ALMS teams gear up for Le Mans
As they did at Sebring, Audi and Peugeot will lock horns again at Le Mans next month. With the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix now in the rear-view mirror, a select group of American Le Mans Series drivers and teams can now turn their attention to the pinnacle of endurance racing – Le Mans.
This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans is the 77th edition of the world’s most demanding auto race, and as in years past the American Le Mans Series is well represented. Approximately 40 drivers from the series will attempt to tame the 8.3-mile circuit that winds its way through the permanent race circuit as well as the public roads of Le Mans.
In 2008, Audi Sport captured the overall win with its Audi R10 in an epic battle with fellow diesel power Peugeot. The Audi factory team has three new R15 TDIs entered for Le Mans this year, and the new car debuted successfully with an overall win for Dindo Capello, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen at the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida to open the 2009 season.
Risi Competizione and Flying Lizard, along with Corvette Racing, will lead the charge of ALMS teams in the GT classes at Le Mans. Risi Competizione gave Ferrari its first GT2 victory at Le Mans last season and has two F430s entered. The trio of Jaime Melo, Pierre Kaffer and Mika Salo kicked off the preparation of their title defense by winning handily at Sebring as well.
In addition, Corvette Racing is racing the Corvette C6.R for the final time in GT1 as it searches for a sixth class win at the 24 Hours since 2001. Flying Lizard Motorsports, the defending GT2 champion in the American Le Mans Series, has entered a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Drayson Racing, which is scheduled to return to the American Le Mans Series at Petit Le Mans, will field an Aston Martin Vantage in GT2 as well. North Carolina-based Creation Autosportif has a Judd-powered Creation prototype entered in LMP1.
The 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 13 to 10 a.m. ET) on Sunday, June 14. SPEED will provide live coverage from 8:30 a.m. to noon ET Saturday and 11 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. ET Sunday. Flag-to-flag coverage of the race, qualifying and practice will also be available at radiolemans.com.
American Le Mans Series competitors at Le Mans
Olivier Beretta – Corvette Racing (GT1)
Jörg Bergmeister – Flying Lizard Motorsports (GT2)
Timo Bernhard – Audi Sport (LMP1)
David Brabham – Team Peugeot Total (LMP1)
Dindo Capello – Audi Sport (LMP1)
Johnny Cocker – Drayson Racing (GT2)
Emmanuel Collard – Team Essex (LMP2)
Paul Drayson - Drayson Racing (GT2)
Romain Dumas – Audi Sport (LMP1)
Chris Dyson – RML (LMP2)
Dominik Farnbacher – Hankook Team Farnbacher (GT2)
Marcel Fässler – Corvette Racing (GT1)
Marino Franchitti – Drayson Racing (GT2)
Antonio Garcia – Corvette Racing (GT1)
Oliver Gavin – Corvette Racing (GT1)
Nic Jonsson – Risi Competizione (GT2)
Pierre Kaffer – Risi Competizione (GT2)
Tom Kristensen – Audi Sport (LMP1)
Tracy Krohn – Risi Competizione (GT2)
Darren Law – Flying Lizard Motorsports (GT2)
Lucas Luhr – Audi Sport (LMP1)
Jan Magnussen – Corvette Racing (GT1)
Allan McNish – Audi Sport (LMP1)
Jamie Melo – Risi Competizione (GT2)
Franck Montagny – Team Peugeot Total (LMP1)
Seth Neiman – Flying Lizard Motorsports (GT2)
Johnny O'Connell – Corvette Racing (GT1)
Simon Pagenaud – Pescarolo Sport (LMP1)
Mike Rockenfeller – Audi Sport (LMP1)
Mika Salo – Risi Competizione (GT2)
Guy Smith – Quifel-ASM Team (LMP2)
Eric van de Poele – Risi Competizione (GT2)
Marco Werner – Audi Sport (LMP1)