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THE LINE

December 3, 2008

 

David Brabham, Scott Sharp, Jorg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler. Four of the American Le Mans Series’ top drivers received post-season honors from the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. Motorsports journalists from around the country selected Patrón Highcroft Racing’s David Brabham and Scott Sharp along with Jorg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler from Flying Lizard Motorsports as AARWBA first-team All-American Auto Racing Team members. The drivers are invited to celebrate their efforts at AARWBA’s annual banquet on January 10 in Ontario, Calif., where they will receive their respective “Horsepower” awards - Brabham/Sharp representing Road Racing competitors and Bergmeister/Henzler in the At-Large category. Bergmeister/Henzler walked away with the American Le Mans Series GT2 Championship with four class victories in 11 starts. They won at Sebring, Salt Lake City, Lime Rock and Detroit in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Brabham and Sharp, Acura’s leading driver pairing, also won four times in 11 starts in their Acura ARX-01b (LMP2) including an overall victory at Lime Rock Park, the first for the manufacturer. They also claimed P2 victories at Long Beach, Road America and Mosport for a runner-up finish in the class championship.

(ALMS)

Jorg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler celebrated often in 2009, winning the GT2 class at Sebring, Salt Lake City, Lime Rock and Detroit in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

(ALMS)

David Brabham and Scott Sharp represented Acura well in the LMP2 class delivering four victories, including an overall win at Lime Rock Park.

Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Raphael Matos. IndyCar stars Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Raphael Matos have been voted to the 2008 All-America Auto Racing First Team by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. They are among 17 drivers in seven categories eligible for the Jerry Titus Award that will be presented to the Driver of the Year Jan. 10 in Ontario, Calif. Dixon and Castroneves swept First Team honors in the Open-Wheel category as the top two vote getters. Dixon, the IndyCar Series champion, recorded a record-tying six victories in 2008, including the Indianapolis 500, to win his second series championship by 17 points over Castroneves. Castroneves won twice and set a series record with eight second-place finishes in his pursuit of Dixon. The two of them easily outdistanced the other nominees in the Open Wheel category. Both are now four-time All-Americans, the third time for Dixon on First Team and the first time Castroneves has achieved the top rung. Matos won First Team honors in the At Large category, winning the Firestone Indy Lights championship with three victories. He is the fifth Firestone Indy Lights champion since 2002 to earn First Team honors. Matos will compete in the IndyCar Series in 2009.

(ALMS)
Porsche’s Thomas Laudenbach is the recipient of this year’s World Motorsport Symposium Awards for the Race Engine Designer of the Year, presented by the UK-published Race Tech magazine. Laudenbach, the head of motorsport development/power train at Porsche AG, received the award for development of the direct fuel injection for the Porsche RS Spyder race car. The power output of the successful championship-winning Porsche increased with the new engine from 476 to 503 hp (370 kW) at 10,000 revs per minute. Maximum torque rose from 370 Nm (273 ft. lbs.) at 7,500 revs to 385 Nm (284 ft. lbs.) at 8,500 revs. But the most compelling feature of the Direct Fuel Injection version of the successful Porsche 3.4-liter V8 motor is its improved energy efficiency - an important element in endurance racing. Despite an improved power output, fuel consumption was significantly reduced. “After reaching a very high level with the previous engine we raced, we had to put considerable efforts into the development of the direct fuel injection unit in order to significantly improve performance and efficiency,” said Laudenbach, the chief designer on the project. “In order to achieve revs of up to 11,000 with direct fuel injection technology it meant stepping into totally new territory.” This direct fuel injection technology is now being used in the 2009 Porsche 911s, the next-generation Porsche Boxster and Cayman models due next spring, and the Porsche Cayenne.

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With the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida coming up next March, BMW and Rahal Letterman Racing are continuing their efforts to debut their two-car factory-sponsored program with the next-generation M3. "The American Le Mans Series and BMW have a lot in common, I think," Martin Birkman, Motorsports Manager for BMW North America said in an exclusive video interview with americanlemans.com. "It was a logical fit for us to go there." Go .