Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Road Atlanta ALMS Race Hosts A Field Of LMP1 Champions

REBELLION Racing's Manufactures' Championship winning Lola B10/60 Coupé Toyota as it leads the Dyson Racing Manufactures' Championship winning Lola B09/86 Mazda and the two diesel-powered Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908's around the track earlier this year at Sebring. Image Credit: REBELLION Racing (2011)

Road Atlanta ALMS Race Hosts A Field Of LMP1 Champions

This weekend's motorsports action features the running of the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda contested at Road Atlanta. Le Mans Series prototype cars from all over the world are lined up to take their shots on the 2011 European and American Le Mans Series Manufacturers' Championship cars in a 10 hour endurance race that ends the American Le Mans Series 2011 season.

Even though the seasons are not over for both the European and American 2011 series of Le Mans specification cars, the Lola-Toyota of Switzerland's REBELLION Racing and the Lola-Mazda of America's Dyson Racing have locked up the respective Manufacturers' Championship in races held two weeks ago. A field of 13 cars that include these two manufactures championship cars feature the 24 hours of Le Mans winning team of Audi Sport Team and its chief competitor Peugeot Sport ... both are powered by the impressive TDI diesel fuel propelled technology engines.

This excerpted and edited from ALMS -

Preview of an epic battle for Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta

Audi Sport’s Romain Dumas waited until the second-to-last lap Monday to set the fastest time in the second day of testing for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda – a 1:08.394 (133.696 mph) lap at Road Atlanta. The Frenchman set the time in the diesel-powered Audi R18 TDI that he will share in Saturday’s 1,000-mile/10-hour race with Timo Bernhard and Marcel Fassler.

Dumas’ time ended what had been a day of dominance for Peugeot Sport Total, which sat 1-2 for most the afternoon. The No. 7 entry of Sebastien Bourdais, Anthony Davidson and Simon Pagenaud ended Monday second at 1:08.569 (133.355 mph). The second Peugeot of Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz sat third at 1:09.311 (131.927 mph).

Petit Le Mans, the final round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, marks the resumption of a Road Atlanta battle between the two diesel powers that dates back to 2008. Peugeot won the last two years, and both factory teams are back with first-year prototype coupes. The Audi bested Peugeot in June at the 24 Hours of the Le Mans and the French manufacturer is looking for retribution this weekend. The 908 was fastest at Road Atlanta on Sunday with a 1:08.291 (133.898 mph).
[Reference Here]

If this were not enough for just one of four classes of racing in 10 hours, the LMP1 Class Aston Martin powered entries from Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing and ALMS Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca winner of two weeks ago MEX Aston Martin Racing Gulf are ready to pounce.

The diesel-powered Audi R18 TDI driven by the team of Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Marcel Fassler. Image Credit: ALMS (2011)

LMP1 Class Entry List


1 Timo Bernhard / DEU Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI Michelin Diesel
Marcel Fässler / CHE

2 Tom Kristensen / DNK Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI Michelin Diesel
Allan McNish / SCO

6 Lucas Luhr / Koblenz, Germany Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing Muscle Milk/ Biedermann Technologies AMR/Lola Coupe B08 62 Aston Martin Michelin E-85
Klaus Graf / Dornhan, Germany

7 Anthony Davidson / GBR Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908 Peugeot Michelin Diesel
Sèbastien Bourdais / FRA
Simon Pagenaud/ FRA

8 Franck Montagny / FRA Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908 Peugeot Michelin Diesel
Stéphane Sarrazin / FRA
Alexander Wurz / AUT

10 Nicolas Lapierre / FRA Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP Peugeot Michelin Diesel
Nicolas Minassian / FRA
Marc Gené / ESP

12 Nicolas Prost / FRA Rebellion Racing Lola B10/60 Coupé Toyota Michelin E-10
Neel Jani / CHE
Andrea Belicchi / ITA

15 Matthieu Lahaye / FRA Oak Racing Oak Pescarolo Judd Dunlop E-10
Guillaume Moreau / FRA
Pierre Ragues / FRA

16 Chris Dyson / Pleasant Valley, NY Dyson Racing Team Inc. Mazda/ G-Oil/ ModSpace/ Lola B09/86 Mazda Dunlop Isobutanol
Guy Smith / Beverley, UK Construct Corps/ Dunlop/ Thetford
Jay Cochran / Palm Beach, FL

20 Humaid Al Masaood / Abu Dhabi, UAE Oryx Dyson Racing Mazda/ Dunlop Lola B09/86 Mazda Dunlop Isobutanol
Steven Kane / Newtownards, Ireland
Butch Leitzinger / Reberburg, PA

24 Jacques Nicolet / FRA Oak Racing Oak Pescarolo Judd Dunlop E-10
Jean-François Yvon / FRA

007 Adrian Fernandez / MEX Aston Martin Racing Gulf/ Hackett/ Lowes/ Michelin AMR/ Lola Coupe B09 60 Aston Martin Michelin E-10
Stefan Mücke / DEU
Harold Primat / CHE

012 Tony Burgess / Toronto, ON Autocon Namesilo/ TDM/ Redline/ Cyclo Lola B06/10 AER Dunlop Isobutanol
Chris McMurry / Phoenix, AZ
Bryan Wilman / Seattle, WA
(ht: ALMS)

For those who focus on driving talent who have Open Wheel experience through the now IndyCar asorbed ChampCar World Series, one will recognize the names of Sebastien Bourdais (four-time CCWS Champion), Simon Pagenaud, and Franck Montagny driving for Peugeot, Neel Jani of the European Manufacturers' Champion REBELLION Racing Lola-Toyota, and Adrian Fernandez driving the MEX Aston Martin Racing Gulf.

The #7 and #8 Peugeot 908 LMP1 racing Lolas at Road Atlanta as they get ready to compete in the 10 hours of the Petit Le Mans. Image Credit: ALMS (2011)

Quotes from LMP1 competitors on the reaction to the track and the upcoming race:

Adrian Fernandez, Aston Martin Racing
Lola B09/60-Aston Martin (LMP1)
“It’s been a tough year but the win in Monterey was really good. We didn’t get the car until a month ago. There were some new rules for this year and we had to make some changes. We made more after the first session at Laguna and it really improved the car.”

Alexandre Premat, Oak Racing
Oak Pescarolo-Judd (LMP1)
“This is my first day here so everything is new to me. I like this track a lot; it reminds me a lot of the Nurburgring with lots of ups and down. I have heard a lot about the track and racing in America so I’m really excited to see it. For sure there are already a lot of teams here testing but it is the same for everyone. I can imagine as the race gets closer the track and the traffic will be amazing.”

Romain Dumas, Audi Sport Team Joest
Audi R18 TDI (LMP1)
“The car was quite quick this morning. The Peugeot did a (1:09.5 in the morning) and I did a 9.5. So it is already very, very close. We did much testing over the winter in preparation for Le Mans so I got to drive the car many times. But it is nice to be back in the Audi R18. Already there is a lot of traffic. It will get much worse later in the week. I do think that this will be most difficult race of my career.”

Stephane Sarrazin, Peugeot Sport Total
Peugeot 908 (LMP1)
“At first we had a problem finding the best setup on the car for the race. But in the afternoon I was very happy with the progress and balance. It felt really good. Yes the car is new but the track and the job are still the same. My last three years here have been very good with a runner-up in 2008 and wins in 2009 and 2010. Physically the race should not be too difficult because it is a shorter track. But you have to be extremely careful with traffic as it could quickly end your race.”

The 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is set for a 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 1 from Road Atlanta. The race will air on ABC at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 2. Live coverage will be available in the U.S. on ESPN3 or outside the U.S. on

... notes from The EDJE

(First published as Road Atlanta ALMS Race Hosts A Field Of LMP1 Champions at Technorati)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lola-Mazda Wins America's Le Mans Series Manufacturers’, Team, And Drivers' Championship

The Dyson Racing team on the grid (#20 Oryx Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda on left, #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola-Mazda on right) just before the running of the ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron [ctrl-click image above to view slideshow of Dyson Racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca]. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

Lola-Mazda Wins America's Le Mans Series Manufacturers’, Team, And Drivers' Championship

In the 2011 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season, Lola-Mazda locked up all three LMP1 championships – manufacturers, team, and drivers. By finishing with a second-place podium finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS) during last weekend's ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron, the late season two car Dyson Racing team were able to lock up the triple crown of points races across the board.

Chris Dyson and Guy Smith took home the season’s top honors in their Mazda-powered #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola. In addition, Mazda won the Engine Manufacturer title and Dunlop took home the Tire Championship with one race to go in the ALMS season. “I have been doing this a long time and have won a number of championships in the past three decades,” said Rob Dyson, “But these today are very, very special.”

The Dyson Racing #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola-Mazda as it charges up the Rahal Straight between turns #6 and #7. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

The #20 Oryx Dyson Racing entry with Humaid Al Masood, Steven Kane and Butch Leitzinger came in third, leading 35 laps in the course of the event. Between the two entries, Dyson Racing led over 70% of the six-hour MRLS event.

The two Dyson Racing LMP1 Lolas are powered by a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder Mazda MZR-R engine against the runner-up Aston Martin with their V12 prototype.

The #20 Oryx Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda chases down the #007 Aston Martin Racing works-Lola entry, along the short chute between turns #3 and #4, late in the race. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

Al Masaaod had a competitive stint in the #20 car battling the #007 Aston Martin. “The tires came in well and I had a good pace and felt very good about my time in the car. For me, it was a good benchmark to be mixing it up with experienced drivers in good cars.” Leitzinger shared the same satisfaction with his run: “It was great fun, especially in the beginning when there were four of us in a very tight pack racing very hard. It is satisfying as a driver when you have a car that handles this well and everyone is racing fairly and competitively.”

“This is a day to be savored,” said Chris Dyson. “I am really thrilled with the team. It is a great accomplishment to have the team back on top. We have had the equipment everywhere this year with our Lola Mazda and our Dunlop tires and the AER engines have been strong all year. It has really been a culmination of a three-year program with Mazda. They have shown unwavering support through it all. We could not be happier to reward them with a championship today.” “Our guys back in the shop and the guys on the road have shown incredible application this year. And Lola has been pushing the edge on the development – we have not sat still once this year. I won my first championship in 2003 but think I was too young to enjoy it and thought things were going to come easily but have had the last eight years to learn the lesson that this is not something that comes around without a lot of hard work from a lot of people. I am so happy for Guy. He has been my partner through all this and he is like my brother. When you get down to it, it really is a family affair and our team is as much a family as it is a team.”

The Dyson Racing #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola-Mazda on "The Corkscrew" ... 'nuff said. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

Guy Smith commented, “I would just like to say a big thank you to the Dyson Racing Team and to Rob and to Chris, my co driver since 2005. We have worked very hard and had a lot of highs and lows through our time driving together. This year has been phenomenal and Greg Pickett’s Muscle Milk team has been great competition. We have enjoyed every battle with them. They are true sportsmen. The Mazda engine has been reliable and strong all year and the Dunlop tires – some would say it was a gamble two years ago to go with them, but they have proven this year to be the tire of choice. G-OIL came on board this year and we are pleased to give them their first championship along with ModSpace and Construct Corps. We are very happy for everyone who has made this happen. This is truly a team championship.”

During the course of the 2011 season to date, the Dyson team has racked up two overall wins including a one-two finish at the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix where they also won the Green X Challenge. The points gained in their two-three finish here at MRLS put them in the multi-championship position they share today. The ALMS season will conclude with the ten-hour Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta on October 1st.
(ht: MAZDASPEED Motorsports / Dyson Racing)

... notes from The EDJE

[Article first published as Lola-Mazda Wins America's Le Mans Series Manufacturers', Team, and Drivers' Championship on Technorati]

BMW Group PressClub USA - The new BMW M5

Image Credit: BMW via

Specifications and performance of the

V8 petrol engine, M TwinPower Turbo technology with Twin Scroll Twin Turbo, cross-bank exhaust manifold, High Precision Direct Injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve control. Displacement: 4,395 cc, output: 412 kW/560 hp at 6,000 – 7,000 rpm, max. torque: 680 Nm (502 lb-ft) at 1,500 – 5,750 rpm. Acceleration 0–100 km/h (62 mph): 4.4 seconds, acceleration 0–200 km/h (124 mph): 13.0 seconds, top speed: 250 km/h / 155 mph (305 km/h / 190 mph with M Driver’s Package). Average fuel consumption: 9.9 litres/100 kilometres (28.5 mpg imp), CO2 emissions: 232 g/km, exhaust standard: EU5.

Full information on the new BMW M5 found here:

BMW Group PressClub USA

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Team Falken Tire Turns Heads And Wheels At The Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix

Derrick Walker's Team Falken Tire as it tracks around the city street course at the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. Image Credit: The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron

Team Falken Tire Turns Heads And Wheels At The Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix

Yes, just as it was in Mid-Ohio, at least three other teams with six driver pairings were supposed to lock the Derrick Walker managed Team Falken Tire out of any podium finish in the seventh round sold out ALMS GT Class race through the streets of Baltimore. The drivers Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler captured their second and most impressive victory in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR this weekend at the 2011 Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix.

The team's first order of business was to move up from its P5 qualifying position, while remaining clear of being involved in any collection of machinery, that has a tendency of happening on a tight and bumpy closed street course. Sure enough, just after the Green Flag dropped to start the race, driver Wolf Henzler, who started the first stint, managed to wiggle through carnage in Turn-1 of the narrow 2.04-mile circuit, picking up two positions before the first lap was over.

Team Falken Tire's Wolf Henzler maintains the inside passage at race start (left-inside) to gain two positions on the opening lap of the Baltimore Grand Prix. Image Credit: The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron

Henzler showed a strong pace and his equipment proved to handle well on the rough temporary course near Camden Yards baseball stadium in downtown Baltimore. After putting the pressure on the leaders for many laps, the German driver then pulled a daring outside pass toward the lead around Turn-1 and got the position ... now P3.

At the mandatory pit stop for a tire change, fuel, and a driver change on Lap 35, the Team Falken Tire pit crew, lead by crew chief Nico Castellaccio, performed the quickest pit stop of the whole GT field and sent team-mate Brian Sellers out with one hour to go in the timed race.

A few laps transpired and the action on the track was placed under a Full Course caution to fix a loose manhole cover ... after the restart, Sellers took advantage of contact between the final two top running GT Class cars (the #55 BMW and #3 Corvette). The Turn 1 incident and penalty issued to Tommy Milner driving the #3 Corvette created enough separation where the Walker Racing managed driver led the remainder of the race and took the checkered flag for the second time this year.

Team Falken Tire's Brian Sellers leads the GT Class during the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. Image Credit: The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron

The team’s first victory came at Mid-Ohio earlier this year where the Walker Racing led Team Falken Tire drivers took advantage of their superior Falken rain tires to survive monsoon conditions at the picturesque road course. This win thrust Derrick Walker back into the limelight where he had been before in his previous life as a ChampCar World Series team owner. On 7 April 2007, Walker won his first race as a team owner since 1999 with the then Team Australia's Will Power (the IndyCar winner of the 2011 Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix) won the CCWS's inaugural (and only) Las Vegas GP.

Funny how the cream always rises to the top in these inaugural races ... even when the cream becomes separated.

Derrick Walker's Team Falken Tire takes the trophy in the GT Class (photo left) at the podium ceremony at the Baltimore Grand Prix. Image Credit: The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron

Results - 71 laps (Class Leaders In BOLD):

Pos - Class - Drivers - Team/Car - Time/Gap

1. P1 Al Masaood/Kane Dyson Lola-Mazda 2h01m03.170s
2. P1 Dyson/Smith Dyson Lola-Mazda + 6.961s

3. PC Marcelli/Drissi Intersport FLM + 25.760s
4. PC Lux/Julian Genoa FLM + 58.462s
5. PC Bennett/Montecalvo CORE Autosport FLM + 1m00.861s

6. GT Henzler/Sellers Falken Porsche + 1m16.935s
7. PC Jeannette/Gonzalez CORE Autosport FLM + 1m19.921s
8. GT Muller/Hand BMW + 1 lap
9. GT Gavin/Magnussen Corvette + 1 lap
10. PC Nicolosi/Boon Performance Tech FLM + 1 lap
11. GT Miller/Maassen Miller Porsche + 1 lap
12. GT Auberlen/Werner BMW + 1 lap
13. GT Melo/Vilander Risi Ferrari + 1 lap
14. GT Beretta/Milner Corvette + 1 lap
15. P1 Burgess/McMurry Autocon Lola-AER + 3 laps
16. GT Neiman/Law Flying Lizard Porsche + 3 laps
17. GT Sharp/van Overbeek Extreme Speed Ferrari + 3 laps
18. GT Brown/Cosmo Extreme Speed Ferrari + 3 laps

19. GTC Pappas/Bleekemolen Black Swan Porsche + 4 laps
20. GTC Sweedler/Keen Alex Job Porsche + 4 laps
21. GTC Potter/Stanton Magnus Porsche + 4 laps
22. GTC LeSaffre/Davis Green Hornet Porsche + 4 laps
23. GTC von Moltke/Bunting TRG Porsche + 4 laps
24. GTC Ende/Pumpelly TRG Porsche + 4 laps
25. P1 Dumas/Graf Muscle Milk Lola-Aston + 7 laps
26. GT Bergmeister/Long Flying Lizard Porsche + 15 laps


PC Ducote/Ducote Intersport FLM 52 laps
PC Dobson/Lewis PR1 Mathiasen FLM 14 laps
GT Jones/Moran RSR Jaguar 1 lap
GT Junqueira/Wilden RSR Jaguar 0 laps
(ht: chart -

The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron will now head west to Monterey, California for the ModSpace American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patron. The six-hour race will take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 17th, and will be broadcast live on at 3:15 PM ET, and tape delayed on ESPN2 on September 18th at 1PM ET.

... notes from The EDJE

[Article first published as Team Falken Tire Turns Heads And Wheels At The Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix on Technorati]

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bumpy Baltimore Gets A Rubbing In With IndyCar & ALMS

Conquest Racing's Sebastian Saavedra occupied his time [during the initial event delay] with engineering and drivers meetings, tweeting, checking email and even working in a brief nap before being jostled by the bumps of the Pratt Street frontstretch in the No. 34 Bogota Es Mundial entry in front of tens of thousands of enthusiastic spectators. Caption & Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

Bumpy Baltimore Gets A Rubbing In With IndyCar & ALMS

A group of downtown streets converted into a shiny new racing circuit will always have its start up problems. The first day warm-ups (as well as qualifying for the American Le Mans Series) with the two racing series competing in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix were no different.

First off, the beginning to the schedule was moved off for about four hours due to last minute safety improvements to the fencing that defined the 2-mile, 12-turn track.

The reaction of many of the drivers overall, was quite positive ... for example, Will Power after posting the fastest time in Baltimore with a best lap time of 1 minute, 22.1739 seconds which translates to 89.411 mph, had a good time learning the course with a couple of non-damaging "offs".

Penske Racing's Will Power, needing to make up 26 points, sets fast lap during the first practice period at the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

"You are working the entire time and it is a pretty cool track," said Power, who won the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma five days earlier to tighten the championship points duel with front-runner Dario Franchitti to 26 behind. "They did a really good job creating the circuit. It takes a lot of commitment and there are several technical bits. It's bumpy and I think it will be a great race."

After a 75 minute warm-up and about a 90 minute break, the ALMS went out to set their positions for the start of their race on Saturday. The fastest qualifier overall was the Dyson Racing LMP1 Lola B09 86/Mazda shared by Guy Smith and Chris Dyson where Brit Guy Smith set his fourth class pole with a fast pace of 1 minute, 27.750 seconds (83.692 mph).

Guy Smith takes his Mazda LMP1 to the streets of Baltimore. Image Credit: ALMS

“I think the people of Baltimore have done a great job with the circuit and gave us as much track time as they could,” said Smith, who will drive with Chris Dyson. “With a new circuit, there are always teething problems. But they gave us a great track. It's bumpy and it’s demanding, but that’s what street courses are all about.”

In the GT Class, BMW Team RLL was once again at the top of the charts with the #55 BMW M3 GT of Bill Auberlin and Dirk Werner with Werner posting a fast lap of 1 minute 31.362 seconds (80.834 mph) ... the team car to the season points leading #56 BMW M3 GT of Joey Hand and Dirk Muller.

Dirk Werner gets his wheels to bounce over the temporary curbing that defines the track on the streets of Baltimore. Image Credit: ALMS

“It's amazing to have a pole this year,” said Werner. “The car is really fantastic; it has been this whole season - especially our car. We have had a lot of close calls this year [in qualifying] but we never got that pole. The team is very competitive with drivers who can be quick. So to be here at the new track, is really great.

“After free practice going into qualifying we looked at the data from the sessions and looked who had the best turns and speeds so we could learn a lot in a few short minutes,” Werner continued. “You could see how from the short time we've been on track we keep getting faster. We could actually be going faster at the end of the race than we are right now. It shows how great our team is and finding the settings for the street circuit. (The tires) are really holding up over the long drives.”

Top shot of the Dyson Racing #16-LMP1 Lola B09 86/Mazda. Image Credit: ALMS

Based on comments made by many of the drivers of both series, this Baltimore street venue drives like St. Pete with a crowd more like the festival atmosphere imparted by the grand-daddy of all American street races at Long Beach. Not a bad review for a near Washington D.C. venue.

The American Le Mans Series Baltimore Grand Prix is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 3. The race will air on ABC, Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) and be shown live in the U.S. on ESPN3 or outside the U.S. Live coverage also will be available on Rogers Sportsnet One in Canada and MotorsTV in Europe.

The IZOD IndyCar Series Baltimore Grand Prix - Baltimore, MD Streets of Baltimore - Qualifications, 6:00 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) Saturday, Sept. 3 on Versus / Race, 2:00 (11 a.m. PT) p.m. ET Sunday, Sept 4 on Versus with both broadcast on - multimedia timing & scoring with concurrent radio broadcast.

... notes from The EDJE