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News From The American Le Mans Series - Long Beach 2012

READY

TO BREAK THROUGH

GREEN X = Clean & FAST www.michelinalley.com


2 EXTREME SPEED

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Ready

Breakthrough The Twitter post for the Long Beach GT battle may read like this: ESM–RTB@LBGP. Translation: Extreme Speed Motorsports, the Florida based Patrón Ferrari team of former ALMS, Indycar, Trans Am and Sports Car champion Scott Sharp (pictured right), is ready to breakthrough at Long Beach. Led by Derek Granison and Robin Hill, and featuring Sharp and former Flying Lizard ace Johannes van Overbeek, with Guy Cosmo and Patron exec Ed Brown in the sister car, the brilliant green and black Ferrari 458 Italias have been steadily working up the mountain that is the American Le Mans Series GT category. The team has made it to the podium twice in the past dozen races, with Sharp and van Overbeek taking second at the 2010 Petit Le Mans and third at last fall’s Monterey race. There is one step, albeit a big one, to take. “This is the year for us and we really need to step up,” said Sharp. “This is the year we need to start winning races. “I don’t think there is racing like this anywhere else in the world right now. It is a high bar that we set our sights on, but I think we’re getting it into perspective. Each person on our team is a solid, all-star type of guy. They all get along well, work their tails off and have

great attitudes. Each guy in his position is super talented with great experience. “I think we have a pretty incredible cast. It is just getting the team pushing together to maximize ourselves, that’s what it boils down to. We finally got the chance to develop one car for an entire year and not be waiting for a new car. “We have really raised our pace from last year. Every area of the program, whether it is performance, reliability, teamwork – it all has to be raised, and I think that’s what you’ve got to do to really have a chance to win in the GT class. “The GT class is full of world-class drivers. You have teams with enormous

depth. The Corvette, BMW and Porsche teams can react and move the ball forward with such speed and grace. That’s really what you are up against. You’ve got to have a team that has that ability in order to keep pace. In our case, it is more than keeping pace, it is catching up. That’s what we’ve had to do these last couple of years.” So, what would the first win for ESM mean to the team and entire organization? “We’re so close to a win, we can taste it,” said Sharp. “When we win, it will be huge. There has been so much effort behind this team, the manhours that have gone into this process since we started this team back in October 2009. It started as an idea and we built it through. I think it will be very rewarding. “They say the first win is the toughest, from there they start flowing, and I really feel that is what will happen for us,” said Sharp. To beat the best from BMW, Corvette, Porsche, Aston Martin and Lotus would make a Long Beach victory especially sweet. With Patron as title sponsor of the ALMS race here, Sharp and his team would need not go far to find a victory party.


GREEN X As the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge rolls into its fourth season of competition, the world’s premier environmental motorsports competition is seeing something few, except its leaders and vehicle manufacturers, expected. Top endurance cars in the American Le Mans Series are quickly becoming cleaner, more energy efficient and FASTER. The MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge recognizes the Prototype and GT (production-based) cars that achieve the best scores for “clean, fast, and efficient” performance at each ALMS race. “Clean and efficient are not barriers to fast--they are the keys to going fast,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager. “To be fast you must also be efficient. There are signs everywhere that cars, including ALMS race cars, are becoming cleaner, faster and more efficient,” said Mammone. The days when relying on raw horsepower alone to deliver increased performances are long since passed. Efficiency, drivability, and total performance come from improved aerodynamics,

electronics and vehicle dynamics, including tires and smaller, more efficient engines. Energy recovery and storage systems and power sources including electric wheel motors, flywheels, various drive systems and energy storage are also starting to come into play in ALMS and Le Mans competition. According to the Green Racing Working Group, which oversees the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge, cars competing in the ALMS and at Le Mans are much cleaner and using considerably less oil-based energy than just a few years ago. At one 2011 ALMS race, the oil consumption was nearly 40 percent less than at the same race in 2008. Comprised of representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, SAE International and the ALMSsanctioning International Motor Sports Association, the group places electronic monitors on board all professional category Prototype and productionbased GT entries. The formula tracks energy usage, the well-to-wheel environmental impact (Clean) of the

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energy, and the car’s on-track speed (Fast) adjusted for weight (Efficiency). One of the objectives of green racing is to speed the development to market of new technologies and energies. That in fact is a two-way street, with everything from direct injection to lower energy lighting and air conditioning to longer-lasting tires increasing efficiency and performance of both race and street cars. The 2011 MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge Prototype championshipwinning Dyson Racing Mazda team uses a turbocharged four-cylinder engine racing on isobutanol bio-fuel. The ALMS GT championship– winning BMW competes using a second-generation cellulosic E85R fuel, the choice of several top contenders or recent winners including Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche, and Ferrari. Past winners also include Audi, Aston Martin, Honda and Acura. “There are several examples of new technologies that will appear throughout the 2012 season here in the ALMS and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Mammone.

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4 POINTS BATTLE

The 2012 American Le Mans Series season is just one race old, but the pressure is already on for a pair of ALMS racing’s premiere teams as the series heads into Long Beach. The shortest race of the ALMS season, at two hours, Long Beach

means every lap, every pass, every position takes on added importance. That is especially true for a pair of top contenders who left the Sebring season opener disappointed. An excellent debut performance for the new Muscle Milk Pickett Racing

HPD at Sebring ultimately went for naught. After dominating the ALMS action for nearly 11 hours, the fueling system failed in the final hour. That opened the door for the archrival Dyson Racing to claim the

Lizard’s LONG road home The Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche team finds itself in strange territory, chasing an ALMS GT title rather than defending one. The 2008 and 2009 ALMS GT Team champions were punted on the first lap at Sebring. They eventually returned to finish tenth, far adrift with nine races remaining, It is 432 miles from their Sonoma race base to downtown Long Beach, but the road to the 2012 championships will be even longer. That road to recovery begins here at Long Beach, where the Lizard’s Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long have two victories. Standing in their path are the Sebring winning and defending champion Joey Hand and BMW Team RLL, now paired with Dirk Müller, as well as the Sebring runner-up Corvette of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia and the third-place Sebring Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner. Veteran Bill Auberlen and Jorg Mueller back the BMW Team RLL pair. Meanwhile, the relentlessly improved Extreme Speed Ferraris of Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek fly the

Ferrari flag with teammates Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo. The Flying Lizards will look to teammates Seth Neiman and Marco Holzer for support while the #17 Porsche of Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers, who proved victorious on the streets of Baltimore last fall, and the new Miller Racing Porsche of Sascha Maassen and Bryce Miller demonstrate the depth of the ALMS Porsche line-up. The ever-popular Adrian Fernandez returns to Long Beach teamed with Darren Turner in an Aston Martin Vantage. Making its 2012 ALMS debut at Long Beach is the Lotus Evora GTE, from three-time ALMS GT champion Alex Job Racing, with Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler aboard. A pair of new SRT Vipers will join the GT battles at midseason and make gaining points even tougher. In the LMP2 class, defending class champions Level 5 Motorsports return with a powerful two-car team. The two-time GT Challenge class champions Black Swan Racing has moved up to the LMP2 class with an HPD powered Lola. Conquest Endurance also throws their hat into the LMP2 class ring with an Oak-Pescarolo sports car.

24, 20, 14, 12, 7, 6, 5 2, 1, 2 17, 14 10, 8, 4, 3, 2 20, 17 12, 1 6, 5, 1, 24 14, 1 8, 7, 3, 2 20, 12, 1, 2 14, 7, 2, 17 10 4, 2 1 6 1 1


POINTS BATTLE

American Le Mans Series victory and the LMP1 class points lead, putting the Muscle Milk squad in catch-up mode heading to Long Beach. A repeat of Muscle Milk’s 2011 victory here by Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf aboard their new HPD 20, 17, 24, entry

would help the Benicia, Californiabased team level the points table, but the veteran Dyson squad will not make it easy. Chris Dyson and Guy Smith, the defending American Le Mans Series Prototype champions, wheeled out

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a new Dyson Lola-Mazda at the opening round at Sebring. The Dyson team adds a second car, with Eric Lux and newcomer Michael Marsal, aboard their 2011 championship-winning prototype here at Long Beach.

Every P o i nt P o ss i bl e

at every event. How critical is capturing every possible point? Consider that the 2011 ALMS season saw the LMP Challenge class championship end in a tie all the way down to the fifth tiebreaker. The 2010 GT manufacturer and team titles were decided on the final lap of the final race. Amidst all the variables, there are two islands of singlespecification cars. Identical cars, engines, tires, and fuel reduce costs and even the playing field in the two ALMS classes that pair pro and sportsman drivers. The nine-car LMP Challenge class is especially competitive this year, with new prototype teams from Muscle Milk Pickett, Dempsey Racing and RSR Racing challenging second-year teams PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports, Performance Tech Motorsports and CORE autosport and the reconstituted Merchant Services pair. Identical “spec” cars tend to travel at a similar pace, resulting in tight battles, bold moves to attack or defend positions and the variables of traffic, caution periods, and race strategies.

A similar scenario unfolds in the GT Challenge class, where seven identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars will conduct their own private battles while trying to avoid being trampled by the fleeter cars engaged in their own battles. The journey to the 2012 ALMS championships may have started in Sebring, but the streets and concrete walls of Long Beach may well decide who ultimately prevails in the championship battles.


6 dijyano?

Does it turn - oh yes, it turns remarkably well. Nissan DeltaWing driver Marino Franchitti discusses the new ground-breaking machine which features front MICHELIN® tires which are only 4” wide:

Dijyano

DID YOU KNOW

Change already? ALMS fans will soon be seeing snakes! Viper has just announced it will enter a pair of Riley-prepared SRT Vipers in the ALMS GT category beginning later this year. Viper’s racing heritage includes a pair of ALMS GT championships, five FIA GT crowns and three GT wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The two-hour race length here at Long Beach should seem like a stroll to BMWs Joey Hand. Hand was in the car for the final 3 hours and 15 minutes at Sebring to bring home the GT win for BMW Team RLL. The ALMS drivers at LBGP are limited to 80 minutes. Hand will be a busy boy this year - in two weeks he will make his DTM debut at Hockenheim in Germany.

Hola!

Whose turn in ‘12? In the five-year history of ALMS racing at Long Beach, nine different manufacturers have claimed class victories. Aston Martin, HPD, Acura and Audi have won the past four. In the highly competitive GT class, BMW, Porsche, Chevrolet and Ferrari have all taken top honors on the street circuit.

HONEYMOON

Congratulations to CORE autosport’s Colin Braun who married his fiance Melissa last weekend. Obviously a true romantic, Braun popped the question on the Eifel Tower in France earlier this year. Not quite so sure about his choice of Long Beach as his choice as a honeymoon location!

Alley Live

www.michelinalley.com Follow a live Michelin Blog with features, race insights, interviews, videos, photos and highlights from all 2012 ALMS events.

Stepping up Dempsey Racing and co-drivers Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster are joining the ALMS LMP2 class. The team plans to debut a Judd-powered Lola B12/80 soon. With its entry into both LMP2 and LMPC classes in the American Le Mans Series, this season will be the biggest year of operation in the history of Dempsey Racing.

The American Le Mans Series is enormously popular in Latin America. More than 2 million Latin American viewers watched the ALMS via race broadcasts on ESPN International last year. The 2012 Twelve Hours of Sebring had a 13% increase over last year’s broadcast while the race attendance broke all previous records.

Real champions 2011 LMPC champions CORE autosport are paying tribute to our nation’s heroes by hosting troops involved with Wounded Warrior Project™ (WWP) at American Le Mans Series (ALMS) events in 2012. The team will host a small group of servicemen at each U.S.-based round of the ALMS season. They will get a full immersive experience, from meeting with the team and drivers to wearing firesuits and donning headsets to watch the race from pit lane. CORE recently dedicated its spiffy new 30,000 sq. ft. race shop in Rock Hill, SC. as team leader Jon Bennett continues to build a strong foundation for his team’s continued success.


news

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Catch the ACTION Long Beach Schedule SEBRING SCHEDULE Friday, April 13, 2012 7:15 am - 9:15 am

Practice #1 - ALMS (All Classes)

10:00 am - 11:00 am Practice #1 - IndyCar 11:15 am - 11:45 am Practice #1 - Toyota Celebrity 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Practice #1 – Indy Lights

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Practice #2 - IndyCar

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Qualifying - Toyota Celebrity

4:15 pm - 4:45 pm

Practice #1 - World Challenge

5:05 pm - 5:20 pm

Qualifying - ALMS (GTC)

5:20 pm - 5:35 pm

Qualifying - ALMS (GT)

5:50 pm - 6:05 pm

Qualifying - ALMS (PC)

6:05 pm - 6:20 pm

Qualifying - ALMS (P1/P2)

The American Le Mans Series and ABC/ESPN continues its broadcast and digital package for the 2012 ALMS season which involves televising the world’s premier sports car series over several ESPN programming and media platforms, including ABC, ESPN2 and ESPN3.com. All ALMS races and qualifying sessions will be broadcast live and in their entirety on ESPN3 and for viewers outside the U.S., via ALMS.com. Live streamed coverage of the American Le Mans Series at Long Beach race can be viewed on ESPN3. com with live television coverage on ESPN2, Saturday, April 14 from 7:30 – 10:00 pm (ET). The full broadcast will be available on demand on ESPN3.com for three weeks and on AmericanLeMans.com after that.

Saturday, April 14, 2012 7:15 am - 7:45 am

Practice #2 - World Challenge

8:00 am - 8:45 am

Practice #2 - Indy Lights

10:25 am - 11:25 am Practice #3 - IndyCar 11:40 am - 12:40 pm Race - Toyota Celebrity 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm ALMS Autograph Session 12:55 pm - 1:40 pm

Qualifying - Indy Lights

2:00 pm - 3:20 pm

Qualifying - IndyCar

4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Tequila Patrón American Le Mans

Series at Long Beach - 2 Hours

2012 ALMS Schedule ALMS TV and Broadband Schedule

17 March

Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring, FL

14 April

Long Beach Grand Prix, CA

12 May

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA

7 July

Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT

22 July

Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Canada

Sat. April 14 ESPN2

Live Televised Race Coverage

4 August

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH

(7:30 - 10:00 pm Eastern)

18 August

Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI

1 September

Baltimore Grand Prix, Baltimore, MD

15 September Virginia International Raceway, Danville, VA 20 October

Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, GA

Fri. April 13

ESPN3.com Live Qualifying (5:00 – 6:30 pm Eastern)

Sat. April 14

ESPN3.com Live Race Coverage (7:30 - 10:00 pm Eastern)


Fan Favorites HPD

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Graf/Luhr Michelin Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03a

LOLA / MAZDA

16 Dyson/Smith Marsal/Lux 20 Dunlop Dyson Racing Lola B12/60 & Lola B11/66

PORSCHE

ORECA

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Magnussen/Garcia Gavin/Milner Michelin Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1

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Richard/Ende Michelin Dempsey Racing ORECA FLM09

44 Neiman/Holzer Bergmeister/Long 45 Michelin Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

BMW

LOLA / HPD

Click below to view Tommy Milner talking about door-to-door contact on the streets of Long Beach

Smart phone scan code here

54 LMP1 CLASS

Pappas/Bleekemolen Dunlop Black Swan Racing Lola B11/80 HPD

LMP2 CLASS LMPC CLASS

FERRARI

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Auberlen/J. Müller Hand/D. Mueller Dunlop BMW Team RLL BMW E92 M3

ORECA

GT CLASS Michelin North America, Inc • One Parkway South, • Greenville, SC 29615 • TEL: 1-800-458-5000 www.michelin.com • Printed in USA, April 11, 2012 • Volume 6, Issue 2 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior permission of the publisher. Copyright © 2012 Michelin North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Printed on recycled paper • 10% Total Recovered Fiber All Post-Consumed Fiber

Overbeek 01 Sharp/van Brown/Cosmo 02 Michelin Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia

05 Bennett/Braun Popow/Dalziel 06 Michelin CORE autosport Oreca FLM09


The Alley : February 2012 Long Beach