2007 was the ninth season for the American Le Mans Series.
A couple of the more notable news stories for the year was an agreement with the Ethanol Promotion and
Information Council to use ethanol fuel in the entries powered by gasoline.
Secondly, there were some significant changes to the schedule.
In 2006 there were ten race weekends; this season, there would be twelve.
The series would drop Portland International Raceway and add venues at St. Petersburg, Long Beach and Belle Isle.
The championship kicked off with the 55th edition of 12 Hours of Sebring. It was followed by one of the newest stops on the calendar - a temporary street circuit at St. Petersburg, Florida. After St. Petersburg, the teams traveled to California for an event on the streets of Long Beach. The series then headed to Texas for a race weekend at Reliant Park. In May, the championship returned to a traditional road course, Miller Motorsport Park in Utah. The series took a break in June to allow some of the teams to compete at the 24-Hour of Le Mans. In early July, competitors returned to North America to participate in the New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, which is followed by the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Road America and Mosport International Raceway. On Labour Day weekend, the teams return to another temporary circuit, Belle Isle, in Detroit. The penultimate round is Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and the season finale is held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The championship rules were unchanged from 2006. The series is guided by the regulations used at the legendary 24 Hour of Le Mans. This meant four categories are competing for class honours.
Round seven of the American Le Mans Series was held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Teams would compete in on the thirteen-turn 2.258-mile road course in an event titled the Acura Sports Car Challenge.
|The leaders enter the ‘Carousel’ at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the first lap of round seven. Leading the way is the pole-sitter, Timo Bernhard driving the No. 7 Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder. Behind Bernhard is the other front row starter and his teammate, Sascha Maassen. Trailing Maassen is the Lowe’s Fernandez Racing Lola B06/43 of the third-place starter, Adrian Fernandez.|
|Penske Racing’s, Timo Bernhard, grabbed the pole position after a terrific battle with his teammate, Sascha Maassen. Sharing the No. 7 Porsche RS Spyder with Bernhard was Romain Dumas. Bernhard led the race until lap-7 when he was passed by the Audi of Emanuele Pirro. After all the pit-stops were completed, Dumas was in front and led the remaining forty-two-laps to score the duo’s third overall victory of the season.|
|In the GT2 category, the Porsches were not a fast as the Ferraris. The three Ferraris entered qualified in the top-four positions. The quickest Porsche was the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports GT3RSR piloted by the points leader’s, Johannes van Overbeek and Jorg Bergmeister. Bergmeister and van Overbeek chased the two fastest Ferraris until they knocked themselves out of contention. The pair would capture the class victory.|
|At Mid-Ohio, it appeared that the Audis were no match for the quicker LMP2 cars. The No. 2 Audi R10 was qualified by Emanuele Pirro, who could only manage the eighth fastest time. However, Pirro is acknowledged as a great starter and the Audi was in first place by lap-7. His co-driver, Marco Werner, had his turn leading, but the additional time required to refuel the car resulted in a third-place finish – first in LMP1.|
|Faster of the two LMP1 Audis was the No. 1 entry shared by the reigning champions, Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish. Capello qualified first in their category but fourth overall. On the opening lap, he tangled with the Highcroft Racing Acura of Stefan Johansson in the ‘Esses.’ Capello lost a lap due to the incident. McNish drove the final stint and was able to un-lap himself. He finished fifth overall and second in class.|
|The battle for the pole position was between the Penske Racing teammates, Timo Bernhard and Sascha Maassen. Maasen missed earning the top spot by 0.245-seconds and would start on the outside of the front row. For most of the race, Maassen and his co-driver, Ryan Briscoe, chased the first place, Penske Porsche. At the checkered flag, they were 2.360-seconds behind the winners – second overall and in LMP2.|
|Jaime Melo qualified the Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT on the GT2 class pole. Co-driving with Melo was Mika Salo. They kicked off the season with four consecutive victories. In round six at Lime Rock, there was contact between Salo and the Ferrari of Tomas Enge. It happened again at Mid-Ohio, but this time Salo retaliated, which resulted in a second-place finish – albeit two-laps behind the class winners.|
|Sharing the No. 15 LMP2 entry were Mexican’s Luiz Diaz and team principal, Adrian Fernandez. Fernandez qualified the Lowe’s Fernandez Racing Lola B06/43 third fastest, just 0.463-seconds slower than the pole time. In the race, Fernandez maintained contact with the leaders and was the last driver to pit during the final round of pit-stops, which put him in first place for four laps. Diaz brought the car home third in class.|
|Since round two at St. Petersburg, the only entries in GT1 were from Corvette Racing. Sharing the No. 3 Corvette C6.R was Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen. O’Connell out-qualified his teammate, Oliver Gavin in the second Corvette. Unfortunately, O’Connell’s car failed the post-qualifying tech inspection and would start last. Gavin and his co-driver, Olivier Beretta, would earn the class victory.|
|Co-driving, the second Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT was Gianmaria Bruni and Eric Helary. Bruni qualified twentieth fastest and was fourth in the GT2 category. Their race was uneventful compared to that of the other two Ferraris. They benefitted from the incident between Mika Salo and Tomas Enge. Bruni and Helary finished sixteenth overall and earned the final spot on the class podium.|
|Dyson Racing entered two Porsche RS Spyder. The quicker of the two was the No. 16 Spyder driven by Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace. Leitzinger handled the qualifying and would start fifth overall and fourth on LMP2. Unfortunately, they were no match for the front-runners and despite moving into second place during the first round of pit-stops, the team was one-lap behind the leaders at the end of the race.|
|Tomas Enge entered Mid-Ohio on probation – the result of contact with the Ferrari of Mika Salo at Lime Rock. Enge qualified the No. 31 Ferrari F430 GT, he would share with Dirk Mueller, second fastest in GT2. In the race, Enge was trailing Salo when he hit him entering the ‘Esses’. Salo retaliated at the ‘Carousel’ and both drivers were penalized. This second incident led to Enge’s dismissal from the PM/WLR team.|
|1||LMP2||Dumas / Bernhard||Porsche RS Spyder||134||-|
|2||LMP2||Maassen / Briscoe||Porsche RS Spyder||134||-|
|3||LMP1||Pirro / Werner||Audi R10 TDI||134||-|
|4||LMP2||Diaz / Fernandez||Lola B06/43||134||-|
|5||LMP1||Capello / McNish||Audi R10 TDI||134||-|
|6||LMP2||Leitzinger / Wallace||Porsche RS Spyder||133||-|
|7||LMP2||Dyson / Smith||Porsche RS Spyder||133||-|
|8||LMP2||Johansson / Brabham||Acura ARX-01a||132||-|
|9||LMP1||Graf / Pickett||Lola B06/14||128||-|
|10||LMP2||Franchitti / Herta||Acura ARX-01a||126||-|
|11||GT1||Gavin / Beretta||Chevrolet Corvette C6.R||125||-|
|12||GT1||Magnussen / O'Connell||Chevrolet Corvette C6.R||125||-|
|13||LMP2||Pecorari / van der Steur||Radical SR9||120||-|
|14||GT2||Bergmeister / Van Overbeek||Porsche GT3RSR||118||-|
|15||GT2||Melo / Salo||Ferrari F430 GTC||116||-|
|16||GT2||Bruni / Helary||Ferrari F430 GT||116||-|
|17||GT2||Pechnik / Neiman||Porsche GT3RSR||114||-|
|18||GT2||Enge / Mueller||Ferrari F430 GT||114||-|
|19||GT2||Pappas / Borcheller||Porsche GT3RSR||114||-|
|20||LMP1||McMurry / Willman||Creation CA06H||97||Mechanical|
|21||LMP1||Berry / Field / Field||Creation CA06/H||96||Mechanical|
|22||GT2||Lux / Wilson||Dodge Viper||95||-|
|23||GT2||Milner / Kelleners||Porsche GT3RSR||92||-|
|24||GT2||Henzler / Liddell||Porsche GT3RSR||83||Mechanical|
|25||GT2||Tafel / Farnbacher||Porsche GT3RSR||80||-|
|26||GT2||Auberlen / Hand||Panoz Esperante GTLM||49||Engine|
|27||LMP2||Devlin / Bach||Lola B07/46||19||Engine|
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