Neel Jani wins the 16th Annual Petit Le Mans

Neel Jani wins the 16th Annual Petit Le Mans

1ST-PIC-INSIDEStory courtesy of alms.com, photos by MSA Staff:

With four of the five classes going down to the wire, Neel Jani coasted to a seven-lap victory in the 16th Petit Le Mans, the final race for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.

Jani and co-drivers Nick Heidfeld and Nico Prost won in the No. 12 Rebellion Timepieces/Lemo Connectors/Speedy Garage Toyota-powered Lola B12/60, dominating the event after Romain Dumas pitted with terminal overheating problems in the No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c only three laps after the halfway point.

The other four classes saw drama right down to the finish.

2ND-PICScott Tucker won the P2 title with a victory and second-place overall finish with Ryan Briscoe and Marino Franchitti in the No. 551 Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort HPD ARX-03b. Briscoe won by 4.722 seconds over David Brabham in the No. 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Tequila Patron HPD ARX-03b co-driven by Scott Sharp and Anthony Lazzaro. Unofficially, Tucker beat Sharp for the title by 10 points, 173-163.

Nick Tandy won in GT in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR shared with Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler. Second, 1.614 seconds back, was Dirk Muller in the No. 56 Team RLL Crowne Plaza BMW Z4 GTE co-driven by John Edwards and Bill Auberlen. A sixth-place finish for Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6 ZR1 co-driven by Jordan Taylor was good enough the the GT title, winning by six points over Muller (135-129).

Kyle Marcelli took Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire in the No. 8 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09, giving teammate Chris Cumming the unofficial PC title over Mike Guasch by one point (141-140). Marcelli beat Sean Rayhall by 12.455 seconds. Guasch came up short after co-driver Dane Cameron was involved in an opening-hour incident while exiting the pits.

3RD-PIC-INSIDESpencer Pumpelly won in GTC by 7.612 seconds over Andy Lally. Pumpelly co-drove the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with Nelson Canache Jr. and Madison Snow, while Lally shared the No. 27 Dempsey Racing Porsche with Joe Foster and Patrick Dempsey. Jeroen Bleekemolen and Cooper MacNeil won the title with a fourth-place finish in the No. 22 Alex Job WeatherTech Porsche shared with Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, beating Pumpelly and Canache by six points (145-139).

8:30 p.m.: Jani Now Leads by Seven Laps

With 24 laps remaining in the 16th Petit Le Mans, Neel Jani has increased his overall lead to seven laps  in the No. 12 Rebellion Timepieces/Lemo Connectors/Speedy Garage Toyota-powered Lola B12/60.

Moving up to second was Ryan Briscoe, who leads P2 in the No. 551 Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort HPD ARX-03b. Briscoe held a 5.343-second lead over David Brabham in the No. 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Tequila Patron HPD ARX-03b. As a result, Level 5 Motorsports’ Scott Tucker is in position to take the P2 crown over ESM’s Scott Sharp – who held a one-point lead at the beginning of the hour.

4TH-PIC-INSIDEKyle Marcelli continues to lead Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire in the No. 8 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09, putting teammate Chris Cumming in position to edge Mike Guasch for the title by one point.

Nick Tandy hold a .950-second lead over Dirk Muller in GT. Tandy is in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, while Muller is in the No. 56 Crowne Plaze BMW Z4 GTE. Antyonio Garcia is currently fifth in the Compuware Corvette C6 ZR1, good enough to win the title for himself and Jan Magnussen over Muller.

Spencer Pumpelly leads GTC in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, followed by TRG’s Damian Faulkner and Dempsey Racing’s Andy Lally. Jeroen Bleekemolen was fighting for the lead before a dead battery on his final pit stop cost him a lap, but the driver of the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche is still in position to win the title.

5TH-PIC-INSIDE7:30 p.m.: Cumming in Position for PC Crown

Kyle Marcelli took the Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire lead over Ozz Negri shortly before the eight-hour mark, putting teammate Chris Cumming in position to claim the PC crown by one point over Mike Guasch.

With 323 of the 394 laps – or two hours – remaining, Neel Jani holds a six-lap overall lead in the No. 12 Rebellion Timepieces/Lemo Connectors/Speedy Garage Toyota-powered Lola B12/60, followed by Jonny Kane, who leads P2 in the No. 552 Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort HPD ARX-03b.

Nick Tandy leads GT in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, followed by points leader Dirk Muller in the No. 56 Crowne Plaza Z4 GTE. In GTC, Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup leads point leader Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche.

6TH-PIC-INSIDEMarcelli and Cumming share the No. 8 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09, with Negri in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports entry.

6:30 p.m.: Beretta Leads GT Battle

Three cars were separated by less than one second in the fight for the GT lead as the Petit Le Mans reached the seven-hour mark. Olivier Beretta led Wolf Henzler by three-tenths of a second, with Jorg Mullere another three-tenths back.

While teammate Nick Tandy was fighting to stay on the lead lap earlier in the hour, a timely pit stop enabled Team Falken Tire to get the No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR back out and into the lead with Henzler at the wheel. Beretta is driving the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia, with Muller keeping his championship hopes alive in the No. 56 Crowne Plaza BMW Z4 GTE.

Up front, Nick Heidfeld holds a seven-lap lead in the No. 12 Rebellion Timepieces/Lemo Connectors/Speedy Garage Toyota-powered Lola B12/60, followed by Jonny Kane, who leads P2 in the No. 552 Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort HPD ARX-03b. Ozz Negri (No. 25 8Star ORECA FLM09) leads Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire by 14.6 seconds over Sefan Johannson – who needs to win in order to give teammate Chris Cumming the P2 title. Otherwise, the crown goes to Mike Guasch, currently fifth but 27 laps back.

7TH-PIC-INSIDEGTC features a three-car battle, with Madison Snow in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup leading the No. 66 TRG entry of Craig Stanton and the 22 WeatherTech Porsche of points leader Jeroen Bleekemolen.

5:30 p.m.: Clear Sailing for Rebellion

Rain is out of the forecast for the remainder of the Petit Le Mans, and it’s Rebellion Racing’s race to lose. After six hours – and 240 of 394 laps completed – Nick Heidfeld holds a five-lap overall lead in the No. 12 Rebellion Timepieces/Lemo Coinnectors/Speedy Garage Toyota-powered Lola B12/60.

Scott Sharp is second overall and leading P2 in the No. 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Tequila Patron HPD ARX-03b, while Chris McMurry is fifth overall and second in P1 driving the No. 16 Dyson Racing Thetford/Norcold Lola B12/60-Toyota, nine laps down.

A great battle continues in GT, with the top six cars on the lead lap and five seconds separating the top four. Bryan Sellers currently leads in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, followed by the No. 3 Compuware Corvette of Jordan Taylor, the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari of Matteo Malucelli and the No. 56 Crowne Plaza BMW Z4 GT3 of John Edwards.

BOTTOM-PIC-INSIDEOther class leaders were: PC, Sean Rayhall in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09; GT, Nick Tandy in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR; and GTC, Nelson Canache Jr. in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

The hour saw the fifth caution period to retrieve the No. 44 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Brett Sanderg from a gravel trap.

 

4:30 p.m.: Overall Lead Change, Heidfeld Up Front

Three laps after passing the halfway point, and more than four hours after taking the overall lead, Romain Dumas pitted the No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c, the rear bodywork came off and a long pit stop is in process five hours into the Petit Le Mans.

After going behind the wall, the team officially retired with overheating problems at the five hour, 45 minute mark. That ends the eight-race winning streak for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, and Lucas Luhr ends his ALMS career with 49 victories, most in series history.

That gave the overall lead to defending winner Nick Heidfeld in the No. 12 Rebellion Timepieces/Lemo Coinnectors/Speedy Garage Toyota-powered Lola B12/60 – which had spent four hours fighting to gain a lost lap resulting from an early penalty for contact.

FRONT-PG-PICWith the No. 6 going behind the wall for repairs, class leaders were: P2, Scott Sharp in the No. 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Tequila Patron HPD ARX-03b; PC, Sean Rayhall in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09; GT, Nick Tandy in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR; and GTC, Nelson Canache Jr. in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

3:30 p.m.: Tricky Conditions at Four Hours

Intermittent showers have led to challenging conditions four hours into the running of Petit Le Mans.

The hour was slowed by a brief caution for the No. 9 RSR Racing Johnson Controls ORECA FLM09 of Duncan Ende, which was stopped on course with a broken gearbox. The championship lead in the Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire continues to be a moving target. Mike Guasch has recovered from a lengthy stop after early contact to gain two positions, putting him back in the points lead in the No. 52 Molecule ORECA.

At the four hour mark, Klaus Graf continues to lead by one lap in the No.  6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c, one lap ahead of Nico Proust in the No. 12 Rebellion Timepieces/Lemo Coinnectors/Speedy Garage Toyota-powered Lola B12/60.

Other class leaders are P2, David  Brabham in the No. 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Tequila Patron HPD ARX-03b; PC, Ozz Negri in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09; GT, Ryan Dalziel in the No. 91 SRT/Rush Viper GTS-R; and GTC, Sebastiaan Bleekemolen in the No. 22 Alex Job Racing WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

2:30 p.m.: Graf, Beretta Lead at Three Hours

The three-hour mark saw the second full-course caution for an incident in Turn 1 involving the No. 18 of Charlie Shears, whose No. 18 Performance Tech Motorsports Komplete Meal/Dash Neighborhood Stores/Phillips 66 ORECA FLM09 had been leading the Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire class, driven by Tristan Nunez.

Overall, Klaus Graf continues to lead overall and P1 in the No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c, one lap ahead of Nico Proust in the No. 12 Rebellion Timepieces/Lemo Coinnectors/Speedy Garage Toyota-powered Lola B12/60.

Other class leaders are P2, Peter Dumbreck in the No. 552 Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort HPD ARX-03b; PC, Duncan Ende in the No. 9 RSR Racing Johnson Controls ORECA FLM09; GT, Olivier Beretta in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia; and GTC, Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Falling off the pace during the third hour was the No. 4 Compuware Corvette of Tommy Milner, with electrical problems traced to an alternator switch and belt; and the No. 01 DeltaWing LM12, with a long trip behind the wall.

1:30 p.m.: Drama in GT, PC at Two-Hour Mark

Lucas Luhr continues to lead two hours into the Petit Le Mans, with the No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c competing 83 laps, one lap more than the No. 12 Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60-Toyota of Neel Jani.

The second hour was slowed at 1:02 p.m. for the first full-course caution for debris in Turns 8-9. Racing continues in dry conditions after a brief rain shower during the caution.

The biggest drama currently is in Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tires, when the No. 52 Molecule ORECA FLM09 of points leader Mike Guasch had side-by-side contact with race leader Jani when Dane Cameron exited the pits. The team lost 20 laps behind the wall fixing damage, and is now 34th and last, 19 laps behind class leader Tristan Nunez. That put Chris Cumming in the catbird seat, but Cumming spun while leading and is now running fourth. Currently, Jon Bennett (with Tom Kimber-Smith currently running second in the No. 05 CORE autosport ORECA) and Guasch are tied for the PC lead).

Other drama was in GT, when Marco Holzer pulled the No. 48 Chopard Watches/Total Lubricants/Motegi Racing Wheels Porsche 911 GT3 Cup behind the wall while leading.

Currently leaders at two hours, five minutes are P1, Klaus Graf in the No. 6; P2, Guy Cosmo in the No. 552; PC, Nunez in the No. 18; GT, Marc Goossens in the No. 91; and GTC, Damien Faulkner in the No. 66.

12:30 p.m.: Luhr Takes Overall Lead

Lucas Luhr took the overall lead one hour into the Petit Le Mans. With 47 of 394 laps compete in the 1,000-mile race, the No. 6 Pickett Racing Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03c took over when race leader Neel Jani was assessed a stop-and-go penalty for contact in the No. 12 Rebellion Racing Lola 12/60-Toyota.

Both Jani and the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Molecule ORECA FLM09 of Dane Cameron had to change bodywork. Cameron was leading the Prototype Challenge class at the time of the contact; Chris Cumming now leads in the No. 8 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA.

Jani regained the overall lead from Ozz Negri on lap 18.

Other class leaders at the hour mark were GT, Dominik Farnbacher in the No. 91 SRT Viper; P2, Guy Cosmo in the No. 552 HPD ARX-03b; and GTC, Nelson Canache Jr. in the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Noon: Negri Takes Overall Lead
Action is underway in the 16th Petit Le Mans, with Randy Little waving the green flag at 11:30 a.m. ET to start the final ALMS event.

Pole winner Neel Jani led the early laps in the No. 12 Rebellion Racing Toyota-powered Lola B12/60.

The race began under overcast skies with the temperature at 59 degrees. Early drama involved teams that opted to start the race at rain tires, with many teams pitting in the opening laps to change to slick tires as the surface was drier than anticipated and threatening showers held off.

Jani pitted after competing eight laps to change to slicks, turning the lead over to Lucas Luhr in the No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c; Luhr pitted on the following lap, turning the overall lead to PC competitor Ozz Negri in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09, followed by Katherine Legge in the No. 0 DeltaWing FLM09.

Warm Up

Klaus Graf posted the fastest lap of Saturday morning’s final warm-up for the Petit Le Mans.
The final event in ALMS history, the 1,000-mile race takes the green flag at 11:30 a.m.
Check back here throughout the race for regular updates.

Graf ran a lap of 1:19.739 on the 2.54-mile circuit, which was drying from overnight showers.
Nick Heidfeld was second, running 1.23.011 in the pole-winning No. 12 Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60-Toyota. Graf’s No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c will start on the outside of the front row.

Other class leaders were P2, Marino Franchitti, 1:24.981; GT, Nick Tandy, 1:28.747; PC, Tristan Nunez, 1:29.189; and GTC, Spencer Pumpelly, 1:36.045.

Related posts

Leave a Reply