Qualifying for the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda, the final race ever in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron took place on Friday afternoon. The actual race will run tomorrow at the mentally and physically exhausting Road Atlanta track northeast of downtown Atlanta.
This last race will bring the curtain down on a racing series that has fans as rabid about their sport as NASCAR fans are about the Sprint Cup. Next year the ALMS will be replaced by a new organization that will combine the ALMS with Grand-Am racing.
But before that all happens there is a small issue of one of the toughest races on the ALMS calendar, 10 hours or 1000 miles will be raced to determine the final Petit Le Mans champion starting at 11:30am guaranteeing a finish in the dark. The race itself is modeled on the original Le Mans race that takes place over 24 hours in rural France.
Five different classes of cars will race for best in class and overall positions and given there are about fifteen seconds in best lap-time between the fastest and slowest classes of cars there is no doubt that ALMS racing provides some of the most exciting endurance racing in the United States with ample opportunity .
During qualifying on Friday afternoon conditions were perfect for racing unlike the practice sessions on Thursday that were characterized by constant rain and standing water on the track.
Thirty-four cars in five different classes will race on Saturday:
Top three qualifiers in each class:
1. Neel Jani (12) Time - 1:09:254
2. Lucas Luhr (6) Time – 1:10:397
3. Tony Burgess (16) Time - 1:14:978
1. David Brabham (01) Time – 1:12.688
2. Ryan Briscoe (551) Time – 1:12:792
3. Guy Cosmo (552) Time – 1:13:637
1. Dane Cameron (52) Time - 1:14:955
2. Bruno Junqueira (9) Time -1:15:143
3. Tom Kimber-Smith (05) Time – 1:15:215
1. Matteo Malucelli (62) Time – 1:18:861
2. Jonathon Bomarito (93) Time – 1:18:888
3. Marc Goossens (91) Time – 1:19:017
1. Spencer Pumpelly (45) Time – 1:24:118
2. Jeoren Bleekemolen (22) Time – 1:24:433
3. Andy Lally (27) Time – 1:24:480