Utah – Live Race Blog
Utah – Live Race Blog
We are past the halfway point of the Utah Grand Prix, and the heat continues to increase with one hour remaining. A few minutes before 4:00 p.m. local time, temperatures were reported at 87 ambient and 108 on track. The third caution of the race kept the field stationary for more than 15 minutes after the No. 89 Intersport LMPC car driven by Kyle Marcelli stopped on track.
Most of the field pitted, changing tires and drivers and adding fuel. Simon Pagenaud has taken over from David Brabham in the Patron Highcroft HPD ARX 01-c and the team made a fantastic pit stop, vaulting Pagenaud from fourth to first on exit.
Clint Field took over from dad Jon in the substantially faster on the straights Intersport Lola and passed Pagenaud on the restart, but the mechanical grip and handling through the corners kept Pagenaud close.
Approaching a GTC car, Pagenaud made the move on Clint Field for the lead. Emanuele Pirro has replaced Jonny Cocker in the Drayson Lola Judd and the Italian is also around Field. Only a few minutes later when encountering more GT traffic and the LMPC-leading No. 55 Level 5 Motorsports Oreca FLM09, Pirro snuck past Pagenaud for the overall lead.
In GT, the No. 92 Rahal Letterman BMW changed hands from Tommy Milner to Bill Auberlen while Risi swapped Gianmaria Bruni for Jaime Melo. Melo took the lead from Auberlen not too long after the restart. The BMW runs second in class ahead of Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Corvette, the No. 90 BMW of Joey Hand and the No. 61 Risi Ferrari of Toni Vilander, who served a stop-and-go penalty for causing avoidable contact with the No. 40 Robertson Racing Doran Ford GT.
At the 1:30 mark we also have the leaders in the MICHELIN® GREEN X® CHALLENGE. The Highcroft HPD car running on E10 and the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette ZR1 on Cellulosic E85 currently lead in P and GT in the race within a race to determine the car that travels the farthest, fastest and with the least environmental impact.
Past 3:15 p.m. local and Mountain Time, and after a nearly two-month hiatus, the American Le Mans Series has returned to action with the fourth round of the 2010 season at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. There have already been two yellow flag periods in the first 30 minutes for a pair of cars stopped on track.
Michelin tire engineers reported 85 degrees Fahrenheit ambient and 92 on track at the start of the race. But since that point the track temperature has really increased. Although the ambient remains at 85, the track temperature has increased to 105 degrees 35 minutes into the race.
The No. 37 Intersport Lola AER driven by Jon Field vaulted to the lead on the opening lap from fifth on the grid. Field’s Lola is one of the quickest cars in a straight line and was able to use the speed at the high altitude to his advantage to pass a host of cars.
Jonny Cocker ran second for Drayson Racing in the Lola Judd Coupe ahead of the Dyson Racing Lola Mazda, Autocon Lola and Highcroft HPD. But now Cocker has taken the lead though thanks to a nice move through one of the tighter corners, and currently leads Field by more than 6 seconds.
Five GT cars pitted under the second yellow flag to take on fuel, the No. 62 Risi Ferrari, No. 01 Extreme Speed Ferrari, No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche, No. 90 Rahal Letterman BMW and No. 3 Corvette. This left the No. 92 Rahal Letterman BMW leading the No. 44 Flying Lizard Porsche at the restart, but already Gianmaria Bruni in the No. 62 Risi Ferrari has recovered back to second.
Andy Wallace (No. 95 Level 5 Oreca FLM09) and Tim Pappas (No. 54 Black Swan Racing Porsche GT3 Cup) lead the LMPC and GTC classes. Pappas and Jeroen Bleekemolen still have a chance at the victory in this race, but Bleekemolen will be disappointed to hear his home country, The Netherlands, has lost 1-0 to Spain in the World Cup Final.