Michelin/Acura make history at St. Petersburg
Max width front tires win overall and LMP1, while narrower front tires win LMP2 class.
It was Acura’s day literally and figuratively at the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg. David Brabham and Scott Sharp led an Acura 1-2 finish, scoring a first American Le Mans Series victory for the radical new Patrón Highcroft Acura ARX-02a.
Racing with maximum ALMS width MICHELIN racing tires on the front and rear wheel positions, the new Acura LMP1 prototype claimed the win on the slippery, hot, 14-turn, 1.8 mile temporary circuit by 32.15 seconds over the LMP2 Acura prototype from Lowe’s Fernandez Acura of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz which uses the standard sized MICHELIN LMP2 front tires, that are nearly two inches narrower. The Lowe’s Fernandez Acura team also claimed Prototype honors in the MICHELIN Green X Challenge.
The overall race victory was the 98th win for Michelin in the 101 races in ALMS history.
Today’s two prototype class wins make Acura the first major auto manufacturer to win both American Le Mans Series prototype classes at the same event.
The rapidly improving Dyson Racing Lola B09/86 Mazdas finished third and fourth overall. Taking an impressive fifth place overall and topping the GT2 class podium that featured teams from three different tire makers was the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, driven by Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long.