While we often sit and discuss the negative aspects of the ALMS series, we sometimes forget that there is another series in Europe that showcases great cars over long periods of time. This weekend in particular the Le Mans series travelled to one of the most famous race courses on the planet in the Nurburgring for 1000km. While the course would showcase the best Europe had to offer…the series did not. Missing from action were the Audi R15s and the Peugeot team that has had a strong grip on the results for every race they have entered this year. On the bright side, at least Aston Martin decided to show.
The Gulf painted cars not only decided to show up, they decided to destroy everything in their path by taking a 1-2-3 sweep of the podium. Stefan Mucke, Jan Charouz and Tomas Enge were the first of the Astons to come home followed by Darren Turner and Harold Primat. The P1 race was rather straight forward with the only moment of interest occurring late when the lead Aston spun and the second place Aston closed the gap within 30 seconds. That gap was re-opened to 1 minute when all was said and done. The third place P1 Aston came home 2 laps down. The series leading Pescarolo-Judd was a non factor the whole race after a transmission snapped early on.
The LMP2 class was also rather straight forward as well. The ASM Ginetta-Zytek destroyed the opposition and won with a lap in hand. The lead for most of the event was two laps but a small problem at the end of the race seen the gap lowered by a lap.
The GT1 class was sorry. Please see the below results if you care about it. There were two cars and the manner in which victory was achieved does not dignify a paragraph.
GT2 was just as explosive as it usually is in the states. The results were much the same with a Porsche on the top step. Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz inherited the lead when my Ferrari boys had a drive shaft snap, erasing a one minute advantage.
All in all I guess I should stop crying about ALMS because this race seems as though it was a mirror image. To be honest I like Aston more than Acura and Aston raced in the 24 hour event…so I will give that some respect. The financial situation has crushed Le Mans racing all over the planet it seems and that to me is a surprise that this one series has been rocked so hard. Formula 1 was a minor pinch and that to me would be a whole lot more than Le Mans. Hopefully as the world begins to pull out of the recession that has hampered this beautiful form of racing, we will be back to full strength.
Pos Cl Drivers Car Time
1. P1 Charouz/Enge/Mücke Lola Aston Martin 5h57m26.595s
2. P1 Primat/Turner Lola Aston Martin +1m04.856s
3. P1 Ramos/Hall/Buncombe Lola Aston Martin + 2 laps
4. P1 Karthikeyan/Meyrick/Zwolsman Audi + 2 laps
5. P1 Ragues/Mailleux Courage-Oreca Judd + 5 laps
6. P2 Amaral/Pla Ginetta-Zytek + 6 laps
7. P2 Francioni/Ceccato/Piccini Lola Judd + 8 laps
8. P2 Lahaye/Ajlani Pescarolo Mazda + 10 laps
9. P2 Nicolet/Hein Pescarolo Mazda + 11 laps
10. P2 Ojjeh/Gosselin/Peter Zytek + 12 laps
11. P2 Bobbi/Piccini/Biagi Lola Judd + 13 laps
12. P2 Kane/Leuenberger/Pompidou Lola Judd + 18 laps
13. GT2 Lieb/Lietz Porsche + 21 laps
14. P1 Coronel/Janis Spyker Audi + 22 laps
15. GT2 Ehret/Farnbacher/Beltoise Ferrari + 22 laps
16. GT2 Simonsen/Kaffer Ferrari + 23 laps
17. GT2 Narac/Pilet Porsche + 24 laps
18. GT2 Montermini/Ricci/Rosa Ferrari + 26 laps
19. GT2 Felbermayr Jr/Ried/Martins Porsche + 26 laps
20. GT2 Garcia/Mansell/Melo Ferrari + 26 laps
21. P2 Schell/Thirion/Metz Courage AER + 26 laps
22. GT2 Bell/Bruni Ferrari + 26 laps
23. GT1 Berville/Groppi/Dumez Saleen Ford + 27 laps
24. GT2 Griffin/Bamford Ferrari + 27 laps
25. GT2 Basso/Plati/Tenchini Ferrari + 29 laps
26. P2 Ibanez/Cavailhes/Rocha Courage AER + 34 laps
27. P1 Belicchi/Fässler/Prost Lola Aston Martin + 39 laps
28. GT2 Hartshorne/Kutemann/Scheier Ferrari + 53 laps
29. GT1 Jousse/Goueslard/Clairay Chevrolet + 57 laps
30. P1 Leventis/Watts Ginetta Zytek + 64 laps
31. GT2 Drayson/Cocker Aston Martin + 64 laps
32. P2 Salini/Salini/Gommendy WR Zytek + 71 laps
33. P2 Bruneau/Sini/Vergers Radical AER + 81 laps
34. P2 Cortes/Nieto/Jorda Lucchini Judd + 120 laps
35. P2 Erdos/Newton Lola Mazda + 138 laps
36. P1 Albers/Bakkerud/Mondini Audi + 155 laps
37. P1 Boullion/Tinseau/Collard Pescarolo Judd + 160 laps
38. P2 Lavaggi/Kaufmann Lavaggi AER + 174 laps