Michelin at a wild ALMS Grand Prix of Baltimore
A 120-minute race that began with a seven-car pile-up in turn one, ended with surprise winners, the top two overall series championship leaders taking 23rd and 24th places respectively, and a severe weather alert today at the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge.
As the skies turned increasingly dark and threatening, a pair of bright spots emerged for Michelin. The 2012 American Le Mans Series GT championship leading Corvette Racing No. 4 of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner extended the manufacturer, team and driver championship point leads with a strong second place finish. The finish increased their driver championship lead to 30 points with just two races remaining.
Joining them for the relocated indoor podium was another Michelin technical partner team, the No. 01 Extreme Speed Ferrari driven by Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek who scored their fourth podium in the team’s breakout season.
The No. 17 Porsche driven by Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers became the fifth different car to win in the GT class in the first eight races of the 2012 season. Only the No. 4 Corvette of Gavin and Milner, with three, has multiple wins. The top four GT finishers represented four manufacturers: Porsche, Corvette, Ferrari and BMW and three tire makers.
Muscle Milk Honda Struggles After Early Domination:
The overall pole winning and ALMS championship leading Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Honda/Michelin driven by Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf built a big early lead only to drop five laps on an extended pit stop to replace a faulty gear actuator. Their 24th place finish put them just one spot behind championship rivals Guy Smith and Chris Dyson’s Dyson Racing Mazda that also encountered problems.
The P1 class victory went to a second Dyson entry driven by Michael Marsal and Eric Lux which finished 13th overall. Taking the overall 1-2 were the P2 class Level 5 Motorsports Hondas of Christophe Bouchut and Scott Tucker and teammates Luis Diaz and Ricardo Gonzalez.
CORE Scores Again:
Stacking up its fourth PC class win of the season and third place overall was the No. 06 CORE autosport entry driven by championship leader Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel. The victory was the sixth in eight ALMS 2012 events for the Rock Hill, SC based team that has already secured the 2012 ALMS PC class team title.
“We thank our technical partner teams and drivers and our own Michelin engineers and support staff who worked to address the many unique challenges of the weekend,” said Silvia Mammone, motorsports manager , Michelin North America. “We won the poles and set the fastest race laps, but were unable to turn those performances into wins today,” said Mammone. “We look forward to getting back in the winning groove at Virginia International Raceway on September 15.