After a two-and-a-half month hiatus, the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón resumed two weeks ago at Lime Rock Park. The fourth round of the schedule takes place this weekend at Mosport International Raceway, which features several changes from its 2010 race.
New ownership group Canadian Motorsports Ventures Ltd. bought the track outright from ALMS founder Don Panoz in June. The group includes Canadian racing legend Ron Fellows, along with transportation industry leader Al Boughton and real estate developer Carlo Fidani.
The race moves from its late August date last year to its new one in mid-July. Last year's race, won overall by Klaus Graf and Romain Dumas aboard the Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder, did not run to its full two-hour, 45-minute conclusion following an accident on the back straight when Luke Hines crashed heavily in his Paul Miller Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car and damaged the guardrail beyond repair.
Graf and Lucas Luhr in the Muscle Milk Lola Aston Martin will have three challengers for the P1 class victory. Autocon makes its season debut with Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry aboard the team's No. 12 Lola AER. It's the only open-top prototype of the four in the field.
Like Dyson Racing's pair of Lola Mazda coupes, the Autocon entry will run on Dunlop tires and isobutanol, a change after running primarily on E85R in 2010. Burgess and Johnny Mowlem recorded Autocon's best finish in 2010 at Mosport, third overall and in prototypes.
BMW's charge in GT may be slowed following IMSA's post-Lime Rock adjustment of Performance balances. The team's E92 M3 will have a smaller restrictor limit of 29.4mm, a change of -0.4mm from what they have had earlier in the season.
Joey Hand and Dirk Muller enter Mosport having won each of the first three races in their No. 56 Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW. Flying Lizard Motorsports hasn't yet won in 2011 but resume their challenge as defending Mosport race champions and runners-up to BMW at Lime Rock with Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister in the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Also following Lime Rock, the Porsches have been given a minimum weight increase to 1235kg, a 15kg increase.
Panoz also returns to the fray with its Abruzzi (ABOVE) for the first time since the 12 Hours of Sebring. Ian James and ALMS series debutant Edward Sandstrom will drive Don Panoz's newest automotive creation.
LMP Challenge also features teams getting a restrictor break post-Lime Rock, a 10mm boost to 70mm, which should see an increase in top speed and a better ability to break away from the GT cars.
Genoa Racing reclaimed the team's championship lead from CORE Autosport at Lime Rock, as the two have split the three victories so far with two to Genoa and one to CORE. At Intersport, Clint Field makes his season debut alongside father Jon in one of the team's two LMPC cars.
After the four P1, 16 GT and six LMPC cars, five GTC entrants complete the 31-car field.
• The ALMS Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport airs Sunday, July 24, live on ESPN3.com at 2:45 p.m. EST and on ESPN2 the same day at 10 p.m. EST.