Mar 5 2009

Le Mans, NASCAR, F1 Pit Stops compared

A little while ago I attended the Autoclub 500 NASCAR race with the family. Amazingly fun race, especially when going with people that have never attended something like this before. I have to admit it’s been a while since I’ve attended a NASCAR event and since my most recent race had actually been the Monaco Grand Prix, I couldn’t help but contemplate the differences between the various types of racing. Rather than hit on all my observations, I’ll just devote this post to one that stood out to me. So this one I’ll devote to Pit Stops.


Cup racers pride themselves on the the fact their rims have 5 lug nuts slowing down the process. Indeed by having fewer people, less advanced wheel nuts and less advanced fueling, the NASCAR pit stop is slower than F1 but not by much. It’s actually remarkable how much can be done in less than 20 seconds.

Formula 1 Pit Stop

6.2 Seconds! The F1 pit stop is practically an Olympic sport it happens so quickly. As can be seen from this video though, F1 is such a refined sport now that hundredths of second can win or loose the race.

Le Mans Pit Stop

I thought I would throw this in just to illustrate that every version of racing is somewhat different. The 24 hours of Le Mans has a much slower pace, again somewhat dictated by rules, but also due to the fact that the car is being thoroughly inspected to insure that tenths of seconds saved in the pits do not translate into minutes of downtime on the track over a very long endurance race.

Normal Car

Hmm, so what would happen if a normal car got a race car like Pit stop?

And what would happen if an F1 crew did a pit stop at a NASCAR event? Pixar has already laid out to us what that looks like


Jan 19 2009

bmw m3 gtr nurburgring nordschleife 4th vln run qu- Video

I’ve seen this car race before and I have to say it sounds far cooler from the inboard camera. Most impressive.

bmw m3 gtr nurburgring nordschleife 4th vln run qu- Video.

Dec 6 2008

Insane Audi Race Car Mountain Run

Looks a lot like Angeles Crest Highway actually..

YouTube – Insane Audi Race Car Mountain Run.

Nov 29 2008

GT3-Spec Audi R8 LMS

Very very sexy

YouTube – GT3-Spec Audi R8 LMS.

Oct 5 2008

2008 Petit Le Mans Results from Road Atlanta

I’m too tired from a day out on Angeles Crest Highway to provide any commentary from the Petit Le Mans results, so instead I’ll just do the lazy thing like every other blogger out there and just post the press release Porsche kindly sent to my In-Box…yea Copy-Paste!

American Le Mans Series, round 10 in Braselton (Road Atlanta), USA: Two title wins for Porsche

Stuttgart . With a fourfold victory of the RS Spyder and a second place for the GT3 RSR, Porsche secured an early win of the drivers’ titles in the LMP2 and GT2 classes of the American Le Mans Series. Heading to the final round, the RS Spyder pilots Timo Bernhard (Germrany) and Romain Dumas (France), as well as Porsche GT3 RSR drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler (both Germany) are uncatchable at the front. Furthermore, Penske Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports claimed the title in their respective team classifications.

For “Petit Le Mans”, the 1,000 mile race on the Road Atlanta circuit, Penske Racing fielded three 503 hp Porsche RS Spyder with direct fuel injection (DFI) for the first time. In a turbulent race, which was interrupted by a total of eleven caution phases, Penske pilots Ryan Briscoe (Australia) and Helio Castroneves (USA) relegated their team mates Bernhard/Dumas to finish second. Third place went to Sascha Maassen (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Emmanuel Collard (France) in the third Penske racer. Claiming fourth in their Dyson Racing RS Spyder, Dario Franchitti (Great Britain), Butch Leitzinger (USA) and Andy Lally (USA) made Porsche’s success perfect.

“That was a perfect weekend. Fastest time in qualifying, victory in the race and preliminary winner of the team championship – it can’t get much better than this,” said a delighted Ryan Briscoe. “On top of all that, it was great to share the cockpit with my team mate from the IndyCar series Helio Castroneves. It was huge fun and we didn’t make one mistake.”

To be defeated by their team mates didn’t unduly worry Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas. More important for the pair was the fact that they successfully defended their LMP2 class title. “The fight against Acura this year was extremely tough. Before this round we pulled out all stops and put a lot of energy into testing. That paid off,” said Timo Bernhard. “From the moment the Acura of David Brabham, Scott Sharp und Dario Franchitti retired we drove more cautiously. Still, it was very difficult to keep out of the fray at times and not to make a mistake,” added the former and new LMP2 champion. “I’m simply happy,” said his overjoyed team mate Romain Dumas. “We had experienced so much bad luck in the previous races and also made a few mistakes. I can hardly believe we’ve done it again.”

In the GT2 class for modified standard sports cars, champagne corks were also flying in the Porsche paddock. Claiming second, Joerg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler secured an early drivers’ title win with their Porsche GT3 RSR and handed Flying Lizard Motorsports victory in the team championship. “The race could easily have continued for another hour. At the end in the dark I drove my fastest race lap. But the main thing is we have the title,” said Joerg Bergmeister. “Our consistency was pivotal this season. With the exception of St. Petersburg we climbed the podium at every round,” he added. Wolf Henzler was also more than satisfied: “Fantastic – my first ALMS title. We really deserve this after four wins this season.” Guest driver Marc Lieb, who supported Bergmeister and Henzler as the third driver, also celebrated his victory. “I’m pleased that Flying Lizard put their trust in my driving skills and I could help Joerg and Wolf bring home the title,” said Lieb after the race.

Porsche’s head of motorsport, Hartmut Kristen, was full of praise: “The spectators witnessed an amazing race today with ten hours of fascinating motorsport. I’m very proud that we could secure the drivers’ titles in the LMP2 and GT2 class early. Congratulations to Penske Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports on their win of the team classification. I can only salute the performance of everyone involved.”

Statistics: 10th of 11 races of the American Le Mans Series in Braselton, USA

Race result
1. McNish/Capello/Pirro (GB/I/I), Audi R10 (LMP1), 394 laps
2. Minassian/Sarrzin/Klien (F/F/A), Peugeot 908, 394
3. Werner/Luhr (D/D), Audi R10 (LMP1), 394
4. Briscoe/Castroneves (AUS/BR), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
5. Bernhard/Dumas (D/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
6. Maassen/Long/Collard (D/USA/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 392
7. Leitzinger/Franchitti/Lally (USA/GB/USA), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 390
8. de Ferran/Pagenaud (BRA/F), Acura ARX-01B (LMP2), 388
9. Dyson/Smith (USA/GB), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 384
10. O’Conell/Magnussen/Fellows (USA/DK/USA), Chevrolet Corvette (GT1), 365

Result LMP2 class
1. Briscoe/Castroneves (AUS/BR), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
2. Bernhard/Dumas (D/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
3. Maassen/Long/Collard (D/USA/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 392
4. Leitzinger/Franchitti/Lally (USA/GB/USA), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 390
5. de Ferran/Pagenaud/Dixon (BRA/F/NZ), Acura ARX-01B (LMP2), 388
6. Dyson/Smith (USA/GB), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 384

Further class winners
LMP1: McNish/Capello/Pirro (GB/I/I), Audi R10
GT1: O’Connell/Magnussen/Fellows (USA/DK/USA), Chevrolet Corvette
GT2: Salo/Melo (FIN/BRA), Ferrari F430

Points’ standings
Drivers LMP2 class
1. Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Porsche, 189
2. David Brabham, Scott Sharp, Acura, 155
3. Patrick Long, Porsche, 121
4. Sascha Maassen, Porsche, 113
5. Butch Leitzinger, Marino Franchitti, Porsche, 102

Manufacturers LMP2 class – Engine
1. Porsche, 196
2. Acura, 188

Manufacturers LMP2 class – Chassis
1. Porsche, 196
2. Acura, 188

Teams LMP2 class
1. Penske Racing, Porsche, 196
2. Highcroft Racing, Acura, 155
3. Dyson Racing, Porsche, 116

Drivers GT2 class
1. Joerg Bergmeister, Wolf Henzler, Porsche, 181
2. Dominik Farnbacher, Dirk Müller, Ferrari, 150
3. Johannes van Overbeek, Patrick Pilet Porsche, 124

Manufacturers GT2 class
1. Porsche, 195
2. Ferrari, 190

Teams GT2 class
1. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 198
2. Tafel Racing, Ferrari, 160

The final round of the American Le Mans Series takes place on 18 October 2008 in Laguna Seca (USA) and runs over four hours.

Facts and Figures

This is the American Le Mans Series

The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999. The regulations are based on the rules of the Le Mans 24 hour race. This season twelve rounds will be contested in the USA and Canada. The traditional highlights of the year are the Sebring 12 hour race and the 1,000 mile “Petit Le Mans” race in Road Atlanta. Most races run over 2.45 hours. The ALMS is the American counterpart to the European-based Le Mans Series (LMS).

The starting field consists of two different sports vehicle categories: Sports prototypes and standard sports cars. They are divided into four classes:

LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 750 hp and a minimum weight of 925 kilograms (in the LMS: 750 hp/900 kilograms).
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with around 475 hp (normally-aspirated engines) and an 800 kilogram minimum weight (in the LMS: 475 hp/825 kg). The Porsche RS Spyder competes in this class.
GT1 class: Heavily modified standard sports cars with up to 650 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 – 1,325 kilograms (in the LMS: 650 hp/1,125 – 1,325 kilograms).
GT2 class: Slightly modified standard sports cars with between 450 hp to 470 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 – 1,325 kilograms (in the LMS: 450 to 470 hp/1,125 – 1,325 kilograms). The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR competes in this class.

All race cars start together but are classified separately according to the class. This system ensures diverse and gripping racing with many overtaking manoeuvres. Points are only allocated for placings in each class. Championship titles are awarded in the LMP1 and LMP2 classes for drivers, chassis and engine manufacturers, teams and tyre suppliers. In the GT1 and GT2 classes titles are awarded for drivers, car manufacturer and teams. With the RS Spyder in 2006 and 2007, Porsche won the championship title for drivers (Sascha Maassen/Lucas Luhr and Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas respectively) as well as for manufacturer chassis, manufacturer engine and team (Penske Racing).