Monday, March 23, 2009

Sebring Wrap-Up: Oh Man, Maybe Audi Can Be Beat!

Fantastic race.

LMP1: 9 leader changes between three cars: Peugeot's 07, 08, and Audi's 2. The Audi 1 was right there all along too, just never lead. It was a fantastically engrossing back and forth battle (above). Some of these passes, especially a couple of McNish's passes, were the stuff of legend. The Audi is better looking than the pictures show it to be. Pole Position was an upset: the brand new Acura LMP1 (below) took pole, and didn't keep it for long at all -- actually, it was in second place at corner 1. That car has the same size tyres front and rear, allowing VERY high speed cornering. They estimate this car can corner at around 5 Gs. However, Sebring has a lot of straights and the corners are bumpy. This car will do phenomenal throughout the season, but this just wasn't its race. Both of the Acura's were in the pits quite a bit, I hope reliability is there in twelve days.

LMP2: Only one survivor: Acura. Took fourth overall after the 07 died. I was, of course, rooting for the Dyson-Lola-Mazdas (below). Why? I've always been a Dyson fan, a Lola fanatic, and a Mazda lover -- plus it's a BEAUTIFUL closed top car. Only three cars entered this class. Oh well, at least that's one more car than GT1.

GT1: Two cars, both Corvette. I wonder who won. Ah, who fucking cares? The only interesting thing here was this is their last ALMS GT1 race. Corvette is changing over to a GT2 factory effort for ALMS. Sign of the economic times or looking for somebody to race against? The GT1 cars will be back at Le Mans. I assume they will win again.

GT2: Risi and Corsa are still doing quite well with their F430Rs. I was excited by BMWs (Above) return to ALMS (FINALLY) and dismayed that one M3 didn't get off the line and the other died a few hours in. However, until the death their pace was very competitive. I look forward to seeing those cars do better in the future after resolving some of their reliability issues. The new Porsches were phenomenal, but who didn't expect that? They said they wanted more durability in the new ones, then the beautiful Ford GT (Below) merely taps the 45 behind the rear wheel and Flying Lizard gets a puncture. That car just had bad luck all day. Later on there was this awesome video capture of them trying to hammer out the hood so they could get the fuel in. The best here was Panoz (Bottom Picture). After being introduced five years ago, this team works their asses off over the winter and pull in a podium position! That's a fucking racing team. Another good thing is the Ford GT was on track, gorgeous, and lasted the race!

Analysis: The Peugeot and Audi battle was fucking racing! (Top Picture) I look forward to Le Mans where there will be 4 Peugeot's, 3 R15s, and 2 R10s on course. The ACO totally knew what they were doing. I retract my previous statements of disgust. THIS YEAR'S LE MANS WILL BE FUCKING EPIC AT THE FRONT! THANK YOU ACO! I have hope that Audis will fall. I REALLY hope that Pescarolo takes them down too, but probably not: Peaugeot has too much invested to not get a win here, so I doubt they will let Pesky win. Pesky deserves to be the ones to take Audi down though: after so many years of being the only people to challenge them and of getting beat by them, Pescarolo deserves Le Mans. I mean, 2000-2008 has been all Volkwagen cars winning Le Mans. I want somebody else now, and this year, I actually have hope. After all, BMW came back, didn't they? Perhaps Audi can fall too!

Here are the results for those who wonder about laps and fast laps and anything like that. It's a .pdf.

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