Lime Rock – Live Race Blog
Lime Rock – Live Race Blog
Through an hour and 30 minutes, Guy Smith has taken over from Chris Dyson aboard the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola Mazda and stretched a lead over Klaus Graf, who replaced Lucas Luhr in the Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing Lola Aston Martin.
Graf’s charge even despite a second pit stop was blighted when he spun overtaking the GMG GTC Porsche. That lost him about 12 seconds and he has been attempting to close the gap since.
CORE autosport came out of the caution with a 1-2 in LMP Challenge, but the No. 05 of Jon Bennett was penalized for an improper pass-around, and fell from contention. The team’s sister No. 06 of Gunnar Jeannette in for Ricardo Gonzalez has also dropped to third in class, behind the No. 63 Genoa and No. 37 Intersport entries.
BMW’s No. 56 still leads in GT, but only by an eyelash over the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche. The pair of German manufacturers are wheeled by a pair of ace German drivers, Dirk Mueller in the BMW and JÃ¶rg Bergmeister in the Porsche—each incidentally took over from Americans after the first stint in Joey Hand and Patrick Long!
The No. 17 Porsche showed well with Wolf Henzler but has just pitted and lost a lap. Robertson Racing had a fraught last half hour with two spins, one for each of its Doran Ford GT-Rs. Risi has pitted its Ferrari with niggling gearbox issues; the team is working on repairs and hopes to return.
In a busy and hectic first ever start in ALMS, 17-year-old series debutante James Kovacic of Australia had a near-miss on the earlier dust-up between four cars in GT.
“I couldn’t hold my neck up out there!” he said. “Plus I was right behind the Corvette when the accident happened, lost about 10 seconds.” A gap which Field has been working to close back, as he has closed to a few seconds within Elton Julian for the LMPC class lead.
Through 45 minutes of the 2 hour, 45-minute Northeast Grand Prix, the two leading LMP1 prototypes have engaged in an epic scrap for the lead while several of the leading GT contenders were taken out of contention in an accident not of their own doing.
Chris Dyson took the overall lead from the pole, leading from Lucas Luhr, while Dyson’s second entry with Humaid al Masaood driving was forced to the rear of the grid to start with electrical issues. Luhr trailed Dyson by no more than a few tenths, and made the pass for the lead at West Bend 30 minutes into the race.
Shortly thereafter, Luhr pitted to come in for fuel and tires. He resumed on track just ahead of Dyson, at the tail end of the overall lead lap, and has begun a charge back while Dyson is due to pit shortly.
Ricardo Gonzalez (CORE autosport) and James Kovacic (Intersport), the 17-year-old ALMS debutante, have exchanged the lead in LMPC to this point.
Joey Hand has led from the get-go in GT in the No. 56 BMW, ahead of Patrick Long in the Flying Lizard Porsche. Unfortunately for some contenders in class, they ran into trouble.
Jarrett Boon in the Performance Tech LMPC car made contact with Ed Brown in the No. 02 Extreme Speed Ferrari, which spun Brown, and caused an accordion effect whereby the No. 55 BMW and both Corvettes crashed into the stalled Ferrari.
The latter three went into the pits to repair their damage and have since returned, all more than 15 laps adrift in class, while the No. 02 Ferrari is doubtful to return after suffering the worst of the mess.
While the Muscle Milk AMR entry is the lone of the major cars to pit at the 45-minute mark, the rest of the field is due in shortly.
Just past the 45-minute mark, the first full course caution flew. One of the GTC cars, the No. 34 Black Swan/Green Hornet entry, was spun out at turn one while another of the LMPC cars, the No. 89 Intersport entry, had contact with the other Black Swan car (No. 54), at the top of the hill and chicane.