Petit Le Mans: Rebellion dominates, Pickett champions
|Sunday, October 21st 2012, 02:01 GMT|
Neel Jani, Nicolas Prost and Andrea Belicchi handed Rebellion's Lola-Toyota a dominant victory at this year's Petit Le Mans.
The World Endurance Championship's top privateer team was a wildcard entry in the American Le Mans Series season finale, but after scoring pole position ended up controlling the race as the series regulars hit difficulties.
Lucas Luhr in the ALMS points-leading Pickett HPD had matched Jani over the opening stint, the pair running nose to tail while rapidly pulling away from the rest of the field.
He was undone however when he tangled with Peter LeSaffre's Green Hornet Porsche, the resulting damage causing the team to lose more than an hour for repairs.
Dyson meanwhile was off the pace of the front pair even before intermittent electrical and fuel issues from the third hour scuppered its race.
Chris Dyson eventually brought the car home in 32nd, two spots ahead of title rival Klaus Graf.
34th on the road was still enough to earn Luhr and Graf the 2012 ALMS title.
The LMP2 title, which similarly came down to Petit, was claimed by Level 5, which also ran out class winner following a dramatic close to the race.
Having swapped positions multiple times with Level 5, title rival Conquest seemed set for class honours, even if the championship was out of reach.
A late puncture was followed by a stop and go penalty for speeding in the pitlane however, handing the advantage to Level 5 with just 14 laps to run.
Victory simultaneously marked Level 5's third straight class win at Petit and third consecutive ALMS crown.
GT honours were claimed by the #01 Extreme Speed Ferrari after a tight battle with the #3 Corvette.
Both cars were able to complete the race making just nine stops, and were separated by just 30s at the flag.
Early delays for the BMWs effectively put them out of contention for victory, but they did fight back to finish third and fourth, with the #55 M3 sealing the final step on the podium.
The #30 NGT Motorsport squad earned a one-lap victory in the GTC class, while CORE Autosport powered to a two-lap win in LMPC.
The Nissan DeltaWing meanwhile finished fifth on the road, three laps down on the LMP2 winners.
Results - 394 laps: Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. P1 Belicchi/Jani/Prost Rebellion Lola-Toyota 9h37m43.578s 2. P2 Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz Level 5 HPD + 3 laps 3. P2 Tucker/Franchitti/Franchitti Level 5 HPD + 4 laps 4. P2 Beche/Thiriet/Tinseau TDS ORECA-Nissan + 4 laps 5. UNC Ordonez/Jeannette Highcroft DeltaWing-Nissan + 6 laps 6. PC Popow/Dalziel/Wilkins CORE FLM + 9 laps 7. P2 Nicolet/Baguette/Pla OAK Morgan-Nissan + 11 laps 8. PC Junqueira/Drissi/Vera RSR FLM + 11 laps 9. PC Junco/Dobson/Julian PR1 Mathiasen FLM + 12 laps 10. PC Bennett/Braun/Gonzalez CORE FLM + 13 laps 11. PC Marcelli/Downs/Ducote Merchant FLM + 18 laps 12. GT Sharp/van Overbeek/Vilander Extreme Speed Ferrari + 19 laps 13. GT Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor Corvette + 19 laps 14. GT Muller/Auberlen/Summerton RLL BMW + 20 laps 15. GT Muller/Alzen/Summerton RLL BMW + 21 laps 16. GT Bergmeister/Long/Pilet Flying Lizard Porsche + 21 laps 17. GT Henzler/Sellers/Ragginger Falken Porsche + 22 laps 18. PC Richard/Ende/Lewis Dempsey FLM + 22 laps 19. GT Neiman/Holzer/Tandy Flying Lizard Porsche + 25 laps 20. GT Wittmer/Farnbacher/Hunter-Reay SRT Viper + 25 laps 21. GT Brown/Cosmo/Lazzaro Extreme Speed Ferrari + 26 laps 22. GT Miller/Maassen/Lietz Miller Porsche + 27 laps 23. GTE-Am Pons/Narac/Armindo Imsa Porsche + 31 laps 24. GT Sweedler/Bell/Mowlem Alex Job Lotus + 34 laps 25. GTC Cisneros/Farnbacher/Giermaziak NGT Porsche + 38 laps 26. GTC Di Guida/Pumpelly/Canache TRG Porsche + 43 laps 27. GTC Collard/Gutierrez/Hedlund TRG Porsche + 43 laps 28. GTC Cumming/Valiante/Johnston JDX Porsche + 43 laps 29. GTC MacNeil/Keen/von Moltke Alex Job Porsche + 45 laps* 30. GT Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette + 46 laps 31. P1 Dyson/Smith/Kane Dyson Lola-Mazda + 56 laps 32. P2 Brundle/Buncombe/Kimber-Smith Greaves Zytek-Nissan + 56 laps 33. P1 Luhr/Graf/Dumas Pickett HPD + 60 laps 34. P2 Hartley/Hughes/Firth Murphy ORECA-Nissan + 64 laps* 35. P1 Burgess/Patterson/McMurry Dyson Lola-Mazda + 72 laps* 36. GTC Benitez/Bullitt/Segal NGT Porsche + 76 laps 37. GTC Faieta/Avenatti/Calvert-Jones Competition Porsche + 127 laps* 38. GTE-AM Perazzini/Cioci/Griffin AF Ferrari + 162 laps* 39. GT Goossens/Kendall/Bomarito SRT Viper + 170 laps* 40. P2 Dempsey/Foster/Cameron Dempsey Lola-Judd + 174 laps* Retirements: GTC LeSaffre/Faulkner/Wong Green Hornet Porsche 40 laps Disqualified: P2 Plowman/Heinemeier Hansson/Lux Conquest Morgan-Nissan * Not running at the end