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Rain didn't cut this year's Petit Le Mans short. Unlike last year's race, racers went carbon-fiber fender to carbon-fiber fender for the full 1,000 miles at Road Atlanta during the running of the 2010 Petit Le Mans. By the time the checkered flag fell, Peugeot walked away with a one-two win, effectively establishing a French dynasty in the American Le Mans series. As you may recall, Peugeot took the overall win at last year's Petit Le Mans as well, beating out arch-diesel-rival Audi in the process. This year, the quad-rings fell to third place, a full two laps behind the leading French racer thanks to a flat tire late in the race. The German car, piloted by Le Mans legends Tom Kristensen, Allen McNish and Dindo Capello, simply couldn't make up the time lost to the pits, sealing the win for Peugeot in the process.

The pair of Pugs led 299 of the 394 total laps, but that doesn't mean that's where the only show was. Hit the jump for a quick recap.

[Source: American Le Mans]

There were a number of stories worth telling at this year's Petit Le Mans, including the fact that the new hybrid Porsche 911 was out mixing it up with the rest of the field. The factory-backed, electrified 911 managed to land itself an 18th place finish overall in its U.S. debut, effectively winning its class of one while collecting data that will help ALMS organizers write new rules for hybrid race cars so they can one day compete in a full season. Porsche is hell-bent on putting its hybrid tech through the most abuse possible before it hits the street, and few arenas serve up the kind of trial by fire as a full-on 24-hour slug-fest with the rest of the racers out there. Porsche even rolled out a quick video showing how the car did in the 13th annual Petit Le Mans, which you can watch below. Expect them to be back again and again looking to improve on the car's performance, durability and fuel economy.

While the 911 Hybrid may not have done as well as its engineers and drivers would have hoped, one team managed to pull off what would have seemed almost impossible earlier in the American Le Mans season. Corvette Racing, a team which has struggled to find the same sort of dominance in GT2 that it previously enjoyed in the GT1 class, walked away from Road Atlanta with a GT2 win, beating out Risi Competizione's #62 Ferrari F430 after that car ran out of fuel with just two laps to go. The race between Corvette Racing and the Ferrari team came down to well-calculated pit stops, and the big bad Chevrolet was running on vapors by the time the race came to a close. You can click over to the American Le Mans site for a full run down of this season's point standings.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      What do you mean you can't have fans down on the grid before a F1 race? Half the time the drivers et-al don't even wanna talk to the media, they are made too. That's the culture, ask any European Driver that comes to America and drives in the ALMS. They like it MUCH BETTER.

      F1 is an elitist sport much like golf and other activities of the rich that don't welcome the average person unless forced too.

      I go to the ALMS race at Long Beach ever year its been, solid crowds and now all of them can be seen by the TV cameras because they are all around the circuit. Cost me $20, the best value in motorsports.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Indeed. I was just blown away by the sound of those Corvettes. I've watched them on TV, drove them in Forza, and nothing prepared me for the godlike sound they make. EPIC.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You really should have heard the Panoz GTR-1.


        To hear that thing go by and see the driver at the back looking out over the long hood in front of him (it's front engined!) was an experience not matched in racing anymore.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah! The first time you hear a C6.R at full song you almost crap your pants. The worst part is that the GT2 car isn't as loud as the GT1 car. I love taking first-timers to the grandstands at Laguna Seca during ALMS practice or qualifying and watch their face go blank and their jaws drop to the ground when the Corvette thunders by. Best. Thing. Ever.

        I'm a Flying Lizard fan, but nothing puts a smile on my face like the sound of a C6.R. The sound simply makes everything ok. Except my hearing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Glad to see the Corvette boys get one in before the season ended. Risi had it in the bag too. They could have easily taken another few seconds of fuel.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was at the race this weekend. The crowd was huge. The weather was perfect which helped attendance as opposed to the drenching that we got last year.

      The 908's were clearly superior to the Audi's but it was great to see McNish put on his late race challenge only to come up short. He wrung everything out of that R15+ trying to catch up and get his lap back.

      I was on the hillside at the turn 10 complex and got to see a lot of overtaking and bumping and banging. The GT2 battle was constantly going back and forth. For a few laps the Ferrari would be in front, then the Corvette would lead for a bit. They even banged fenders coming through turn 10b once.

      The best thing about ALMS is that your ticket allows you to get into the paddock area and out on the grid before the race. I got a lot of good pictures and chatted a bit with Patrick Long and David Brabham.

      I can't wait to go back again next year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Throwback, you can't compare ALMS to a global racing series like F1 in importance to have the race fans crowding the paddock.
        • 4 Years Ago
        We actually skipped the paddock this year. The crowds are probably twice what they were two years ago, and last year one could only get close to maybe two before you have to mill back towards the exit. Maybe they improved the ways to get onto the paddock/track, but after last year our whole group pretty much went "why bother?".

        If you want to hang out around the paddock/cars, take some extra time off and pay a little extra to go Wed/Thurs/Fri. Practically no crowds, better chances to see the racers/cars during qualifying, and better chances to talk to the folks who bring really their cool porsches/ferarris/audis/corvettes down to watch and preen.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The best thing about ALMS is that your ticket allows you to get into the paddock area and out on the grid before the race. "

        Fan friendly, if only F1 realized you don't have to treat your fans like an annoyance..
        • 4 Years Ago
        Raceday was the only day I could be there. I'm sure being in the paddock on the other days would be special also.

        Most of the cars had team members close by the cars but not actually guarding them. People were able to get their pictures taken close by the cars. I was just overjoyed to get to touch the actual race cars I had seen on tv for years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was at PLM also...the Pugs are king now.

      At the previous race in Europe the Audi's had to make one more stop than the Pugs ergo slower and less efficient.

      As Kristensen said...all the Audi's were designed specifically to do well at Le Sarthe and the R8 was just a fluke in that it happened to also do well at various tracks.

      Too bad Peugeot got spooked into overtuning their cars in 2009 24 LM.

      Heartbroken for Risi...they were the class of the field overcoming a flat with one car and stop/go with the other just to fail on fuel 'strategy'.
      • 4 Years Ago
      " As you may recall, Peugeot took the overall win at last year's Petit Le Mans as well, beating out arch-diesel-rival Audi in the process. "

      Um... One Audi was leading for 80% of last year's petit race... and then spun out following the pace car because the rain was so bad that the chicane at the bottom of turn 10 had a small river running across it, allowing the Peugeot to pass it. In all reality, no points should have been awarded because it was pretty much a series of parade laps behind a BioButanol Mazda6 in a storm.

      The Peugeots did dominate this year... But you also forgot to mention that while the GT2 Vette was running on fumes... the GT2 Ferrari RAN OUT OF GAS on the last lap, allowing the Vette to pass and take the win.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The GT2 race was fantastic, and not just because Corvette won. Corvette had few race points so they were going all out for the win, and that made their race exciting.

      But also Porsche, Ferrari and BMW were very close in season points and this race was to determine who would get the GT2 manufacturer's championship. So all the drivers of those cars who looked to finish in the points were fighting (carefully) for every position up and down the grid.

      Add in the very close equalization of the top marques, and you ended up with a very tight, very exciting GT2 race the whole way through.

      As mentioned above, the turnout was unbelievable. Whomever did PR for that race really did his (or her) job.

      If there was any flaw with the race, it's that the GTC cars were in the way a little bit too much. I'm not putting down the drivers (I'm an Andy Lally fan), but maybe there were just too many cars on the track or the speed differentials were too high, I dunno. But every time a GTC car got bumped or worse shoved into a gravel trap, it caused problems that it would be better not to have to deal with.

      I'm often amazed at how good the racing is at Road Atlanta. This is a fairly straightforward track with only a few notable features, but the racing there is typically very good.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "As mentioned above, the turnout was unbelievable. Whomever did PR for that race really did his (or her) job."

        Part of it was probably Really big billboards all over downtown Atlanta (including the all important Hartsfield Jackson Airport to Dunwoody/Roswell/Alpharetta corridor). PLM took advantage of some great "the economy is down, crap, put a sale on ad-space!" sales.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Audi's star driver team of Dindo (Capello), Mr. LeMans (TK) and 'The Lil' Terrier (McNish) were fast but the Peugeots had them covered the whole race. Even without the flat I don't think the Audis could have beaten the Peugeots. In past years when their adversaries were as fast or faster Audi's superior race management provided victories.
      This year the Peugeots had the pace and good strategy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Remember Audi lost almost a minute to an unexpected Driver change when Dindo was in the lead, due to the helmet mishap.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What, no photo gallery? Give me some eye candy while I'm stuck at work!
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