View Full Version : Petit Le-Mans 2011

30th September 2011, 08:02
This weekend is the biggest race in the ALMS, and the season closer. But still there is 1 more round in the ILMC in China to go 13 November.


Only 0.002 seconds separated Scotsman from Sarrazin's Peugeot


If qualifying Friday for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is as good as Thursday’s second practice session, fans at Road Atlanta will be in for a thrill. Audi Sport Team Joest’s Allan McNish set the fastest time of the hour-long session for the finale of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón by 0.002 seconds – only a matter of inches over the course of a lap – ahead of Peugeot Sport Total’s Stephane Sarrazin.

McNish will drive his diesel-powered Audi R18 with Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen in Saturday’s 1,000-mile/10-hour enduro. The Audi vs. Peugeot battle has been the main event at the race since 2008. Even the gap from McNish to Audi teammate Romain Dumas in third was just 0.016 seconds.

Two years ago, Peugeot ended Audi’s eight-year winning streak at Petit Le Mans. The French manufacturer has won the last two runnings of the race.

In LMP2, Christophe Bouchut led a 1-2 showing for Level 5 Motorsports with a lap of 1:14.199 (123.236 mph) in the HPD ARX-01g that he will share with Scott Tucker and Joao Barbosa. Luis Diaz was only 0.619 seconds back in the second Level 5 HPD prototype; Diaz’s car is brand new and will race for the first time this weekend.

Oak Racing’s Frederic da Rocha sat third in P2 with a 1:16.670 (117.729 mph) in his Oak Pescarolo-Judd.

The fight in GTE Pro was nearly as tight as LMP1. BMW Team RLL held the top spot with both of its BMW M3 GTs, and Bill Auberlen set the session’s best time at 1:19.833 in the car he will share with Augusto Farfus and Dirk Werner.

Joey Hand was only 0.025 seconds back of his teammate; Hand and Dirk Müller clinched the class championship two weeks ago at Road America. AF Corse’s Gianmaria Bruni was third in GTE Pro at 1:19.942.

CORE autosport’s Ryan Dalziel set the quickest lap in LMP Challenge on his next-to-last lap in the ORECA FLM09 that he will share with Jon Bennett and Frankie Montecalvo. Dalziel’s time of 1:16.764 gave him a slim 0.135-second gap back to Ryan Lewis in the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA. Kyle Marcelli was third for Intersport Racing at 1:17.422.

Local man Nic Jonsson, from nearby Buford, was the fastest driver in GTE Am for Krohn Racing. Jonsson’s Ferrari F430 GT, which is based at the Krohn shop on the grounds of Road Atlanta, posted a time of 1:21.372. Jonsson will drive with team owner Tracy Krohn and Michele Rugolo.

Proton Competition’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Richard Lietz was second in class at 1:22.336. It was more than 0.4 seconds clear of Justin Bell in AF Corse’s Ferrari F430 GT.

In GT Challenge, Leh Keen went quickest in Alex Job Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with a lap of 1:25.765. Keen, who is teaming with Bill Sweedler and Brian Wong, was 0.360 seconds clear of Spencer Pumpelly – another Georgia driver – in one of TRG’s two Porsches. Dion von Moltke in TRG’s other entry was third in class at 1:26.493.

Thursday’s final session in night practice for Petit Le Mans, and it runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

30th September 2011, 08:03

Backed by the 'World's Fastest Car Show' on eBay Motors and eBay Mobile

Co-drivers Justin Bell, Rob Kauffman and Rui Aguas moved off to a fast start in opening official practice Thursday for this weekend’s 14th annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta where the team clocked in third fastest in the GTE-AM class in both the morning and afternoon sessions in the in No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari 430 Italia backed by the “World’s Fastest Car Show” on eBay Motors and eBay Mobile.

Bell, the 1997 FIA GT2 World Champion, is making his first race start since 2008, the same year he joined SPEED as a TV host and pit-lane reporter. His ever-expanding TV career has kept him from competing in anything more than historic races since then but he is enjoying his return to major-league competition this weekend.

“Everyone keeps asking me how I am enjoying it, and maybe I am being overly enthusiastic, because I keep saying I am having a good time,” Bell said. “I think by the end of the season most people in a race series are not having a good time anymore, it is just like going to work, but I am taking this for what it is and making the most of it.”

Bell turned a top lap time of 1:23.007 (110.159 mph) late in afternoon practice to rank third in the session while Aguas clocked in third quickest in the morning run at 1:22.862 (110.352 mph), the No. 61 Ferrari team’s top lap of the day.

“I am blown away by how well it handles on the older tires on a hot afternoon,” Bell said. “It shows we can run as hard as we want in the stint. Because we are still working out how to get to our optimum lap, in traffic, if you get a clear lap, it is not like you can maximize that, because you haven’t been down to that time yet. But the car is great, I am really optimistic.”

This weekend’s race is being filmed for an upcoming episode of the “World’s Fastest Car Show” – an original video series hosted by Bell for the eBay Motors website and eBay Mobile application that premiered earlier this month. This is the first originally produced media content for eBay Motors, and the first to be featured in any of eBay’s mobile applications. The series chronicles the fast-paced automotive lifestyle, designed to engage automotive enthusiasts through both the web and mobile platforms, and this weekend Bell will give viewers a first-hand look at some high-speed competition.

“My career in the TV world is being based upon my credibility as a real driver,” Bell said. “It has been four years since I did my last real driving, and it really is vital. I didn’t realize how important it was until I saw how people received it. So when Rob gave me the call, it was funny, my initial reaction was ‘oh, I have got to do it. Then I thought, maybe should I? Then I thought, well I really should.’”

Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, opened the door for Bell to make his return to top level competition at this weekend’s Petit Le Mans, the season-ending race of the American Le Mans season.

“We were running at Le Mans with Rui and Michael and myself and we met Justin,” Kauffman said. “He was working on pit lane with SPEED and we had a lot to talk about. It was fun to meet him and chat and we agreed to kind of keep in contact. It turned out Michael had a scheduling conflict and couldn’t make the trio, so we invited Justin to come in and we are here. I am happy about it and fun so far.”

Both Kauffman and Aguas are racing at Road Atlanta for the first time.

“The car was getting better but unfortunately we had a red flag early and I couldn’t do a clear lap,” Aguas said. “Otherwise I think we would have gone quicker with the car. This evening I will drive again and I will see how the car is behaving, but from what Justin and Robert are saying, the car is consistent and very fast. I really enjoy it, I think it is a great track, very narrow but it is very fast.”

Thursday’s on-track activity closes with a two-hour night practice session that started at 7 p.m. local time and ends at 9 p.m.

No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari 430 Italia is showcasing eBay Mobile logos, along with a custom QR code scanable by any fan with a smart phone, for this weekend’s race, as well as logos for “World’s Fastest Car Show” on eBay Motors.

30th September 2011, 08:04

Another closely fought session between French manufacturer and Audi


Simon Pagenaud and Peugeot Sport Total struck back Thursday night with the fastest time in the day’s third practice for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. The young Frenchman set a lap of 1:09.027 (132.470 mph) on the final lap of the two-hour practice at Road Atlanta in the diesel-powered Peugeot 908 that he will share with Sebastian Bourdais and Anthony Davidson.

Peugeot is looking for a third straight overall victory in the 1,000-mile/10-hour classic that also serves as the final round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Patrón. Pagenaud’s time was a scant 0.080 seconds faster than Audi Sport Team Joest’s Romain Dumas in the first of Audi’s R18 coupes. Stephane Sarrazin in the second Peugeot was third at 1:09.186.

The top three cars were within 0.159 seconds, setting the stage for an epic qualifying session Friday afternoon.

In LMP2, Jean-Karl Vernay set the fastest time of 1:13.864 (123.795 mph) in Signatech Nissan’s ORECA 03-Nissan that he will share with Franck Mailleux and Lucas Ordonez. The young Frenchman was 0.957 seconds quicker than Level 5 Motorsports’ Marino Franchitti in his HPD ARX-01g. The ORECA-Nissan was the class pole-winner at Sebring, but Level 5 won the 12 Hours in a Lola-Honda.

Christophe Bouchut was third quickest in P2 on Thursday at 1:15.942 (120.408 mph) in the second Level 5 HPD.

BMW Motorsports’ Augusto Farfus set the pace in GTE Pro with a lap of 1:19.747 (114.663 mph). Driving the BMW M3 GT that he will share with Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner, Farfus went 0.280 seconds quicker than Risi Competizione’s Toni Vilander in the team’s Ferrari F458 Italia. Dirk Müller in the second BMW M3 GT finished third in class at 1:20.109 (114.144 mph).

The top eight cars in the class were within 0.625 seconds.

It was just as close in LMP Challenge with the four fastest cars separated by only 0.824 seconds. CORE autosport’s Gunnar Jeannette set the class’ fastest time of 1:17.982 (117.258 mph) on his second to last lap in the ORECA FLM09 that he will drive with Ricardo Gonzalez and Rudy Junco. Intersport Racing’s Kyle Marcelli finished the session second-quickest at 1:18.573 (116.376 mph) with Genoa Racing’s Jordan Grogor just 0.009 seconds behind the young Canadian.

The LMPC title battle between Genoa and CORE will be a focal point of Saturday’s race.

Nic Jonsson went quickest in GTE Am for Krohn Racing on the home track for the driver and his team. Jonsson’s lap of 1:21.637 (112.008 mph) came on his last lap in the Ferrari F430 GT that he will drive with team owner Tracy Krohn and Michele Rugolo.

The gap back to second-place Rui Aguas was a narrow 0.080 seconds in another Ferrari – this one from AF Corse. The CRS Racing F430 GT was third-fastest in the class with Tim Mullen’s lap of 1:22.382 (110.995 mph).

TRG’s Spencer Pumpelly was the fastest driver in GT Challenge, he will share the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with Duncan Ende and Peter Ludwig. Pumpelly’s lap of 1:25.472 (106.982 mph) gave him a 0.374-second gap back to Magnus Racing’s Craig Stanton. Dion von Moltke, driving the second TRG Porsche, set the third-fastest time in class with a 1:26.076 (106.232 mph).

Friday’s final practice session for Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is set for 10:15 a.m. ET. Qualifying will begin at 2:55 p.m. ET.

30th September 2011, 08:08
Thursday at Road Atlanta had three practice sessions, but Friday will also be a busy one for teams.
It will start with a final free practice session for all competitors at 10:15am (3:15pm UK) for a period of one hour. The teams will then be busy preparing for the serious business of qualifying. In four short sessions lasting fifteen minutes each. The GTC class will qualify at 2:40pm. (7:40pm UK) then LM GTE at 2:55pm (7:55pm UK). The LM PC will take over at 3:15pm. (8:15pm UK) while the LM P1 and LM P2, qualify together from 3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. (8:30pm to 8:45pm UK).

The traditional autograph session for all drivers will run from 12:15 to 1:15 pm. (5:15pm to 6:15 pm UK) in the paddock area.

30th September 2011, 08:10
There may be just one race to go before the end of the 2011 American Le Mans Series season, but the finale is none other than the 1,000 Mile Petit Le Mans race – one of the biggest events on the calendar. The already healthy field of competitors is, furthermore, combined with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s (ACO) Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, offering entrants, fans and spectators the very best sights and sounds of international sports car and GT racing.

Amongst the 58 entries, of which only 53 will be permitted to race, Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 458 Italia is expected to be at the forefront of the GTE-Pro class. Season regulars Jaime Melo and Toni Vilander, who secured the F458’s first North American GT victory at Road America in August, will be joined in the No. 062 for Petit Le Mans by the experienced open-wheel and sports car star, Miami-based Brazilian, Raphael Matos.

The trio of elite drivers is looking to bring the F458’s inaugural racing season to a positive close with a podium result at the 2.54 mile, 12-turn Road Atlanta track. The 19-strong GTE-Pro class is the largest in the field, and there are seven manufacturers represented and all looking for a convincing result. The six Ferrari 458 Italia entries will all be working to consolidate Ferrari’s place at the head of the ILMC GTE Manufacturers’ Classification.

Risi Competizione Team Principal Giuseppe Risi acknowledges that the 2011 season has been a challenging one. “The birth of a new racing car can often be a long and painful one. While this is not the case with the F458, it’s true to say that we’ve had a season of considerable ups and downs – more so than in any other season for some time.

“The F430 was a derivation of the F360 but this new model is wholly new, with not one carry-over part from the past, and that is bound to present technical and operational challenges to any team, no matter how successful. Coupled with dealing with the particular idiosyncrasies presented by racing on North American tracks, we have made huge progress with the development of the F458 since the start of the season, despite feeling at times that we’ve had one hand tied behind our backs.”

Joining the Risi Competizione team at Road Atlanta will be over 100 Ferrari owners, all coming to witness the F458’s Petit Le Mans debut under the wing of Ferrari North America. The guests will be able to see the considerable talent and skill of Melo – a two-time GT class winner at Petit Le Mans – at first hand, and enjoy the speed and spectacle that Vilander and Matos will bring to the partnership.

Also present will be representatives from Pennzoil Ultra TM, a technical partner not only with Risi but also with Ferrari, and the official motor oil of Risi Competizione. The product is not only named on the hood of the car, but also features under it. The Pennzoil Ultra TM 5W40 that is used in the Ferrari F458 on the track is the same that can be bought right off the shelf for use in our own cars. Just as the first Ferraris which drove through the gates of the Maranello factory in 1947 were powered and protected by Shell products, so the F458 is today.

The 1000 mile or 10 Hour (whichever comes first) race takes place on Saturday, October 1 at the Road Atlanta road course in Braselton, Georgia.


Jaime Melo: What do you think Rafa will bring to the team? “What he needs to bring to the team is confidence in the way he is going to drive the car. It’s a very, very busy track, more than 50 cars, and he needs to be aware we are one of the slower cars in a straight line. He has a lot of experience from IndyCar, and some races in ALMS and Grand Am and he’ll be there to support us to get a result.”

What does it take to get a good lap at Road Atlanta? “It’s a fast track with medium and high speed corners. Turns 1, 3 and 6 are very fast. We need to be consistent and it’s important to have good mechanical grip. At the same time, at Turn 3, there is a big jump on the curbs so we need to find a compromise between the mechanical grip and good damping to make the car happy on those. With the F430 we always had a good car at Road Atlanta and I think the F458 is better on the medium and high speed corners so I hope we can find an easy car to drive. We need to look for that goal; it would make our life easier in traffic as well.”

Toni Vilander: What are your thoughts on the forthcoming Petit Le Mans? “I like the track and it’s a good and exciting race. We are going to lack speed on the back straight but I think we will be good over a stint. Hopefully we can have a clean race and we know we have a car good enough to have a chance. Our car improved over the past weekend at Laguna and it will suit Road Atlanta. I am happy to race there, but at this race you have to work for the lap all the time. It’s a short lap time so we need to have our stuff together.”

On new team mate Raphael Matos: “I hope Rafa will fit in well with the team and that his test on Monday will help us start off with a good direction for the week. In the past I have been close to winning there and I want to finish that job!”

Raphael Matos: What are your thoughts about joining Risi Competizione? “First of all I want to say I’m extremely honored to be part of the Risi Competizione team for Petit Le Mans. I’ve followed them for a long time, since I was first involved with the ALMS in 2006, so I knew Risi was totally committed to Ferrari which was a big name and part of my childhood because my father was a huge fan of Ferrari. I was very happy to receive the call from Giuseppe Risi, and when the opportunity came up to drive I never hesitated.”

How much of a challenge do you think the GT class will be? “I’ve never raced in the ALMS GT class but I have raced in GT before and won in that class at the 24 hours of Daytona so I have experience in endurance races.

“I’m expecting to have a competitive car to race against the top runners in the ALMS and I was able to get a lot of inside info when I was with the team at Laguna Seca so I know a bit more about the communication with the engineer and how the drivers relay info to the engineers and that will help me settle in next week. The Ferrari 458 is very competitive and I think we should be in a good position. I just need to do the job and keep the car intact and in a good condition for the other two drivers.”

30th September 2011, 08:18

30th September 2011, 08:35
I've been looking forward to this! After the Pugs won at Imola and Silverstone, I really hope Audi can win the race here. And after their terrible luck at Le Mans, McNish and Christensen deserve to win a race!

And six Ferraris in GTE, should be awesome. Would love to see Risi finish the year strongly.

Is the race on telly Rob?

30th September 2011, 09:58
for the first time it is going to be on EurosportUK/HD 23.00 tomorrow, but :-( it looks like that they only going to be showing few hours of the race. I hope that the listings is wrong and will show the whole race :pray

I like to see Nishy and Audi get their revenge at this race. And Risi to have a brilliant win, finish of in style.

30th September 2011, 10:04
Road Atlanta may be the shortest venue of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup calendar, but the 10-hour (or 1,000 miles) Petit Le Mans is also the year’s third-longest race of the after Le Mans (24 hours) and Sebring (12 hours). It is consequently an interesting challenge for the different tyre firms who are competing here this weekend.

“The challenge we face here is described in the name of the event itself: ‘Petit’ Le Mans. In other words, a scaled-down version of the Le Mans 24 Hours,” says Serge Grisin, manager of Michelin Competition’s four-wheel motorsport programmes. “Okay, the speeds aren’t the same, but the tyres have to cope with high loads and there are a few compressions here which give them a hard time, especially the dip just before the ‘Esses’, which is this circuit’s equivalent to Spa’s ‘Eau Rouge’.

“The track gives good grip but there is every chance we will see one of the biggest variations in track temperature over the course of the race [from up to 35°C at the hottest moment of the day to around 16°C after sunset], so we are likely to see a wide range of compounds used. This is especially true in the GT class where we will probably see our partner teams run hard, medium and soft compounds.”

The forecasters are predicting continuing sunshine for the weekend, so Michelin’s wet weather tyres probably won’t be used. “The American regulations only allow one type of rain tyre, and the product we have here is a full wet. It’s a tyre that worked very well in the downpour at the ALMS round at Mid Ohio earlier in the year.”

Michelin is working with approximately half the 60-strong field here at Road Atlanta


30th September 2011, 10:48
for the first time it is going to be on EurosportUK/HD 23.00 tomorrow, but :-( it looks like that they only going to be showing few hours of the race. I hope that the listings is wrong and will show the whole race :pray

I like to see Nishy and Audi get their revenge at this race. And Risi to have a brilliant win, finish of in style.

Oh brilliant, I hope they'll show the full race. I'm looking forward to it.

30th September 2011, 12:03
heres a link to the live stream. It also will be showing the quali session today aswell. Think it will be about half 7ish here in England when quali starts.


30th September 2011, 13:01
Great stuff here Rob...Thx for posting it.

30th September 2011, 13:32
heres a link to the live stream. It also will be showing the quali session today aswell. Think it will be about half 7ish here in England when quali starts.


Cheers mate, that's great, thanks. :-)

30th September 2011, 18:54
After four official practice sessions held over the last two days at the 2.54 mile Road Atlanta track at Braselton in Georgia, Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 458 Italia GT has run problem free and all three drivers have had time to re-familiarize themselves with the track and the enormity of the event.

This year’s 53-car grid will mark the largest field in Petit Le Mans history and will be the fourth-largest grid in ALMS history. Only the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1999 (58), 2002 (59) and 2003 (55) has had more starting cars.

Along with a stellar collection of full-season Series entries, Petit Le Mans also serves as the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. The seven-round championship began as part of the ALMS at Sebring and features factory and works-supported efforts from Audi, Peugeot, Toyota, Oak-Pescarolo and Nissan in LMP, along with additional GT entries from Aston Martin, Corvette, Ferrari and Lotus.

There are nine representatives of the Prancing Horse marque competing in Petit Le Mans, and six F458 Italias in the fiercely competitive GTE-Pro class. The Risi Competizione, as at Sebring, is competing with the No. 062 instead of their more familiar No. 62 as there is another ILMC-entered Ferrari F430 with that same number. Confusingly, for commentators and fans, both cars are red and similarly liveried but there is no connection between the two teams.

Driver Quotes…

Toni Vilander: “We have three drivers here, the same as most of the grid, which doesn’t allow for much individual running time. Traffic is obviously a big factor and will be in the race as well but it’s the same for everyone so we just have to deal with it. The car has been good straight out of the box, and we’ve been trying one or two things during the practice sessions. We have completed our minimum night laps and are now looking towards the race.”

Jaime Melo talking about how testing has gone: “We have had time to test in race conditions and close to a qualifying simulation but I think the race is most important thing to work towards. On full tanks, new and used tires the car was handling pretty well and consistently and was easy to drive. This is important especially on this track

“Fifty plus cars on the track is pretty hard, especially at turn 3, so we need to have a car which is really comfortable to drive. I’m happy, we are in good shape. Tomorrow (Friday) we have one more session and qualifying and of course qualifying is not really a goal but we’re going to try to do a good time and see how the race goes.

“We have seen on practice how busy the whole track is – there’s not enough space for everyone. But anyway I think we just need to try to set up the car to be easy to drive and then we can be careful – especially in the first five or six hours in the race and then the race will really start. In the last three hours, hopefully there will be fewer cars on the track and we’ll be in a good position to race.”

Raphael Matos, talking of the night session: “The last time I drove at night was at Daytona last year but it was different as they’ve got a lot more lights all around the track; it was a lot more difficult here at Road Atlanta. It will take a few laps for each of us to get used to the reference points and it’s tough especially with the prototypes flashing lights at you all the time. We’ll have to be very careful.”

On the Risi Ferrari 458 GT: “I feel quite comfortable in the GT car now, but it’s so difficult in the traffic as you can never put a lap together. It’s a bit frustrating on that side but this race is all about managing that part – I feel I’m getting better and better all the time I’m out there and certainly in the race I’ll have a lot of time to improve. I think I’m on the pace with Toni and Jaime and it’s just a matter of being consistent in the race and not putting yourself and the car in a position that can damage it. Hopefully I’ll hand it over intact.

“A spotter is fundamental here because of the speed that the prototypes catch us. It’s been very helpful. I love the track but the most challenging part is going down the Esses. It’s the most technical part and where the prototypes catch us the fastest so it’s difficult. Don, our spotter, gives us a good idea going into there about what’s behind us and how many are closing on us. That’s essential.”

30th September 2011, 19:07
risicompRisi Competizione

Melo -0.205 behind early pole sitter Dirk Werner #alms #petitLM

39 seconds ago

30th September 2011, 19:17
almsnotesALMS Racing

Top seven cars in GTE Pro are within 0.887 as Bruni goes to provisional pole at 1:18.699. #ALMS #ILMC #PetitLM

30th September 2011, 19:18
MichelinAlleyMichelin Alley

"Jimmy" Bruni scores the pole for Ferrari in GT. BMWs 2nd and 3rd @RoadAtlanta #ALMS #ILMC

30th September 2011, 19:19
almsnotesALMS Racing
Bruni is 2-for-2 in #ALMS qualifying this year! Adds to #Sebring12 FQ in an F430 GT.

30th September 2011, 19:35
Thanks for the updates Rob. :-)

Glad to hear Ferrari on pole in GTE.

1st October 2011, 15:05
The Risi Competizione No. 062 Ferrari 458 Italia GT will start on the second row of the hugely competitive, 19-strong GTE-Pro grid after today’s 15-minute qualifying session. Jaime Melo’s fastest time of 1:19.219 placed him fourth for tomorrow’s 1,000 mile or ten-hour Petit Le Mans (whichever comes first), and was the quickest he’d lapped the 2.54 mile, 12 Turn Road Atlanta track all week.

The AF Corse F458 Italia of former Risi driver Gianmaria Bruni claimed pole position with a time of 1:18.699, and Ferraris filled five of the top ten positions in the GT qualifying classification. Just one second separated the top ten GT cars, and only seven hundredths of a second separated those in fifth to eighth positions – an indication of the intensity of competition and the high level of the field.

While slightly disappointed that he wasn’t able to replicate his class pole position of 2010, Melo was not unhappy with his qualifying performance. He completed just six laps, preferring to preserve the life of his Michelin tires for the start of the race tomorrow.

He commented: “I didn’t have any big problems and I tried my best. At these temperatures I had a bit of oversteer going into the corners, especially on the right hand ones, but I think second row is not so bad.

“The race is long and I think on full tanks, as we will have tomorrow, the car will be handling better than in qualifying and we will see what happens. I’m happy as it’s really, really tight in the class. Gimmi did a good job to get pole ahead of the BMWs.

“Tomorrow it’s going to be really busy and I think the car we have now will be good in traffic which was our main target this week. We just need to be careful at the start, and in the early stages of the race and hopefully our race will come to us.”

1st October 2011, 16:05
Such a shame about Risi having to retire the car so early. :-(

1st October 2011, 16:14
really gutted. Least we have AF Corse to take up the fight.

heres another link to watch it

1st October 2011, 18:39
The No. 062 Ferrari 458 Italia of Houston-based Risi Competizione team, GT winners of Petit Le Mans in 2008 and 2009, was officially withdrawn at 11:10 am this morning, 20 minutes before the start of the 1,000 mile/ten hour race.

Jaime Melo left the pits for a reconnaissance lap on his way to the grid prior to the start but, on cold tires, lost control of the car and made contact with the barriers at Turn 9 – just after the long back straight. The car was returned to the pits but, after initial assessment by the team, the damage sustained was considered too severe to repair in the time available.

Team Principal Giuseppe Risi said, “What can one say? We’ve worked so hard to be here, have had a very good week in practice and knew we potentially had a really great race car.

“It’s a very sad way to finish our first season of racing with the F458, but the most important thing is that no one was hurt. The damage caused by the impact was considerable and, while our team of mechanics were perfectly capable of replacing the broken mechanical parts, we were not prepared to take the chance of sending out a less than perfect car in this particular race.”

There continue to be five other Ferrari 458 Italias racing in the GTE-Pro class and three F430s in the GTE-Am category

1st October 2011, 19:23

1st October 2011, 20:32
not good for Risi, but there is AF Corse 458 in lead atmo

here link for race, click the rsvp and then enter email and away you go, it french so mute it and put link on below for commentry


2nd October 2011, 17:25
ROAD ATLANTA “PETIT LE MANS”, October 1st – The Ferrari 458 Italia of AF Corse team -driven by Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer – won the “Petit Le Mans” at Road Atlanta, penultimate race of the Interncontinental Le Mans Cup. Thanks to the first position among the GTE Pro cars, the Italian team has more than ever the leadership of the championship. AF Corse in the first place with 99 points; Bmw Motorsport is second 14 points less than the Italian team.

2nd October 2011, 17:26
Peugeot and Audi Clash, LMPC and GTC Championships Settled

The 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda was a classic 1,000-mile endurance thriller and a more-than-worthy finale for the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. Peugeot Sport Total won its third straight Petit Le Mans after an intense battle with Audi Sport Team Joest as Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz drove to victory.

AF Corse held off Flying Lizard Motorsports and BMW Motorsports for the GTE-Pro win at Road Atlanta in what served as the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. Tim Pappas and Black Swan Racing successfully defended their GT Challenge driver and team championships while Eric Lux, Gunnar Jeannette and Ricardo Gonzalez had a three-way tie for the LMP Challenge driver's championship. CORE autosport earned its first LMPC team championship.

As expected, the LMP1 race began as a dogfight between Peugeot Sport Total and Audi Sport Team Joest. Marcel Fassler in the No. 1 Audi R18 took the lead briefly from the pole-winning No. 7 Peugeot 908 of Sébastien Bourdais, but Bourdais retook the race lead shortly before the first full-course yellow. The No. 7 Peugeot's bid for a Petit Le Mans win didn't go much farther, as the car lost drive and came to a halt early in the race's second hour. The team brought the car behind the wall for repairs but retired shortly thereafter.

With the No. 2 Audi of Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Dindo Capello also experiencing mechanical woes, it was up to the No. 1 Audi R18 of Fässler, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas to chase down Montagny, Sarrazin and Wurz in the No. 8 Peugeot 908.

"We all knew it would be a difficult race with the pressure between the four cars and the Oreca (Peugeot)," Wurz said. "We knew the traffic would be a lot to deal with. I didn't think all four cars would be able to see the end. We took care of the car and the car was really good in traffic. We knew we could win if we did not make any mistakes."

An intense battle for the lead between Dumas and Montagny ended with three hours to go when the two touched at the entry to the long backstraight. The contact sent the Audi into the wall at Turn 8. From there it was clear sailing to the checkered flag for Peugeot.

"I was most of the time faster than the Audi so it was easy to pull away," Montagny said. "But we had a long yellow period. Then I got in traffic and Romain caught up to me. He tried to overtake me but I closed the door (at Turn 10). But later I opened my line to get around a GTC Porsche, and I took my line back into the left-hand corner. Romain took a jump into the hole that was only open for the Porsche. I was really sorry to have a fight like this and finish. We'd like to battle on the track. But we had a great race and had a good car."

The No. 10 Team Oreca-Matmut Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gené was second, followed by the No. 007 Aston Martin Racing AMR Lola Coupe B09 60 of Adrian Fernandez, Stefan Mücke and Harold Primat.

The Petit Le Mans win clinched the LMP1 championship for Peugeot in the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup as well as the team title for Team Peugeot Total.

"It meant a lot to get the championship here," Sarrazin said. "The focus was to finish the race. Franck and Alex were very fast. Traffic was tough at the end. There were a lot of drivers lost on the track toward the end. I tried more to not touch cars during overtaking. The Audi team was really fast. It was a tough race. Our engineers did a great job this weekend and gave us a great car. It shows a good team. I'm happy for this win."

BMW Motorsports took the GTE-Pro lead from pole-sitter AF Corse early but a punctured tire for the No. 55 BMW M3 GT handed the lead back to AF Corse and the No. 51 Ferrari F458 Italia driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni and Pierre Kaffer. A quick pit stop for BMW allowed Joey Hand to briefly take the class lead, but Bruni retook the spot on a restart moments later. Fisichella brought the Ferrari home for the win.

"It was a very, very tough race," Bruni said. "With three hours to go, we were leading, very nice 30 seconds ahead of everybody. We got the safety car. We pit, when I came out he [Joey Hand] was ahead of me. At the green I made the move in Turn 1 and I started to turn away. Then we didn't change tires and they did. They started catching me; he was right on my rear bumper for 20-30 minutes. I just thought to be the best. I thought he'd have a drop in the tires, but the luck really came. I have to thank Michelin. We did 50 to 60 laps and we were still doing (1:20) laps. Then I left the car to Giancarlo."

"The last few laps especially, during the restart and the last few laps, I was very nervous," said Fisichella, a three-time F1 Grand Prix winner. "The BMW and Porsche had a bit of an advantage. They were 30 seconds behind me but with the safety car they were only a few seconds back. I was worried; one of the cars put a lot of oil down on the circuit. I knew I had to fight right to the end. I have to thank the team for the strategy and the mechanics. And thanks to Pierre, someone I've shared a car with this year, and Gianmaria who was able to keep the BMW behind him with the used tires."

"I have to say, Ferrari did a great job developing the 458," Kaffer said. "It's a different world comparing to the 430. It was the first race I've done in the 458 to support these guys. I really like the car. It did a fantastic job."

In classic GT fashion, Jörg Bergmeister spent every inch of the final lap around Road Atlanta sparing with Dirk Werner's No. 55 BMW. At the line it was Bergmeister in the No. 045 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR he shared with Patrick Long and Patrick Pilet by 0.182 seconds over Werner, who co-drives with Bill Auberlen and Augusto Farfus.

The runner-up finish for Flying Lizard enabled Michelin to claim the 2011 GT tire manufacturer's title, while third place for BMW Motorsports was enough for BMW to earn its second consecutive GT car manufacturer's championship.

The No. 4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen and Richard Westbrook finished fourth on the track, but first in the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge for GT competitors. In the GT category, all the cars classified used E85 giving them good Clean scores, so the key to winning in this category was energy consumption (Efficiency) and race speed (Fast).

After the No. 26 Signatech Nissan Oreca 03-Nissan was forced to go behind the wall for repairs, LMP2 was dominated by Level 5 Motorsports. The No. 33 HPD ARX-01g driven by Scott Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and João Barbosa won by eight laps over the No. 22 United Autosports Oak Pescarolo driven by Zak Brown, Stefan Johansson and Mark Patterson, which also collected the prototype category MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge Award in its Series debut. It was also the first time an LMP2 car won the MGXC in 2011. United Autosport's score was the third best, but won because its two other competitors failed to meet the criteria to win.
It the second win in as many races for Level 5's new HPD ARX-01g.

"We're really pleased with the performance of the Honda," Tucker said. "The competition was really tough today. We knew it'd be a really tough battle. We knew there'd be a lot of competition today and a big battle. We were fortunate because the car is just about six weeks old. It went through a six-hour race and a 10-hour race. We're really pleased with that."

"We knew coming into the weekend traffic would play a key role to the outcome of the race," Barbosa said. "We were lucky to have a big enough of a lead and manage traffic with the extra care and stay out of trouble. That's what we did after we got the lead, make no mistakes and manage our risks. The car performed perfectly for the whole nine-hour race. It's a great car."

"It's a really great car," Bouchut said. "(Level 5) showed in the past they are competitive at a really top level. For us, it is really for a strong surprise to start like this. We are running six hours without a problem and to come here and win LMP2. The car is very fast and very reliable."

Signatech was third with drivers Franck Mailleux, Jean-Karl Vernay and Lucas Ordoñez.

In GTE-Am, Krohn Racing won its home race with drivers Tracy Krohn, Niclas Jönsson and Michele Rugolo in the No. 57 Ferrari F430.

"I'm going to let the team walk the trophy up the hill," joked Krohn, whose shop is based at Road Atlanta. "They did a great job today. We didn't miss a step. The team kept us strong and in line. When you do this great you always remember. Traffic was much worse than you could have imagined. It was unbelievable. With the LMP cars there is so much downforce, and if they slow down too much they lose grip. To share this win with Michele and Nic… Nic has been with me for eight years, so it's nice to share this hardware with him."

The No. 50 Larbre Competition Corvette C6-ZR1 shared by Patrick Bornhauser, Julien Canal and Gabriele Gardel was second, followed by the No. 60 Gulf AMR Middle East Aston Martin Vantage of Fabien Giroix and Michael Wainwright.

The battle for the LMPC win between PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports and Intersport Racing was a nail-biter, but the focus often fell back to the CORE autosport and Genoa Racing cars, battling for the LMPC driver and team championships.

PR1's Ryan Lewis, Ken Dobson and Henri Richard found themselves trading the lead with Intersport's Kyle Marcelli, Tomy Drissi and Chapman Ducote as the CORE and Genoa teams struggled with off course excursions and mechanical travails.

"I think from the beginning the way the race went, we went in just wanting to survive," Lewis said. "Being in the lead lap with the last hour, we knew we'd be in a good chance to winning the race. We got some good luck today."

"It's funny, the speed difference seemed more than Sebring," Dobson noted. "The braking zones were quite alarming. It was quite exhilarating to see the Audis and Peugeots go flying by."

At one point it appeared as though all of PR1's efforts would be for naught when contact caused some damage to the No. 52 Oreca FLM09. The injury was minimal and PR1 crossed the line 0.172 seconds ahead of Intersport's No. 89 Oreca FLM09.

"I was just having fun," Richard said. "I didn't know my relative position. The team didn't want to put pressure on me, so I was just driving around having fun. It was my first time driving this car, and driving at this track. I had a bit of a tap, no harm no foul. But the team put together a great car. So I gave the car over to Ryan and he brought it home for us. It was a fun win today."

With a third-place finish for the No. 06 Oreca FLM09 of Gunnar Jeannette, Ricardo Gonzalez and Ryan Dalziel, CORE autosport earned its first LMPC team championship by one point over Genoa Racing.

"We definitely didn't know what was going to happen," Jeannette said. "I don't think we still know what's happening. All that aside, I have to say it's a fantastic year driving with Ricardo and being a part of the CORE autosport organization. This was part of the (IMSA) Lites series last year. It was a steep learning curve for any organization I've ever been a part of."

"I am very happy for the team, in the first year," Gonzalez said. "To participate in the ALMS it requires a lot more people. They did a great job recruiting a lot of talent. We got along very well, which is important. I got along well with Gunnar and Rudy (Junco, their Road Atlanta teammate). Rudy added a lot to the driver team. Last year is was about getting used to the car, this year it was about developing the car."
Finishing fourth in the No. 063 Oreca FLM09, Lux tied Jeannette and Gonzalez for the LMPC driver's championship. Each driver had the same point totals plus number of first-, second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes.

"It was great to show the battle in this race after the season we had all year," Lux said. "I think it was quite fitting that we actually tied. It shows how close the competition is. We had a broken half-shaft but the team kept up and got us back out there. The 06 had its issues and so did the 05 and luckily the hard work paid off."

"I would like to be champion with Gunnar only, but that's life," Gonzalez added. "We are very happy for Eric. We had a lot of good fights. He is a really good driver."

Pit lane played a major role in the battle for the GTC win and championships. Even with an early pit lane violation and subsequent penalty, TRG's No. 66 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driven by Spencer Pumpelly, Duncan Ende and Peter Ludwig was in the lead with less than three-and-half hours remaining. Black Swan Racing usurped the lead from TRG with a quick pit stop, but then Alex Job Racing played the same strategy with the No. 23 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to take the lead in the final round of pit stops. Driving the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup he shared with Tim Pappas and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, Jeroen Bleekemolen was able to take the lead from AJR's Leh Keen in the closing minutes of the race.

"It's so close between the three of us at the end, if anything went wrong we'd lose a lot," Jeroen Bleekemolen said. "We had some issues. One time the starter motor wouldn't work. We lost the dash for a bit. It was great that we could take it. Last year we lost Petit by only a little bit. I did almost four hours in the car. I had nice a bit of a gap at the end but we got the safety car and I got nervous. Then I had to push at the end just to make sure to keep him back behind me."

Bleekmolen collected the win 8.130 seconds ahead of Keen who drove the No. 23 Porsche with Bill Sweedler and Brian Wong. Forced to pit with less than 10 minutes remaining to take on additional fuel, TRG finished third.

"It wasn't too bad for us," Sebastiaan Bleekemolen said. "Jereon said the dark was crazy. We did a great job in briefing. They said don't overtake here, or pass him there, and I stayed with that, and it was easier to get around guys. It was a great car we had. Very fast and it made for a good win."

The win gave Black Swan Racing its second consecutive GTC team championship and Pappas his second consecutive driver's championship.
"It certainly wasn't easy," Pappas said. "It was something we had to work for. We really appreciate this victory and championship. Every two seconds I was talking to all the team. I was bugging them constantly for the last four hours asking 'where are we, what are we doing, are we ok?' When the last caution came out, we got deflated because the same happened at Laguna. And to lose last year, we got freaked out when it was going to be so close at the restart. The sweetest part of the win this year is that we had competition for the whole season. So for sure, it made the win a big achievement. It feels fantastic."

The 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda airs on ABC, Sunday, Oct. 2, at 4 p.m. ET

2nd October 2011, 18:02
almsnotesALMS Racing

Don't forget... watch #PetitLM from @roadatlanta at 4p ET (2p PT) this afternoon on #ABC! #ALMS #ILMC #DownToTheWire

1 minute ago

2nd October 2011, 22:55

What a brilliant last 2 laps!

3rd October 2011, 19:08

What a brilliant last 2 laps!

was awesome last few laps. So gutted for Mcnish nd the Audis.

3rd October 2011, 20:00
was awesome last few laps. So gutted for Mcnish nd the Audis.

Rob, I'm going to try this again :-D

Is there an all GT series, with Ferrari and other manufacturers--not all Ferrari, in other words--but with no prototypes, no several different car classes)

1. on TV

2. with a race (or races) over here?

4th October 2011, 19:33
Rob, I'm going to try this again :-D

Is there an all GT series, with Ferrari and other manufacturers--not all Ferrari, in other words--but with no prototypes, no several different car classes)

1. on TV

2. with a race (or races) over here?

i look into it amico mio :-D:thumb

4th October 2011, 19:37
Petit Le Mans was disappointing for Audi, and the failure of both cars to finish the race handed the ILMC team and manufaturers' titles to rivals Peugeot'. It was a clash of Titans but a shortened one.
At the start, the pole position Peugeot of Bourdais maintaned the lead. This advantage was destroyed when debris from another car lying on the track clogged one of the radiator ducts of the R18 TDI, which required an unscheduled pit stop. A 20-second stop-and-go penalty cost additional time.

Bernhard/Dumas/Fässler consistently stayed on the lead lap and managed to close the gap to the leading Peugeot again. At the end of the seventh hour Romain Dumas launched a first attack against Franck Montagny during which there was some slight body contact in the chicane before the start and finish and the Audi driver lost five seconds. Only a few laps later Dumas caught up with the Peugeot again. When the Peugeot touched a GT vehicle Dumas at the start of the parallel straight was able to move alongside Montagny but was squeezed out by the Peugeot driver in the acceleration phase. While trying to avoid a collision with the Peugeot, Dumas brushed a GT vehicle and made heavy contact wth the wall. That put a disappointingly early end to the race of the #1 Audi R18 TDI.

Audi #2 lost all chance of victory quite early in the race. Tom Kristensen had two incidents of body contact with slower cars in the first few laps. The first one led to a puncture and damaged bodywork. Later on, Allan McNish was hit in the rear by a GT vehicle. In addition to suspension and body parts, the clutch had to be exchanged which caused #2 to lose over an hour and drop back out of contention. Because the various body contacts had also caused problems with the steering, Audi Sport Team Joest decided to take the car driven by Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish out of the race after 302 laps for safety reasons.

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "I’m very disappointed. We were battling for victory for seven hours and were leading several times. Our best car and the best Peugeot were always just separated by a few seconds. Unfortunately, Romain Dumas was barged off by the leading Peugeot while he was trying to overtake it. This resulted in contact with a GT vehicle that had to be lapped and an accident leading to retirement. This was an extreme shame because we had the performance to win this race. I think it wasn’t necessary to fend off Romain’s attack in such a brutal way - that’s not the way to act in endurance racing, especially at such high speeds. The second car became entangled in several minor collisions early on and was out of contention for victory after a longer repair despite driving the times of the front runners. We congratulate Peugeot on their victory and the ILMC title. Nevertheless, there is an aftertaste today which is not so pleasant."

4th October 2011, 19:39
Krohn Racing Victorious at Road Atlanta in Petit Le Mans Race

By Team Update ⋅ October 2, 2011

Krohn Racing Victorious at Road Atlanta in Petit Le Mans Race

Only American Team in Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series Takes Second Victory of the 2011 Season in GTE-Am Class

Krohn Racing captured their second GTE-Am class victory of the season in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) series at their home track of Road Atlanta in the 14th annual Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda race, October 1. The Petit Le Mans race was a combined event of both the ILMC and the finale for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

A fast and well-prepared car, steady and smart driving by the trio of Krohn Racing team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Michele Rugolo and the ability to stay out of trouble were mitigating factors in the popular class victory.

The 14th Annual Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda overall race winners were Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz in the No. 8 Peugeot 908.

TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am:
“It’s just great to win at your home track and in one of maybe the most difficult races we’ve done all year. This race was pretty intense. The whole race strategy was to stay on track, avoid the faster cars and still keep your pace. It’s really hard to do that. Nic did great, Michele did great, David, Jeff and the whole team did great. This is a team effort. Everybody has to make the effort work – from the guys working the tires, the guys working in the front office to the guys driving the car. Everybody has to make this work together. I’m so proud to be on the podium at Road Atlanta and win a race as prestigious at Petit Le Mans.”

NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am:
“It was phenomenal to have won on our home turf since Krohn Racing is based in Atlanta, and actually at Road Atlanta. To be able to take another win here in the United States, with the first being our victory at Sebring, and now Petit Le Mans. Those are two of the three biggest races in the world. The only one we missed winning this year was the 24 Hours of Le Mans, because of a mechanical failure when we were leading. We will go to China in a month and hope to finish the season with another win. This is unbelievable. The entire Krohn Team has done an amazing job on maintaining the car. Every pit stop was flawless and Tracy and Michele did a great job in the car today. The race was exactly what we thought – you had to stay out of trouble. Race Engineer David Brown did a great job getting the car set up as well so that we had a good, fast car when we needed it to put guys down a lap while still preserving the car. It feels awesome to me to win on the home turf. I had my Mom and Dad here from Sweden and my little son, Max, and my wife Helene. I’m really, really happy for this victory!”

MICHELE RUGOLO, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am:
“For this race, we actually had not done anything different compared to what we had done for Le Mans and many other races. The team has been perfect. The pit stops have no mistakes. This weekend the car was very good. It’s actually difficult to find the best lap because we started the race at 11:30 in the morning and we finished late in the evening and the track kept changing. For sure we found the best compromise for the majority of the hours of the race. I want to thank David for the good balance of the car and to the guys for the awesome pit stops with no mistakes. It was always perfect and not a problem with a single tire. We were very consistent and very fast as well. There was a small accident where I was involved with the car, but I was hit by another car. I think everything has been the way it had to be in order to win.”

DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer:
“We had a fast car all weekend. All three drivers drove absolutely brilliantly. Each time we changed tires and put a new driver in the car, they drove excellently. Tracy was a major contributor to today’s win. Our strategy was sound. We took advantage of the cautions, and there were several. Our car was fast and reliable. We had zero issues. The pit stops were perfectly executed by the crew. They did an outstanding job, as always. We have a really good tire company in Dunlop and they provided us with exactly the right tires for the conditions of this race and you could tell by how we were able to put in such good lap times that the tires worked very well here. There was some pressure on us to perform, being the home team, but I don’t think anybody performed any differently. We tried to treat it like just another race and it worked out very well. We were all very, very happy. We’re really looking forward to going to Zhuhai.”

JEFF HAZELL, Krohn Racing Motorsports Manager:
“It’s very sweet for the team to win at home on the track we know so well and with so many guests and friends here. It is also sweet because the team is made up of such an international group of specialists, drivers and technicians and they all come together to work in Atlanta and to pull off a victory here at home for all those people is particularly special. In addition to good car for the race, we had particularly increasing support from Michelotto and a great deal of engineering confirmation with Dunlop Tires throughout the weekend and both those things played a big part in the success. We are the only American team in this global championship that has attended every event. The next stop is Zhuhai, China, where we should be able to fly the American flag again on the Ferrari.”

The final race of the season for Krohn Racing is the 6 Hours of Zhuhai, Zhuhai, China, the ultimate round of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series. For more information, go to www.krohnracing.net.

4th October 2011, 20:46
i look into it amico mio :-D:thumb

Grazie! :wine

5th October 2011, 16:12
Great win for Ferrari!!!!! Now if we could pump a little life into the 430 for the other class???
Great win my Ferrari..Ima happy now:thumb