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Baltimore ALMS: Pickett wins chaotic, crash-shortened race

Baltimore ALMS start crash 2013

Pickett Racing made hard work of what should have been a routine victory in an American Le Mans Series race in Baltimore severely interrupted by accidents and caution periods.

At the second of many restarts, the only other P1 car - the Dyson Racing Lola - was adjudged to have jumped the start.

The subsequent penalty should have made the result a foregone conclusion given the limited amount of racing laps, but a mysterious late problem for Lucas Luhr meant Guy Smith found himself in the lead with under 20 minutes to go.

But the HPD had been quicker than the Lola all weekend, and eventually Luhr retook the lead. Smith did not let him get away, though, and with damage to its rear bodywork the Pickett car struggled to the finish.

The race had been only seconds old when it was stopped. Level 5's Scott Tucker was pushed into a spin by Anthony Lazzaro's Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD. With the whole pack heading towards him, chaos erupted.

Most seriously affected were Wolf Henzler's Falken Porsche, the Olivier Beretta Risi Ferrari, Bryce Miller's Paul Miller Racing Porsche and Tom Kimber-Smith's CORE Autosport 911, which were all eliminated on the spot.

After a wait of over an hour, the restart was a damp squib as the cars failed to line up correctly and it was waved off.

At the second attempt the race actually got going - until Turn 4, where LMPC car of Chris Cumming was tipped into the wall by the second Extreme Speed HPD of Ed Brown.


The race then finally burst into action, especially in the GT category where the BMWs and Corvettes were staging a great fight.

Tommy Milner had worked his way around Maxime Martin's Z4 and Jan Magnussen had done the same. But the Belgian had sustained damage to the rear of his RLL entry along the way, and finally the flailing bumper fell off causing yet another full-course caution.

The restart proved crucial. On cold tyres Extreme Speed Motorsport's Scott Sharp misjudged the chicane and whacked the tyres. This forced the following Dirk Muller to lift off and allowed both Corvettes to pounce, with Magnussen taking full advantage to get team-mate Milner in the process.

Baltimore ALMS start crash 2013

The LMP2 cars were in the wars throughout, and by dint of having fewer issues victory fell to Marino Franchitti and Guy Cosmo for Level 5 Motorsport.

The same could be said for LMPC, where Colin Braun and Jonathan Bennett lost an easy win when they were forced to make a late stop as the latter had not done enough laps.

This set up a great fight between Dane Cameron and Tristan Nunez, which was settled when Cameron's suspension broke with less than 90 seconds to go.

There was a terrific late duel for GTC honours. Dion von Moltke had a clear lead, but Jeroen Bleekemolen, Jan Heylen, Andy Lally and Sean Edwards waged an epic war for second.

Results - 41 laps:

Pos  Cl   Drivers                  Team/Car                       Time/Gap
 1.  P1   Graf/Luhr                Pickett HPD                1h31m38.287s
 2.  P1   Dyson/Smith              Dyson Lola-Mazda                +3.867s
 3.  P2   Tucker/Cosmo/Franchitti  Level 5 HPD                    +31.160s
 4.  P2   Sharp/Lazzaro            Extreme Speed HPD              +40.383s
 5.  GT   Magnussen/Garcia         Corvette                       +41.530s
 6.  GT   Gavin/Milner             Corvette                       +41.987s
 7.  GT   Muller/Hand              RLL BMW                        +42.911s
 8.  GT   Auberlen/Martin          RLL BMW                        +56.627s
 9.  GT   Farnbacher/Goossens      SRT Viper                    +1m01.527s
10.  PC   Nunez/Shears             Performance Tech FLM         +1m07.281s
11.  GT   Bomarito/Wittmer         SRT Viper                    +1m09.580s
12.  PC   Bennett/Braun            CORE FLM                        +1 laps
13.  GTC  Neiman/von Moltke        Flying Lizard Porsche           +2 laps
14.  GTC  MacNeil/Bleekemolen      Alex Job Porsche                +2 laps
15.  GTC  Hedlund/Heylen           JDX Porsche                     +2 laps
16.  GTC  Dempsey/Lally            Dempsey Del Piero Porsche       +2 laps
17.  GTC  Cisneros/Edwards         NGT Porsche                     +2 laps
18.  GTC  Bunting/Siedler          TRG Porsche                     +2 laps
19.  PC   Guasch/Cameron           PR1 Mathiasen FLM              +3 laps*
20.  GT   Sweedler/Bell            AJR/West Ferrari                +3 laps
21.  GTC  Canache/Pumpelly         Flying Lizard Porsche           +5 laps

* Not running at chequered flag


     PC   Junqueira/Popow          RSR FLM                         27 laps
     GTC  Carter/Estre             TRG Porsche                     26 laps
     P2   Brown/van Overbeek       Extreme Speed HPD               15 laps
     GTC  Keating/Faulkner         TRG Porsche                     14 laps
     PC   Marcelli/Cumming         BAR1 FLM                         3 laps
     P2   Tucker/Briscoe           Level 5 HPD                         DNS
     GT   Long/Kimber-Smith        CORE Porsche                        DNS
     GT   Henzler/Sellers          Falken Porsche                      DNS
     GT   Beretta/Malucelli        Risi Ferrari                        DNS
     GT   Miller/Holzer            Miller Porsche                      DNS
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