2012 was the fourteenth season of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
The 2012 ALMS schedule included ten North American events and was similar to the previous year’s calendar with two exceptions.
The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca event was moved from September to May and for the first time, Virginia International Raceway
was added to the schedule. The season kicked off with the 60th edition of 12 Hours of Sebring.
It was followed by Long Beach, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Lime Rock, Mosport Park, Mid-Ohio, Road America, Baltimore,
Virginia International Raceway and the season finale at Road Atlanta.
Initially, the ALMS classes and rules were the same as those used by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest at the 24 Hour of Le Mans. Beginning in 2009, changes were made to the classes participating in the series. By 2011, there were five categories competing for class honours.
The championships are decided by awarding points to the top ten cars and drivers that completed at least 70-percent of their class winner's distance. To earn points, competitors are required to drive a minimum amount of time (45-minutes except Long Beach which was set at 30-minutes) and a minimum number of laps (dependent on the size of the racetrack).
Teams that enter the full season are awarded points towards team championships. The championship-winning teams in P1, P2 and GT earn an automatic entry to the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Round six of the 2012 American Le Mans Series was held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and marked the halfway point of the season. Competitors would race around the 2.258-mile thirteen-turn road course for two hours, forty-five minutes in an event presented by Tequila Patron.
|Since round two, the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03a piloted by Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr had dominated every race weekend. Mid-Ohio would be no different – the pair topped the timesheets in the two practice sessions and Luhr put the car on the overall and Prototype 1 pole in qualifying. During the race it was business as usual – they led almost ninety-percent of the contest and won by a one-lap margin.|
|Level 5 Motorsports entered two HPD ARX-03b Hondas in the Prototype 2 category. Team principal, Scott Tucker split his driving duties between both cars. Tucker shared the No. 055 HPD ARX-03b with Christophe Bouchut who was fourth quickest in qualifying and captured the class pole. A blocking penalty for the Conquest team gave Tucker and Bouchut the win – Tucker also finished third with Luiz Diaz.|
|Driving the No. 11 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was Tim Pappas and Jeroen Bleekemolen. The Porsche was gridded twenty-eighth overall and second in the Grand Touring Challenge category for the start of the event. A solid run by the duo resulted in a class victory which was Pappas’ first of the year and the second for Bleekemolen who was victorious at Laguna Seca.|
|The Racer’s Group entered a single Porsche 911 GT3 Cup at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In the previous round at Mosport, drivers – Spencer Pumpelly and Emilio Di Guida won the Grand Touring Challenge category. At Mid-Ohio, Pumpelly was paired with Al Carter. They were the third quickest in Grand Tour Challenge qualifying session and, in the race, they captured the runner-up position.|
|Corvette drivers, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, scored GT victories earlier in the season at Long Beach and Laguna Seca. The pair entered the Mid-Ohio event second in the Driver standings – the class leaders were their teammates, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. Milner recorded the sixth fastest time in the GT qualifying session. Despite their starting position, they won their class and took the lead in the title chase.|
|The first four-rounds of the Prototype Challenge category were dominated by Core Autosport. At Mosport, RSR Racing ended their streak and now it was time for another team to score a victory. That team would be PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports. Driving the PR1 Mathiasen entry was Rudy Junco and Marino Franchitti. Franchitti put the car on the pole and the pair won the class by a 16.156-second margin.|
|The Dyson Racing Team scored the overall and Prototype 1 victory in the season’s first race at Sebring. Since that event, the best they could do was finish in the runner-up spot to the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing team. The outcome at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course would not be any different. Chris Dyson and Guy Smith were gridded second in the No. 16 Lola B12/60 and finished a lap down to the winners.|
|Level 5 Motorsports had dominated the Prototype 2 category until round five. At Mosport, Conquest Racing drivers, David Heinemeier-Hanson and Martin Plowman took the class win in a Morgan Nissan. The pair was on form at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car course – Plowman qualified second in Prototype 2. A stop-and-go penalty for blocking while leading the race ended their chances for a second victory.|
|Until round-five at Mosport, the Prototype Challenge category was dominated by the Oreca FLM09 of CORE Autosport. The team was determined to get back in the win column at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and enlisted drivers, Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel. Dalziel qualified the car twelfth overall and fifth in class. During the race, the pair made good progress and captured the runner-up spot in Prototype Challenge.|
|The top Grand Touring Porsche entry was the No. 45 Flying Lizards GT3 RSR shared by Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long. They were victorious in race four at Lime Rock Park. Patrick Long performed the qualifying duties and put the Porsche seventeenth on the grid – third in class. As the race came to a conclusion, Bergmeister chased the race leader, Oliver Gavin but could not make the pass and finished second.|
|Qualifying on the Grand Touring Challenge category pole and twenty-seventh overall was the Green Hornet Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup shared by Damien Faulkner and Peter LeSaffre. The pair had a class victory earlier in the season at Long Beach. During the event, they slipped down the race order and finished fifth in their group – two-laps behind the class winning JDX Racing entry.|
|Just 0.238-seconds separated the five fastest Grand Touring cars in qualifying. Quickest of them all was Jorg Muller driving the No. 55 BMW Team RLL BMW M3. Sharing the BMW with Muller was BMW sports car veteran, Bill Auberlen. A terrific battle during the Grand Touring race saw them finish third in class when the checkered flag flew.|
|The Mid-Ohio round saw the debut of two factory-supported SRT Dodge Viper GTS. Sharing the No. 93 entry were Marc Goossens and Tommy Kendall. The second entry, driven by Kuno Wittmer and Dominik Farnbacher started last but produced the better results – finishing ninth in class and twenty-third. From the team’s perspective, it was important that both Vipers finished and this was the case.|
|1||P1||Luhr / Graf||HPD ARX-03a Honda||123||-|
|2||P1||Smith / Dyson||Lola B12/60 Mazda||122||-|
|3||P2||Tucker / Bouchut||HPD ARX-03b Honda||121||-|
|4||P2||Heinemeier Hansson / Plowman||Morgan LM P2 Judd||121||-|
|5||P2||Gonzalez / Tucker||HPD ARX-03b Honda||120||-|
|6||PC||Junco / Franchitti||Oreca FLM09||118||-|
|7||PC||Popow / Dalziel||Oreca FLM09||118||-|
|8||PC||Downs / Marcelli||Oreca FLM09||116||-|
|9||P2||Dempsey / Foster / Cameron||Lola B12/87 Mazda||116||-|
|10||PC||Drissi / Junqueira||Oreca FLM09||115||-|
|11||GT||Milner / Gavin||Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1||115||-|
|12||GT||Bergmeister / Long||Porsche GT3 RSR||115||-|
|13||P1||Marsal / Lux||Lola B11/66 Mazda||114||Not Running|
|14||GT||Muller / Auberlen||BMW M3||114||-|
|15||PC||Ende / Richard||Oreca FLM09||114||-|
|16||GT||Sellers / Henzler||Porsche GT3 RSR||114||-|
|17||GT||Hand / Muller||BMW M3||114||-|
|18||GT||Sharp / Van Overbeek||Ferrari 458 Italia||113||-|
|19||GT||Neiman / Holzer||Porsche GT3 RSR||113||-|
|20||GT||Brown / Cosmo||Ferrari 458 Italia||112||-|
|21||PC||Bennett / Braun||Oreca FLM09||112||-|
|22||GT||Miller / Maassen||Porsche GT3 RSR||112||-|
|23||GT||Wittmer / Farnbacher||SRT Viper GTSR||111||-|
|24||GT||Sweedler / Bell||Lotus Evora GTE||109||Not Running|
|25||GT||Goossens / Kendall||SRT Viper GTSR||109||-|
|26||GTC||Pappas / Bleekemolen||Porsche GT3 Cup||108||-|
|27||GTC||Carter / Pumpelly||Porsche GT3 Cup||107||-|
|28||GTC||Faieta / Huisman||Porsche GT3 Cup||107||-|
|29||GTC||MacNeil / Keen||Porsche GT3 Cup||107||-|
|30||GTC||LeSaffre / Faulkner||Porsche GT3 Cup||106||-|
|31||GT||Garcia / Magnussen||Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1||105||-|
|32||PC||Burgess / Kovacic||Oreca FLM09||88||Not Running|
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