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IRL and ALMS at Mid-Ohio - BIG gallery

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We like having race coverage on Autoblog, but can't always get to the races ourselves. So when we get a huge gallery of pics and a nice writeup sent our way by a loyal reader, we're happy to share. AB Reader Eric Moretti shot a whole bunch of pictures from this weekend's IRL Honda 200 and ALMS Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio and wrote the blurb below.

We'll add a note, as well, that the big diesel R10 from Audi set a Mid-Ohio lap record for LMP1 during qualifying. What that doesn't tell you is a lap record for LMP1 was only good for fourth on the grid, as the Porsche RS Spyders continue to keep P2 at the top. We doubt this is a spoiler situation for any of you, but just in case you haven't seen your TiVo recording yet, the write-up is after the jump.

Thanks, Eric!

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Eric's Account:

Mid Ohio Sport car course is located in Lexington, Ohio. If you've never been to it, it seems to pop out of nowhere. Surprisingly, the course hasn't turned the town into a small city. This past weekend it hosted 2 big events, the American Le Mans Series, and the Honda 200, an IRL race. I'll admit, I haven't been paying too much attention to Indy racing. Being a big fan of road courses, IRL's schedule is dominated by ovals. It, however, has its fair share of road courses – Mid-Ohio, of course, then Watkins Glen, St. Pete's, and Belle Isle.

Mid-Ohio, for IRL, is just a shade over 2.5 miles a lap. Turn 2 leads into a straightaway that the field of cars blast down into, and the upcoming turn is narrow. This means tight racing and accidents. On the very first lap into that turn Danica Patrick taps Kanaan, sending him into Marco Andretti and launching his car into the air, and upside down. And I was as close as a spectator could be to it. Right in the center of the turn. Looking through the lens of my camera, zoomed in, my first reaction was to move back, my second was to start clicking off photos. As I backed away, I was almost immediately pushed back against the fence, by the masses of people behind me, all thrusting their cameras into the air trying to get a picture.

Standing there looking at his car upside down, I started to feel really terrible about taking pictures. For all I knew, he could be dying, and I'm sitting there like a paparazzi taking pictures. Luckily, the track officials and crew were there pretty quick. The first person on the scene signals that Andretti is ok, save for the fact that there is a car on top of him. For what seemed like an eternity, officials gathered to push the car over. Andretti gets out of the car, removes his helmet and appears to be ok. (He was cleared to race). Save for Sam Hornish, Jr. putting it off into the tire barrier in turn on Lap 51, it was all racing from there on out. Kanaan, Franchitti, Dixon, and Castroneves played a game of musical chairs for first position. In the end, Scott Dixon edged out Franchitti by just under 2.7 seconds to finish first, his 3rd consecutive win this season. This puts him in place to take over number one in the points from Franchitti.

The GT3 race seemed to put the most cars on the track. Watching the field of Porsches go through the Esses was amazing. They took up every square inch of that track. Again, turn 3 did prove to be an issue for them, as well. No flipping, but plenty of rubbing and bouncing was going on.

The American Le Mans race was great, as well. It was probably the most spread out of the racing that went on this weekend, which is most likely due to the different classes of cars running on the field. You have the Audis, Ferraris, Porsches, Corvettes and Vipers racing in this category. Track side, the Corvette C6R is one of the most deafening cars on the course. As the 'Vette and R10 cross under the Honda/Acura walk over bridge just pass the Esses, the C6R obliterated any noise made by the "whisper-quiet" Audi diesel. The only thing that seemed louder that weekend was the jet engine the road course crew used to blast the pavement.

Results courtesy of American Le Mans Series:

Pos Class Pos Car No Class Team Best Time Speed In Lap Diff Laps Make
1 1 7 LMP2 PENSKE RACING Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas 1:10.113 115.939 134 0.000 134 Porsche RS Spyder
2 2 6 LMP2 PENSKE RACING Sascha Maassen/Ryan Briscoe 1:10.309 115.615 113 2.360 134 Porsche RS Spyder
3 1 2 LMP1 AUDI SPORT NORTH AMERICA Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner 1:11.082 114.358 129 15.073 134 Audi R10 TDI
4 3 15 LMP2 LOWE'S FERNANDEZ RACING Adrian Fernandez/Luis Diaz 1:11.122 114.294 80 39.352 134 Lola B06/43-Acura
5 2 1 LMP1 AUDI SPORT NORTH AMERICA Dindo Capello/Allan McNish 1:10.751 114.893 74 1:04.633 134 Audi R10 TDI
6 4 16 LMP2 DYSON RACING Butch Leitzinger/Andy Wallace 1:12.004 112.894 4 1 Laps 133 Porsche RS Spyder
7 5 20 LMP2 DYSON RACING Chris Dyson/Guy Smith 1:10.406 115.456 128 1 Laps 133 Porsche RS Spyder
8 6 9 LMP2 HIGHCROFT RACING David Brabham/Stefan Johansson/Duncan Dayton 1:10.231 115.744 115 2 Laps 132 Acura ARX-01a
9 3 06 LMP1 TEAM CYTOSPORT Greg Pickett/Klaus Graf 1:13.547 110.525 66 6 Laps 128 Lola B06/10-AER
10 7 26 LMP2 ANDRETTI GREEN RACING Bryan Herta/Marino Franchitti 1:11.583 113.558 86 8 Laps 126 Acura ARX-01a
11 1 4 LMGT1 CORVETTE RACING Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin 1:17.379 105.052 93 9 Laps 125 Corvette C6.R
12 2 3 LMGT1 CORVETTE RACING Johnny O'Connell/Jan Magnussen 1:17.186 105.314 73 9 Laps 125 Corvette C6.R
13 8 19 LMP2 van der STEUR RACINGGunnar van der Steur/Adam Pecorari 1:15.954 107.023 49 14 Laps 120 Radical SR9-AER
14 1 45 LMGT2 FLYING LIZARD MOTORSPORTSJohannes van Overbeek/Jörg Bergmeister 1:21.932 99.214 94 16 Laps 118 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
15 2 62 LMGT2 RISI COMPETIZIONE Mika Salo/Jaime Melo 1:21.369 99.900 79 18 Laps 116 Ferrari F430 GT
16 3 61 LMGT2 RISI COMPETIZIONEEric Helary/Gianmaria Bruni 1:21.519 99.717 97 18 Laps 116 Ferrari F430 GT
17 4 44 LMGT2 FLYING LIZARD MOTORSPORTSSeth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik 1:22.743 98.242 59 20 Laps 114 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
18 5 31 LMGT2 PETERSEN MOTORSPORTS/WHITE LIGHTNING RACINGTomas Enge/Dirk Muller/Michael Petersen 1:21.506 99.733 87 20 Laps 114 Ferrari F430 GT
19 6 54 LMGT2 TEAM TRANS SPORT Tim Pappas/Terry Borcheller 1:23.280 97.608 95 20 Laps 114 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
20 4 12 LMP1 AUTOCON MOTORSPORTSChris McMurry/Bryan Willman 1:18.582 103.444 44 37 Laps 97 Creation CA06H-Judd
21 5 37 LMP1 INTERSPORT RACING Clint Field/Jon Field/Richard Berry 1:15.425 107.773 58 38 Laps 96 Creation CA06H-Judd
22 7 13 LMGT2 WOODHOUSE PERFORMANCECindi Lux/Stan Wilson 1:26.189 94.314 94 39 Laps 95 Dodge Viper
23 8 18 LMGT2 RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING Ralf Kelleners/Tom Milner 1:21.913 99.237 87 42 Laps 92 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
24 9 71 LMGT2 TAFEL RACING Wolf Henzler/Robin Liddell 1:22.229 98.856 4 51 Laps 83 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
25 10 73 LMGT2 TAFEL RACING Jim Tafel/Dominik Farnbacher 1:22.177 98.918 57 54 Laps 80 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
26 11 21 LMGT2 PANOZ TEAM PTG Bill Auberlen/Joey Hand 1:22.372 98.684 11 85 Laps 49 Panoz Esperante GTLM
27 9 8 LMP2 B-K MOTORSPORTSJamie Bach/Ben Devlin 1:13.279 110.929 5 115 Laps 19 Lola B07/46-Mazda

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