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Slipstream - September 2005

The monthly newsletter of the Maverick Region of the Porsche Club of America

American LeMans Series

American LeMans Series “Controversey at Infineon” By Bill & Marilyn Stafford The American Le Mans Series at Infineon Raceway this year was filled with a different type of controversy throughout the weekend. Although the outcome of the races has been predictable for a couple of years with the only suspense being “which Audi will win,” this race had the trappings of a schoolyard dispute. The Race: The flag dropped and as usual the Audi’s started to disappear into the distance. It was a relatively clean and uneventful race until the most significant “event” occurred in the ALMS LMP1 class with just 39 minutes left. Overall leader, Marco Werner in the No.1 car (Audi R8), came out of the pits and collided with Alex Figge (Corvette C5-R GTI) at turn 1. Werner continued on the track, but the collision caused his front right tire to lock forcing him back to the pits. Audi replaced the front wishbone in about 4 minutes; Werner went a lap down and never recovered. The collision caused the Corvette to spin off course and a few minutes later Photo by Bill Stafford Photo by Bill Stafford The pair of Audis #1 and #2. was forced to retire due to the crash. Werner contended, in typical Factory Driver-ese, that Figge took too tight a line around the turn and should have seen the Audi (which towers above the track to almost the height of the pit wall). According to Werner, “There was plenty of room on the right side” (which, at speed, would put your race line headed for the White Suits, the wrecker, and the boons). “I really don’t know why he hit me. He can’t go through me.” Figge, of course, not being paid by a mega-factory, had a different point of view. He suggested that the Audi’s “don’t need to be that pushy as they are the fastest cars in the field.” Surprisingly, Dyson Team owner, Rob Dyson, agreed with the Audi Team. He went so far as to Local Dallas Corvette racer, Lou Gigliotti in #28. comment that “I’ve never known the Audi team to want to crack cars or be overly aggressive,” causing groans to be heard throughout the Media Center. This is a kinder and more forgiving Robb Dyson than we have ever seen. Can there be an Audi in his future? Werner placed third behind Audi teammate, Frank Biela, and Emanuele Pirro in the No. 2 Audi R8. Andy Wallace (who beat out Werner for the pole, thereby raising some eyebrows in the Audi pit) with codriver, Chris Dyson (Lola EX257), finished second. Californian Liz Halliday and Clint Field won the LMP2 class in a Lola B05/40. This was Liz’s first win in ALMS. Liz has raced previously this year at Sebring and in Europe in the British GT series but figures that there are more opportunities for female drivers in the U.S. When asked about FIA racing, she commented that Bernie Eckelstone’s comments regarding women in racing were both “stupid and childish. If you prove yourself and respect the car, then are no problems being female.” Photo by Bill Stafford Photo by Bill Stafford Timo Bernard and Roman Dumas driving the Alex-Job #23 Porsche. Californian Liz Halliday after her first ALMS win. 14

Photo by Bill Stafford Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell (Corvette C6-R) won the GT1 class and became the first drivers to post 5 straight victories at the same venue and also won their 24th career race, both ALMS records. The Saleen S7R came in third with Terry Borcheller at the wheel. Timo Bernard and Romain Dumas driving the Alex-Job #23 911 GT3R took their third straight GT2 race in a Porsche 911. Former Porsche autocrosser, Randy Pobst is paired with relative newcomer, Ian Baas, in the other Alex Job Porsche #24. The SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT race also had its share of controversy. Early in the race, second and third place runners, Wolf Henzler (#55 Porsche 911 cup) and Leighton Imagine these two machines in your rearview mirror! Photo Name Badges Bryan Bell Reese (#6 Corvette C6), battled side-by-side, bashing each other until on lap 9, they came together rather hard at turn seven. The incident caused flat tires on both cars, forcing them into the pits and neither of them recovered although Henzler did manage a 7th place finish. Also early in the race Tommy Archer (#1 Dodge Viper) had an incident with Max Papis (#16 Cadillac CTS-V). The incident meant a violation of Archer’s 2-race probation for another Cleveland incident, plus he was penalized 5 points, fined $3000 and had his probation extended. Local Dallas Corvette racer, Lou Gigliotti, won the race in his C6 ending a Corvette win drought that began after Mossport in 2003. Other support races such as the Star Mazda Championship provide an opportunity to see racers of the future. This year the series includes heirs apparent, Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal. Marco finished 2nd. Tidbits: Frank Biela and J.J. Lehto rode their Harleys 3300 miles across America from Lime Rock to Infineon in sort of a Finnish “Easy Rider.” Watch for a Special on TV soon…“Big Buck Bikers Battle Montezuma” or something like that. The Maserati MC12, racing under special dispensation (and probably big bucks from Pirelli and Risi Competizione) in the GT1 class (it’s too long), ran well, finished 4th and nothing fell off. Support your local Racetrack. PRINTER OF SLIPSTREAM SINCE 1982 A great idea for all Maverick Region events! These are the same size and shape as the 2004 Parade badges and feature the same magnetic attachments. Now you can wear a name badge with your favorite Porsche shirt without having to poke holes it! Our photography or yours . . . just $7.50 each. Driver’s Education Car Numbers as low as $8 each! These are heavy duty individual 10” tall magnetic numbers and are available in white, black, red, yellow, orange, blue or green. Custom work is also available in any color . . . including metallics! Coming soon! www.graycatgraphics.com Hats • Shirts • Banners • Posters Calendars • Track Photography Car Numbers • Digital Photo Editing Kevin Hardison Irving, Texas • (972) 849-8512 USSERY PRINTING 3402 CENTURY CIRCLE IRVING, TEXAS 75062 972-438-8344 FAX 972-721-1847 15

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