Petit Le Mans: Rebellion claims final ALMS win at Road Atlanta
|By Dan Cross||Sunday, October 20th 2013, 01:37 GMT|
Rebellion entered the history books as the last-ever overall winner in the American Le Mans Series, as Nick Heidfeld, Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost won the 2013 Petit Le Mans.
The trio cruised to victory at Road Atlanta after erstwhile race leader Pickett Racing was forced to retire with an irreparable overheating issue shortly after mid-distance.
The Pickett HPD had a one-lap advantage over its Anglo-Swiss rival before Rebellion's misfortune, due in part to Jani serving a stop-go penalty after hitting the PR1 Mathiasen LMPC entry in the first hour.
With this year's LMP1 champions out of the picture, Rebellion was faultless in claiming its second consecutive Petit victory by a comfortable seven-lap margin.
The #551 Level 5 HPD finished second overall when it claimed LMP2 honours in the hands of Ryan Briscoe, Marino Franchitti and team owner Scott Tucker.
They were embroiled in a race-long duel with the #01 Extreme Speed HPD, the outcome of which was only decided in the final hour when series returnee David Brabham experienced a delayed final pit stop and fell to second in class.
The sister Level 5 car of Guy Cosmo and experienced HPD drivers Jonny Kane and Peter Dumbreck finished third in LMP2, a position they had maintained throughout the majority of the race.
BAR1 Motorsport took LMPC victory in its #8 entry after a determined drive by Kyle Marcelli, who finally found a way past ALMS debutant Oswaldo Negri with just over two hours left on the clock.
FALKEN RECOVERS TO GT TRIUMPH
Nicky Tandy, Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers took the GT spoils in what was an ultra-competitive field, and the class lead changed on almost lap-by-lap basis during the first-half of the race.
The order looked to have settled down seven hours in, with the Risi Ferrari squad enjoying a 15-second lead.
That was before Olivier Beretta tried to pass a GTC competitor around the outside of Turn 6, and too much momentum sent him careering into a wall.
He lost 25 seconds and a door mirror and was forced to pit for repairs, dropping him down to fourth in class as a result.
This promoted Tandy to first in class, a fantastic turnaround after he had fought just to stay on the lead lap at one point, but swift pitstops and timely caution periods allowed the Falken Porsche to rise up the order.
The Briton held his lead until the end, overcoming a brief headlight issue after darkness descended and fending off Dirk Muller in the #56 RLL BMW when racing resumed with 10 laps remaining after a late caution period.
The #45 Flying Lizards Porsche traded GTC class pole for victory after an intense three-car battle and it looked like Damien Faulkner would claim second, but the TRG Porsche came to a halt on the exit of Turn 2 with 15 laps remaining to bring out the final full course caution.
His misfortune was the Dempsey team's gain, which showed good pace when three-time Grand-Am champion Andy Lally took control of the Porsche 911, and finished second, ahead of JDX Racing.
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. P1 Heidfeld/Jani/Prost Rebellion Lola-Toyota 9h37m05.851s 2. P2 Tucker/Briscoe/Franchitti Level 5 HPD +6 laps 3. P2 Sharp/Lazzaro/Brabham Extreme Speed HPD +6 laps 4. P2 Cosmo/Kane/Dumbreck Level 5 HPD +7 laps 5. PC Marcelli/Cumming/Johansson BAR1 FLM +14 laps 6. PC Rayhall/Negri 8Star FLM +14 laps 7. PC Bennett/Kimber+Smith/Wilkins CORE FLM +17 laps 8. GT Henzler/Sellers/Tandy Falken Porsche +19 laps 9. GT Muller/Edwards/Auberlen RLL BMW +19 laps 10. GT Beretta/Malucelli/Liddell Risi Ferrari +19 laps 11. P1 Dyson/Burgess/McMurry Dyson-Lola +20 laps 12. GT Alzen/Martin/Muller RLL BMW +20 laps 13. GT Bomarito/Wittmer/Kendall SRT Viper +21 laps 14. GT Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor Corvette +21 laps 15. GT Farnbacher/Goossens/Dalziel SRT Viper +22 laps 16. GT Long/Braun/Christensen CORE Porsche +22 laps 17. P2 Brown/van Overbeek/Bell Extreme Speed HPD +25 laps 18. GT Sweedler/Keen/Mowlem Ferrari F458 Italia +25 laps 19. GT Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette +25 laps 20. PC Drissi/Mitchell/French BAR1 FLM +29 laps 21. PC Guasch/Cheng/Cameron PR1 Mathiasen FLM +35 laps 22. GTC Canache/Pumpelly/Snow Flying Lizard Porsche +37 laps 23. GTC Dempsey/Lally/Foster Dempsey Del Piero Porsche +37 laps 24. GTC Hedlund/Heylen/Fogarty JDX Porsche +37 laps 25. GTC MacNeil/Bleekemolen/Bleekemolen Alex Job Porsche +38 laps 26. GTC Neiman/von Moltke/Sandberg Flying Lizard Porsche +50 laps 27. GTC Keating/Faulkner/Stanton TRG Porsche +55 laps* 28. GTC Armindo/Nielsen/Benitez NGT Porsche +55 laps 29. PC Junqueira/Ende/Menezes ORECA FLM +99 laps * Not running at finish Retirements: GTC Putman/Espenlaub/Law Dempsey Del Piero Porsche 277 laps P1 Meyrick/Legge DeltaWing 209 laps P1 Graf/Luhr/Dumas Pickett HPD 200 laps PC Nunez/Shears Performance Tech FLM 121 laps GT Miller/Holzer/Collard Miller Porsche 76 laps