Last weekend marked the second half of the American Le Mans Series. So, it’s only right for us to see how the ALMS contenders are holding up and who’s expected to be a standout in the races leading up to next month’s “Super Endurance Weekend” at the Circuit of The Americas™ track in Austin, Texas.
Orion Energy Systems 245’s race just wrapped up at the Road America track in Elkart Lake, Michigan, with five different race classes and a total of 33 contenders. Below are some driver’s to keep an eye on after this weekend and in the weeks leading up to Austin’s highly anticipated joint ALMS and FIA World Endurance Championship.
The ALMS series consists of 10 races, with five classes including P1, P2, PC, GT and GTC. Each of these classes is based on the type of cars that are raced and they are ranked on a point system added up over the course of the series. Below are the top ALMS drivers in each class, based on points:
Muscle Milk’s Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr are tied for first in P1 with 102 points, scoring exactly the same in every single race so far in the series. While Luhr has been a dominator in the sport with five championship titles, 42 wins and 70 Top 3 finishes, Graf is also drinking his muscle milk capturing his own championship title, along with 15 wins and over 30 Top 3 finishes!
Recent picture tweeted by @lucasluhr and retweeted by @Klaus_Graf:
Level 5 Motorsports’ competitor, Marino Franchitti is on top of the P2 category with 92 points going into this weekend’s race. The Scottish driver has yet to win a championship, but has placed in the Top 3 in 21 out of his 57 race starts – winning five of them!
Recent tweet by @MFranchitti:
“Trying to get a good pic of our new @Level5Racing paddock set up, as you can see, @simonpagenaud is happy 2 be (at Road America)!”
Colin Braun takes the lead in the PC class with 86 points. The CORE Autosport competitor has placed in the Top 3 of 7 of his 11 race starts, so his fans can only hope to see his first championship in his home state of Texas next month at the Circuit of The Americas™!
Recent tweet by @colinbraun:
"Had fastest race lap and great pit stops! That’s racing some days though! Proud of my guys! @COREautosport."
Dirk Miller, a two-time championship winner, takes the lead in the GT race class while pushing to defend his GT driver’s title in 2012. The BMW Team RLL standout has won 17 races, and finished in the Top 3 of more than half of his 82 race starts. For Miller, getting too comfortable in the No. 1 spot may be a mistake, because British Corvette Racing driver, Oliver Gavin, has won multiple times at the Road America track and is following right behind him in second with 65 points.
Recent tweet by @olivergavin:
“1st practice (at Road America) with @Tommymilner in 4 car, just come in for a stop. @ Road America”
Another tie for first in the series comes in the GTC class between Black Swan Racing’s Jeroen Bleekemolen and Alex Job Racing’s Cooper MacNeil with 77 points. The competition is tighter than ever in this series class with Nelson Canache, Jr. and Spencer Pumpelly racking in 77 much-needed points!
Recent tweet by @SpencerPumpelly:
“More issues in the GX car but we got the A Team working on it.”
We had hoped that Pumpelly's car troubles wouldn't put a damper on his lead at Road America, but this tweet let us know he was more than fine.
"@SpencerPumpelly: Winner Winner!! Thanks to @FlyingLizard_MS and my co driver @NelsonCanache. Thanks or all the congratulatory tweets."
FIA WEC Contenders
In a tie for first place with 94 points each, Allen Mcnish (Great Britain), Loic Duval (France) and Tom Kristensen (Denmark) are completely equal going into the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo on September 1.. This is the only race that will take place before the 6 Hours of the Circuit of The Americas™ Super Endurance Weekend, so the pressure and intensity of the remainder of the season is very high.
Recent tweet by @AllanMcNish:
“Tonight is #AudiCup final, Manchester City & Bayern Munich. Reckon this guy wants a game?”
The up-and-coming young driver to look out for during the FIA World Championship race is AMR – No. 95. It was hard for him to get back in the car and on the track, but he has decided to race with Aston Martin Racing in honor of Allan Simonsen, who was victim of the tragic accident that occurred during the 24 hours of Le Mans.
With this decision comes a lot of work before the race, emotionally and physically, while the Aston Martin Racing crew works vigorously to have a new car ready for that weekend.
We wish all of the contenders luck in their upcoming races and can’t wait to see them at the Super Endurance Weekend in Austin, Texas, on Sept 21-22!