Round 6 of the American Le Mans Series was contested last weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH, and I was there representing Openpaddock.net and taking in all the action. Sadly, there’s not much competition in the ALMS this year with the absence of Audi LMP1 cars and the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 cars. Now, the Acura LMP1 and LMP2 factory efforts are running away from what privateers remain. Gil De Ferran and Simon Pagenaud easily took the overall victory, …again, and trail the Patrón Highcroft Racing drivers Scott Sharp and David Brabham in the series championship by nine points.
The real story of the weekend was in GT2 where the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche piloted by Patrick Long and Jörg Bergmeister continued their domination of the field. They, however, were not the story, the debut of the GT2 Corvettes were, and did they look good. Long and Bergmeister took their fifth victory of the season and extended their lead in the championship to 37 points over the Risi Competizione Ferrari 430GT. The Corvettes finished in P2 and P4, not a bad debut. The Rahal-Letterman Racing team with their new BMW M3 GT2 racer scored their fourth podium of the season finishing P3 and closing within three points of the Panoz Team PTG for third in the team championship.
This weekend, the ALMS will race at one of the best road circuits in North America, the Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, WI. Unlike the tighter more technical Mid-Ohio circuit, the Road America circuit is fast and flowing. The length of the front straight, the Morraine Sweep, and the Kettle Bottoms will really play into the strengths of the Corvette and give them the edge over the Flying Lizard Porsches. That’s how I see it, anyway. Look for O’Connell to take the victory in his #3 Corvette with Long’s #45 Porsche 911 close behind. In LMP1 and LMP2, you can bet on the usual suspects, de Ferran and Fernandez. You can catch the race on Speed Saturday at 3pm EDT.