year were all better than the lap record established by the Audi R10 TDI driven by Rinaldo Capello last year. The new lap record now stands at 1:04.094 and earned the Audi driver the pole position.

According to Emanuele Pirro this is due to the rapidly advancing technology in tires. The Audi also produces more power and downforce. With its newly designed rear allowing the power to be put down in a more efficient manner the car travels through the corners more quickly.

The top speeds on the Andretti straight remain identical to last years at 300 km/h. There is a downside to this, however, as the track deteriorated in corners number 2 and number 4. This delayed the start time while the crew was busy with repairs.

The new Acuras have also found new performance due to diligent work by the Japanese over the winter period, resulting in the capability to win overall races against their rivals from Audi and Porsche.
 
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