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.
- Oct 5th 2010 at 3:01PM
2010 Petit Le Mans dominated by diesels again, hybrid Porsche performs well [w/video]