Rebellion Toyota defends Petit Le Mans race victory
Michelin and its technical partner teams combined to take the top four spots in the 1000 Mile Petit Le Mans here at Road Atlanta on a day which made and broke season championships and provided the close to the 15 year chapter of the America Le Mans Series.
The British based Rebellion Racing Toyota team returned to claim, its second consecutive victory in the fall endurance sports car racing classic as drivers Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost and Neel Jani combined in an impressive run.in difficult conditions.
Intermittent drizzle in the first four hours of the Ten Hour /1000 Mile races prompted teams to switch back and forth between wet and dry tires in an attempt to have the optimum solution for the changing conditions.
The race victory was the 139th for Michelin in the 147 race chapter of the 15 year era of the American Le Mans Series which returns in 2014 as part of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Finishing second overall and capturing the P2 class victory and championship was the Level 5 Motorsports Honda prototype driven by Ryan Briscoe, Marino Franchitti and team leader Scott Tucker. The victory earned Tucker the ALMS P2 class driver championship.
Taking third overall to fall just short of the P2 championship was the Extreme Speed Motorsports Honda of Scott Sharp, joined here by David Brabham and Anthony Lazzaro.
Michelin and its technical partner teams claimed 29 of a possible 30 open class victories in 2013 ALMS competition, coming up 0.741 seconds short as the rugged GT class was won today by the No.17 Porsche. Michelin technical partner teams from BMW, Ferrari, SRT Viper and Corvette taking 2nd through 8th places in GT.
A valiant effort by BMW Team RLL’s Dirk Mueller to secure the GT race win and the ALMS driver title came up less than one second short. Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia secured the GT driver championship with a tactical sixth place finish.
The victory by Porsche means that all five manufacturers competing in the class claimed at least one win in the 10 race season. Michelin won the ALMS Tire Manufacturer championships in all three open tire classes.
Michelin technical partner teams from Muscle Milk Racing Honda (P1), Level 5 (P2) and Corvette Racing (GT) swept the ALMS Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in their respective classes.
“The ALMS has played a special role in the North American SportsCar scene over the last 15 years by attracting new fans, new manufacturers and creating a new vision for the sport,” said Chris Baker, director motorsports, Michelin North America.
“We have enjoyed the competition, the opportunities and the excitement and want to thanks the fans, all of our technical partner teams, and the ALMS officials and staff,” said Baker.