Heading into Saturday’s Tequlia Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, Audi looked to be facing an uphill battle. With a heavier car, smaller fuel tank, and starting from sixth and seventh overall, the two diesel-powered R10 TDIs were never expected to play a factor in the 100-minute race on the famed Long Beach circuit. But anything was further from the truth. Marco Werner and Lucas Luhr took the the surprising overall victory, leading an Audi 1-2 finish home in the streets of southern California.
I don’t think I can recall an American Le Mans Series winter test as upbeat and promising as this most recent. And, while there wasn’t a “major” story that everyone typically hangs their hopes on, there was plenty of great news. Perhaps all the news was the big story?
Yes, the continuing saga of content keeps the rumor lines and chat boards buzzing, but it appears the ALMS will steadily increase their starting grids in 2008. Sure they lose one here… but they seem to pick up a few.. and in the right places.
When Rolex Series stars Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Dario Franchitti captured the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season opener in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target Lexus Riley, the Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates racing program became the first team to capture three straight Rolex 24 At Daytona overall victories in as many years. The record breaking race was the 46th running of the classic endurance race.
The wins were the second straight for Montoya and Pruett, the first time drivers earned repeat victories in the race since Derek Bell, Al Unser, Jr. and Al Hulbert accomplished the feat in 1986 and 1987.