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July 17, 2019
 

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Horizon


Tuesday
Aug122008

Horizon #458

August 13, 2008


Audi AG, Michelin. Marco Werner and Lucas Luhr (Audi R10 TDI) led a second straight 1-2 finish for Audi in the 2008 American Le Mans Series, winning the Generac 500 presented by Time Warner Cable at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, last Saturday night. Werner and Luhr led 65 of 102 laps and finished 2.463-seconds ahead of teammates Marcel Fassler and Emanuele Pirro as Audi turbo-diesel power won overall at Road America for the first time since 2006. It was Werner and Luhr's sixth win this season in LMP1 and fourth victory overall. Scott Sharp and David Brabham (Patron Highcroft Racing Acura) finished third overall and won LMP2 for the third time in 2008 thanks to Franck Montagny crashing out in the Andretti Green Racing Acura with 11 minutes remaining. Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas (Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder) finished second in P2 and fourth overall, just 0.867 seconds behind Brabham. Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen (No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6R) inherited the GT1 class win after its team car crashed out with 52 minutes remaining. Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta (No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6R) had dominated the race up until that point and led the entire way before Gavin made a mistake going into the Kink and ended up hard against the wall. Dirk Werner, Richard Westbrook and Bryce Miller (Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3RS) took the GT2 class victory (the team's first in the Series) after a late-race battle with Risi Competizione's Mika Salo, who spun his Ferrari F430 GT at the start of the last lap in Turn 5. Wolf Henzler and fellow class championship leader Jorg Bergmeister (Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3RS) finished second in GT2, 7.345 seconds behind. Tafel Racing's Dirk Mueller and Dominik Farnbacher (Ferrari F430GT) finished third in class, another 3.641 seconds back. Check out John Dagys' full race report on trackbytes.com at . The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Mobil 1 presents Grand Prix of Mosport on Sunday, August 24 from Mosport International Raceway just outside of Toronto. 


(Copyright © 2008, John Thawley ~ Creative Communications Group All rights reserved.)
Marco Werner teamed with Lucas Luhr to deliver yet another big win at Road America for Audi AG in their Audi R10 TDI. Check out the spectacular shots in John Thawley's Gallery from the Road America ALMS weekend by clicking here.

Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone) sputtered before the finish line - out of fuel - as his fuel strategy came up about 200 yards short allowing Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing D/H/F) to win the 200-lap Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway, his record-tying sixth victory of the season. The victory also extended Dixon’s lead to 78 points over Castroneves in the race for the season championship with only three races remaining. Dixon started from the pole and led 151 laps but was running third for most of the final 30 laps. He came out of the pits after a splash of fuel on Lap 194 and found himself more than six seconds behind Castroneves, who had last pitted on Lap 143. But Castroneves coasted across the finish line unable to hold-off Dixon. It was Dixon’s 16th victory in his IndyCar Series career and the 24th IndyCar Series victory for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. It was Helio's seventh second-place finish of the season. Marco Andretti (No. 26 Andretti Green Racing Meijer D/H/F), who led 38 laps, finished third, and Vitor Meira (No. 4 Delphi National Guard D/H/F), who started second, finished fourth. The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County Aug. 24 at Infineon Raceway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5:30 p.m. (EDT) by ESPN2. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio.

(Dan Helrigel/IRL)
Scott Dixon and Marco Andretti battled most of the day at Kentucky Speedway. Dixon prevailed for his sixth victory of the season and now has a commanding lead in the race for the IndyCar Series championship.

Dillon Battistini. Panther Racing's Dillon Battistini (No. 15 National Guard Delphi) won the Kentucky 100 Firestone Indy Lights Aug. 9 at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. It was Battistini’s fourth victory of the season, most of any Firestone Indy Lights driver, and he moves back up into third in the standings. His last victory came at Iowa Speedway in June. James Davison (No. 11 Lifelock/Sam Schmidt Motorsports) finished second, and Arie Luyendyk Jr. (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers) finished third, his fourth podium finish of the season. The Kentucky 100 will air at 2 p.m. Aug. 14 on ESPN2. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with a doubleheader Aug. 23-24 at Infineon Raceway. The races will air at 5 p.m. Aug. 28 on ESPN2. 

(Steve Snoddy/IRL)
Dillon Battistini celebrates after winning the Kentucky 100 Firestone Indy lights race at Kentucky Speedway.

Tommy Archer, Dodge. Tommy Archer (No. 13 Foametix/Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper), of Duluth, Minn., took his second-straight SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT win, his third of the season, in the 18-lap, 72.864-mile, Road America SPEED GT Presented by Remington Sunday. Eric Curran (No. 30 Whelen Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette), of East Hampton, Mass., and Randy Pobst (No. 1 K-PAX Porsche 911 GT-3), of Gainesville, Ga., completed the top three. Archer started from the pole with a lap of 2:15.814 (107.299 mph) and also set the fastest race lap with a lap of 2:17.765 (105.780 mph). Pobst extended his point lead over Andy Pilgrim to 68 (595 to 527). Brandon Davis remains third, with 484, followed by Michael Galati (449) and Archer (448). Porsche still leads the Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by RACER 36 to 33 over Dodge, followed by Cadillac (30), Ford (28) and Chevrolet (11). Sunday’s Road America SPEED GT Presented by Remington will be broadcast Wednesday, Aug. 20 at noon (EDT) on SPEED Channel. The series next travels to Mosport International Raceway for a race Saturday, Aug. 23.

(Mark Weber/SCCA)
Tommy Archer leads Andy Pilgrim and the rest of the field at Road America last Sunday.

James Clay, BimmerWorld, BMW. James Clay (No. 36 BimmerWorld BMW 325i) captured his first SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car victory at Road America last weekend. Polesitter Pierre Kleinubing (No. 43 Acura/RealTime/Red Line/Eibach Acura TSX), of Coconut Creek, Fla., and Jason Saini (No. 74 Mazdaspeed/Stoptech/Racinghart MAZDA6), of Fort Worth, Texas, completed the top three. Clay beat Kleinubing to the flag by 1.525 seconds, averaging 93.577 mph over the course of the 17-lap, 68.815-mile race. A real eye-opener toward the end of the race occurred on the next to last lap when Kleinubing bobbled in the Carousel, allowing Saini to pull alongside. The two ran cleanly through the Carousel and on to the daunting Kink, running side-by-side. Neither driver willing to lift, they continued together side-by-side at speed through the Kink and down the back straight before Kleinubing re-took the spot under breaking into Canada Corner. Great stuff. “I made a mistake in eight and Jason got alongside me, and I’m like ‘oh boy, here we go,’” Kleinubing said. “We went side-by-side at the Carousel and through The Kink and I almost thought we weren’t going to make it. He gave it back to me at Canada and I was able to open it up a little bit on him after that. It was exciting to watch for sure.” “When [Kleinubing] came back on after going wide, he really tried to defend me,” said Saini. “I got up alongside and I wasn’t going to let it go. We came up to The Kink and I maybe had a fender on him. I didn’t want to lift because then Chip [Herr] would have gotten by. I stayed in it. Pierre gave me room and I gave him room and we made it.” For BimmerWorld, it was the successful recovery from its worst weekend as a team at Watkins Glen two rounds prior, where all three team cars were nearly destroyed in the same race-ending accident. “The body shop and the guys have put so much work in to get the cars ready,” Clay said. “All three cars wrecked – for everyone, it just sucked. To be able to come back two races later and have such a strong weekend shows that the guys really have it in them and have what it takes to win.” Despite his 10th place finish, Kuno Wittmer held still leads the Drivers’ Championship by three over Peter Cunningham (765 to 762). Kleinubing is next with 760, followed by Chip Herr (672) and Rookie leader Saini (621). Acura leads the Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by Racer over Mazda, 69 to 51. The race will be broadcast Wednesday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. (EDT) on SPEED.

(Mark Weber/SCCA)
James Clay leading Pierre Kleinubing and Jason Saini at Road America. Clay would go on to record his first-ever win in the series.

Kyle Busch. He shows his critics what he thinks of them by doing exactly what he does best - winning. The best driver in NASCAR by far, Busch has proved that he can withstand any pressure that comes his way by his incredible capacity to focus on the job at hand and his pure ability. And the sniping emanating from Hendrick Motorsports? It sounds a lot like sour grapes to us. They let the best young talent in American racing get away from them, and that decision will haunt them for many years to come.

Jeff Gordon. The worst road course performance of his entire career last weekend at Watkins Glen spells trouble for the four-time NASCAR champion. Something is desperately wrong within Gordon's team, and if they don't solve it soon, he could be struggling to stay in The Chase. Not Good.

Ryan Schimsk, Mazda. Ryan Schimsk (No. 81 Team MER/Airco Mechanical MX-5), of Austin, Texas, became the fourth driver in as many races to score his debut race win in the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. Eric Foss (No. 28 Team MER/Autobarn Mazda MX-5), of Fort Worth, Texas, and Todd Buras (No. 56 Hooverspeed/Pancreaticcure.org), of Melbourne, Fla., completed the Round Four podium, part of Road America’s Road Race Showcase. “I was pretty impressed with the race pace,” Schimsk said. “Anytime I thought that we were breaking away from the pack, they’d be right there on the next straight. The draft here is so important. You see cars five or six car lengths back and they’d be in passing position by the next corner. Overall, it was a really fun race. This place is easily one of my top three favorite tracks in the country to race at.” Team MER scored a one-two finish as Foss crossed the finish line behind his teammate. The second-place finish keeps Foss in the Drivers’ Championship lead with a clean record of podium finishes in all four rounds so far this season. Foss now leads Buras by 15 points in the Drivers’ Championship (234 to 219). Fourth-finishing Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., is third in the Championship, with 218 points. Round Four of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup from Road America will air on DIRECTV, Dish Network and regional cable stations the week of September 8. Round Five takes place Aug. 15-17, at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in Canada. 

(Mark Weber/SCCA)
Ryan Schimsk leads the MX-5 Cup field at Road America through the Bill Mitchell Bend.

The Firestone Indy lights Series. The 2009 schedule features 15 races - seven ovals, four temporary street circuits, and three permanent road courses - including three new venues and the series' first two races outside of the United States. All races will be held in conjunction with the IndyCar Series. The complete 2009 Firestone Indy Lights schedule:

April 4 - Streets of St. Petersburg
April 5 - Streets of St. Petersburg
April 18 or 19 - Streets of Long Beach
April 25 or 26 - Kansas Speedway
May 22 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway
May 30 or 31 - Milwaukee Mile
June 20 or 21 - Iowa Speedway
July 4 or 5 - Watkins Glen International
July 11 or 12 - Streets of Toronto
July 25 or 26 - Edmonton City Centre Airport
Aug. 1 - Kentucky Speedway
Aug. 8 or 9 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Aug. 22 or 23 - Infineon Raceway
Aug. 29 - Chicagoland Speedway
Oct. 10 or 11 - Homestead-Miami Speedway