Historic Weekend At Road America
The American Le Mans Series Orion Energy 245, a race two hours, forty-five minutes in duration, was held at the 4.048 mile track at Road America in Plymouth, Wisconsin. One of the largest Road America crowds in 20 years turned out for the race, and they were able to witness a bit of history on a slick Sunday afternoon. The DeltaWing car – a futuristic-looking, chrome-finished, car shaped like a triangle that has been pinched at the top – led for the first time in an ALMS race. Driven by British racers Katherine Legge and AndyMeyrick for the Panoz Racing Team, the DeltaWing is the vision of Dr. Dan Panoz, and was rejected by IndyCar before being accepted by the ALMS.
The driving surface started out slick, but began to dry as the race went on, and Legge took advantage by making an early stop to switch to slick tires. At the 53 minute mark of the race, Legge pulled the DeltaWing into the lead for the first time in ALMS history. Legge and British teammate Andy Meyrick led the race, which went 67 laps total, for eight laps apiece, and had a blast in the process. Though they made an impressive showing with theDeltaWing, Legge and Meyrick couldn't unseat the streaking team of Lucas Luhr and KlausGraff of Pickett Racing.
Legge and Meyrick would finish the race in fifth place, in part due to a bit of bad luck. They had a strong chance to finish second, but the race ended with four laps under the caution flag, which allowed many of the other teams to avoid pit stops that they would likely have had to make had the race been running at full speed. Still, it was an impressive finish for a team driving a car that looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie.
For Luhr and Graff, the American Le Mans Series Orion Energy 245 was a tidy bit of business as usual. They entered the race hot on the heels of a four race win streak, and kept the momentum going by taking home their fifth victory in a row. The victory also provided some redemption for Luhr and Graff, who lost last year at Road America in the closest finish in American Le Mans Series history. At this point, dominance has become second nature for Luhr, Graff and the Pickett Racing team.
With the victors of the day widely predicted before the race, the strong performance by Legge and Meyrick in the DeltaWing was surely a highlight of the day. That they were able to pull ahead of Luhr and Graff for periods of the race in a car that is still very much under development was an impressive feat. For now, Legge and Meyrick may have to rely on more savvy strategic gambles like the early switch to slick tires at America Road to gain an advantage, but the DeltaWing certainly looks like it could be a contender in the future.
The next race in the American Le Mans Series will be the Baltimore Grand Prix, presented by SRT, with qualifying on Friday, August 30, and the full race on Saturday, August 31. The Baltimore Grand Prix will be another two hour, forty-five minute race, this time on a 2.02 mile track through the streets of Baltimore. The race will stream live on August 31, and be broadcast on television on Sunday, September 1 at noon. Look for more exciting ALMS action, with all of the hair-raising tight turns of a high-speed race through the city streets.
Attend the 1st ALMS Race in Austin
Be apart of history as the American Le Mans Series coasts into Austin, Texas, for the first race at Circuit of The Americas.
Le Mans prototypes and GTs will line the same grid, showcasing new technologies during two Championship battles among drivers, teams and manufacturers, each testing the limits of endurance!
Official Ticket Packages are still available, so book your Austin ALMS experience today!