Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge – Click above for high-res image gallery
The American Le Mans Series was back in action this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and as usual the action was hot and heavy on the track. In the Friday qualifying session Johnny Cocker set a storming pace in the Drayson Racing Lola-Judd. Cocker's best lap was 0.932 seconds quicker than the isobutanol-fueled Lola-Mazda of Chris Dyson. The current LMP championship leading HPD ARX-01c of Simon Pagenaud was third, another four-tenths of a second back.
In the GT class, it was red leading yellow as the two Risi Ferrari F430 GTs edged out the two Corvette C6.Rs. During practice on Thursday, Greg Pickett had a massive crash in his Cytosports Porsche RS Spyder. Fortunately, he walked away, although he did sustain a back injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the season. Read on after the jump for race results.
[Source: American Le Mans Series]
Once the green flag fell, Clint Field quickly jumped into the lead in the Intersports Lola-AER and he managed to hold that position through two stints for nearly two hours. Paul Drayson took the first stint from the pole in his team's car and spun off early before recovering. (The dry, dusty track sent a number of cars spinning off the course on Saturday.) Meanwhile, Guy Smith in the Dyson Lola-Mazda worked hard to stay close to the Intersport car with David Brabham in the Highcroft car in the hunt as well.
In GT, the Ferraris, Corvettes, Porsches and BMWs jockeyed for position, with the Risi cars mostly staying up front. The #3 Corvette of Johnny O'Connell came into the pits about halfway through the race, losing coolant. The #3 Vette ultimately retired, as did the #61 Risi Ferrari an hour later following a collision with one of the GT Challenge Porsches.
With one hour left in the race, Clint Field pitted to hand the Intersport Lola over to his father Jon, who retired just a few laps later with a terminal mechanical failure. A full-course caution with about 15 minutes left in the race closed up the field and set up a battle for the finish.
With Intersport out, it was a duel between the Dyson and Highcroft cars for overall honors. The butanol-fueled Lola clearly had the advantage in straight-line speed, with the Honda-powered Highcroft machine reeling the leader in the corners. Ultimately, Simon Pagenaud was unable to find a way around Chris Dyson and crossed the finish line just half a second behind him.
Similarly, in GT there were four cars in contention: Ferrari, Corvette, BMW, and Porsche. When the course returned to green for the sprint to the finish, the Ferrari and Corvette pulled away and diced all the way to the line. Ultimately, Risi's Jamie Melo led Corvette Racing's Oliver Gavin across the line with Bill Auberlen in the BMW taking third ahead of Joerg Bergmeister in the Flying Lizard Porsche.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, Lexington, Ohio
1. (2) Guy Smith, Bracken, Yorkshire; Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, NY; Lola B09 86/Mazda (1, LMP), 119.
2. (3) David Brabham, Maidenhead, GB; Simon Pagenaud, Montmorrillon, FR; HPD ARX-01c (2, LMP), 119.
3. (5) Scott Tucker, Leawood, KS; Christophe Bouchut, France; Oreca FLM09 (1, LMPC), 115.
4. (32) Tomy Drissi, Los Angeles, CA; Bryan Willman, Kirkland, WA; Lola B06 10/AER (3, LMP), 114.
5. (6) Ricardo Gonzalez, Monterrey; Luis Diaz, Mexico City; Oreca FLM09 (2, LMPC), 114.
6. (8) Elton Julian, Santa Monica, CA; Gunnar Jeannette, Salt Lake City, UT; Oreca FLM09 (3, LMPC), 113.
7. (7) Brian Wong, Newport Beach, CA; Kyle Marcelli, Barrie, ON; Oreca FLM09 (4, LMPC), 113.
8. (10) Andy Wallace, England; Scott Tucker, Leawood, KS; Oreca FLM09 (5, LMPC), 113.
9. (13) Gianmaria Bruni, Rome, IT; Jaime Melo, Milan, IT; Ferrari 430 GT (1, GT), 112.
10. (14) Olivier Beretta, Monte Carlo, Monaco; Oliver Gavin, Yardley Hastings, GB; Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (2, GT), 112.
11. (18) Tommy Milner, Leesburg, VA; Bill Auberlen, Redondo Beach, CA; BMW E92 M3 (3, GT), 112.
12. (19) Patrick Long, Bellaire, FL; Joerg Bergmeister, Langenfield, DE; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (4, GT), 112.
13. (20) Johannes van Overbeek, San Francisco, CA; Scott Sharp, Jupiter, FL; Ferrari 430 GT (5, GT), 112.
14. (16) Joey Hand, Sacramento, CA; Dirk Mueller, Monte Carlo, Monaco; BMW E92 M3 (6, GT), 112.
15. (9) Christian Zugel, Holmdel, NJ; Frankie Montecalvo, Highlands, NJ; Oreca FLM09 (6, LMPC), 111.
16. (24) Seth Neiman, San Francisco, CA; Patrick Pilet, Le Chesnay; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (7, GT), 111.
17. (22) Bryan Sellers, Braselton, GA; Wolf Henzler, Nuertingen, DE; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (8, GT), 110.
18. (23) Paul Gentilozzi, Lansing, MI; Marc Goossens, Huntersville, NC; Jaguar XKRS (9, GT), 107.
19. (25) Tim Pappas, Boston, MA; Jeroen Bleekemolen, Monte Carlo, Monaco; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (1, GTC), 106.
20. (27) Bret Curtis, Valencia, CA; James Sofronas, Newport Beach, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (2, GTC), 105.
21. (29) Romeo Kapudija, Lincolnwood, IL; Bill Sweedler, Westport, CT; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (3, GTC), 105.
22. (26) Luke Hines, Essex, UK; Bryce Miller, Summit, NJ; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (4, GTC), 105.
23. (28) Jerry Vento, West Palm Beach, FL; Shane Lewis, Jupiter, FL; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (5, GTC), 103.
24. (33) Henri Richard, Los Altos Hills, CA; Spencer Pumpelly, Mason Neck, VA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (6, GTC), 103.
25. (31) Doug Baron, Pacific Palisades, CA; Loren Beggs, Montclair, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (7, GTC), 103.
26. (4) Clint Field, Dublin, OH; Jon Field, Dublin, OH; Lola B06/10 AER (4, LMP), 100.
27. (12) Toni Vilander, Kankaanpaa; Giancarlo Fisichella , Rome; Ferrari 430 GT (10, GT), 100.
28. (17) Guy Cosmo, West Palm Beach, FL; Ed Brown, Las Vegas, NV; Ferrari 430 GT (11, GT), 96.
29. (21) David Murry, Atlanta, GA; Andrea Robertson, Ray, MI; David Robertson, Ray, MI; Doran Design Ford GT (12, GT), 96.
30. (15) Johnny O'Connell, Flowery Branch, GA; Jan Magnussen, Roskilde, DK; Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (13, GT), 49.
31. (11) Andrew Prendeville, Chatham, NJ; Chris Buncombe, London, UK; Radical SR9/IES (5, LMP), 44.
32. (1) Paul Drayson, London, GB; Jonny Cocker, Guisborough, GB; Lola B09 60/Judd (6, LMP), 39.