2008 was the tenth season for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The rules for the championship were the same as those used at the legendary 24 Hour of Le Mans. As a result, there were four categories competing for class honours.

  • Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) – These were the purpose-built race cars powered by a 6.0-liter normally aspirated or 4.0-liter turbocharged engine. The vehicles could weigh no less than 924-kilograms (approximately 2,040-pounds). Competing in the series was the factory supported diesel-powered Audi R10. Privateer teams were entered in cars such as the Lola B06/10 and Creation CA07. These machines were powered by a wide range of engines producing between 600-700 horsepower.
  • Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) – The LMP675 class was introduced in 2001 for cars which could weigh no less than 675-kilograms. In 2004, this category became the LMP2 class and the minimum weight was set at 775-kilograms (approximately 1,708-pounds). The rules were written so that the two LMP classes (LMP1 and LMP2) would be contending for the overall win. Manufacturers producing cars for this class included the Lola, Acura, Zytek and Porsche. The LMP2 caategory used smaller engines producing between 500-550 horsepower.
  • Grand Touring 1 (GT1) – This class included production-based vehicles such as the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R and Aston Martin DBR9. The cars were permitted to use 8.0-liter normally aspirated or 4.0-liter turbocharged engines which produced between 600-650 horsepower. These cars could weigh no less than 1,125-kilograms (approximately 2,480-pounds).
  • Grand Touring 2 (GT2) – The GT2s were also restricted to a 1,125-kilogram weight rule and had similar engine limitations as the GT1 class. These were also production-based machines which included vehicles such as the Aston Martin DBRS9, Porsche GT3 RSR, Panoz Esperante GT-LM, Ford GT-R, Dodge Viper Competition Coupe and Ferrari F430 GT.

The 2008 ALMS schedule included eleven North American events. The season kicked off with the 56th edition of 12 Hours of Sebring. It was followed by a temporary street circuit at St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition to St. Pete, the series was also competing at Long Beach, Miller Motorsports Park and Lime Rock Park. The remaining events were held at Mid-Ohio, Road America, Mosport, Detroit (Belle Isle), Road Atlanta and the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Mosport International Raceway hosted round eight of the American Le Mans Series. The 2008 Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport had a total of twenty-nine entries. Teams would compete for two-hours, forty-five-minutes around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

The LMP field heads into corner one on the first lap of the Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport. Leading the way is the LMP1 Audi R10 TDI of the pole-sitters, Marcel Fassler and Emanuele Pirro. They are being followed by the other Audi entry shared by Lucas Luhr and Macro Werner. The first LMP2 competitor is the Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder shared the class point’s leaders, Timo Bernard and Romain Dumas.
In qualifying, the No. 2 Audi R10 TDI shared by Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner was just 0.094-seconds slower than their teammates and started on the outside of the front row. With only three entries in LMP and the Intersport Lola two-seconds off this pace the race would be a battle between the Audis. Using different strategies the advantage went to Luhr and Werner who won LMP1 and overall by a margin of 21.392-seconds.
The GT1 category was also poorly subscribed. The class was made up of the two Corvette Racing entries and a lone Aston Martin from Bell Motorsports. The quickest in GT1 by just 0.069-seconds was Johnny O’Connell in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R. Sharing the drive with O’Connell was Jan Magnussen. With their teammates trailing them, O’Connell and Magnussen led flag-to-flag to score their seventh victory in eight starts.
Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner celebrate the overall and LMP1 class victory. Standing on the left side of the podium are their Audi Sport North America teammates, Marcel Fassler and Emanuele Pirro who captured the runner-up position. The final spot on the rostrum is occupied by Richard Berry. His teammates, Clint and Jon Field, left the track believing they had not completed enough laps to be considered finishers.
The Acura ARX-01b of Patron Highcroft Racing was shared by David Brabham and Scott Sharp. Brabham qualified the Acura fourth overall and second in LMP2. During the race, the pair fought with the No. 7 Penske Porsche. However, the team’s superior fuel mileage allowed Brabham and Sharp to win their class for the fourth time this season. The victory also allowed them to reduce the Penske point lead to ten.
The start at Mosport International Raceway and the faster Prototypes have left the remainder of the field behind. As was often the case in 2008, the Corvettes were first and second off the Grand Touring grid. The No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R shared by Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell grabs the lead and it is the second Corvette entry piloted by Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta that follows.
For the third time this season the Risi Ferrari F430 GT was on the GT2 pole – with credit going to Jaime Melo. Sharing the Ferrari with Melo was Mika Salo. It appeared that the team had broken their string of back luck. Although, they were challenged during the event the Ferrari ran flawless and the team’s strategy ensured that the drivers could push hard during each stint. They captured their first GT2 victory of the season.
In the previous round at Road America, the Farnbacher-Loles team scored their first ALMS victory. Dirk Werner drove the No. 87 Porsche GT3 RSR in qualifying at Mosport and was just 0.190-seconds slower than the GT2 pole-sitter. Werner and his co-driver, Pierre Kaffer remained in contention during the race but were no match for the Risi Competizione Ferrari and finished second in class by a margin of 1.299-seconds.
The GT1 class podium for round eight at Mosport International Raceway. In the center are the class winners from Corvette Racing – Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell. Runner-ups, Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta, are standing to the right of Magnussen and O’Connell. To the winner’s left are the Bell Motorsport driver’s – Terry Borcheller and Chapman Ducote who finished third.
The best result to date for the Lowe’s Fernandez Racing team was a third in class at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. At Mosport, Luis Diaz and team principal, Adrian Fernandez were gridded fourth in LMP2 and sixth overall. The pair was in contention during the race and when the de Ferran Motorsports’ Acura and the Penske Porsche ran out of fuel, they capitalized on the opportunity and scored a second in class.
The driving duo of Sascha Maassen and Patrick Long had a season-high second place finish at Lime Rock and Miller Motorsports Park in the No. 6 Penske Porsche. But they could not match the performance of their teammates, Bernhard and Dumas had four class victories. At Mosport, they started sixth in LMP2 but were one of the beneficiaries when Gil de Ferran and Romain Dumas ran out of fuel – they finished third in class.
In the center are the LMP2 class winners of the 2008 Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport – Scott Sharp and David Brabham. To their left, are the second-place finishers from Lowe’s Fernandez Racing, Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz. Taking the final position on the podium are Penske Racing’s Patrick Long and Sascha Maassen.
Quickest of the three Flying Lizards Porsches was the No. 45 Porsche GT3 RSR shared by Jorg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler. Henzler qualified fourth in the GT2 class. As the contest came to a conclusion Bergmeister and the Tafel Ferrari of Dirk Muller fought for third in class. The Tafel car was first to the stripe but Muller was penalized one position for avoidable contact – giving third place to the No. 45 Porsche.
Starting third overall and first in the LMP2 category was the No. 7 Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder driven by the class point’s leaders, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas. The pair diced for class honours with the Patron Highcroft Racing Acura driven by Scott Sharp and David Brabham. Unfortunately for them, they ran out of fuel on the last lap and finished sixth in their category and eighth overall.
For the first time this season, Mika Salo and Jaime Melo stood on the top step of the GT2 podium. Standing to the right of the winners are the runner-up’s from Farnbacher-Loles Racing, Pierre Kaffer and Dirk Werner. The final spot on the rostrum is occupied by the Flying Lizard Motorsports’, Wolf Henzler and Jorg Bergmeister.

1LMP1Werner / LuhrAudi R10 TDI127-
2LMP1Pirro / FasslerAudi R10 TDI127-
3LMP2Sharp / BrabhamAcura ARX-01b127-
4LMP2Fernandez / DiazAcura ARX-01b127-
5LMP2Maassen / LongPorsche RS Spyder127-
6LMP2Rossiter / MontagnyAcura ARX-01b127-
7LMP2de Ferran / PagenaudAcura ARX-01b126Fuel
8LMP2Bernhard / DumasPorsche RS Spyder126Fuel
9LMP2Dyson / SmithPorsche RS Spyder125-
10LMP2Leitzinger / FranchittiPorsche RS Spyder125-
11LMP2Devlin / BonillaLola B07/46121-
12GT1O'Connell / MagnussenChevrolet Corvette C6.R117-
13GT1Beretta / GavinChevrolet Corvette C6.R116-
14GT1Borcheller / DucoteAston Martin DBR9115-
15GT2Melo / SaloFerrari F430 GT113-
16GT2Werner / KafferPorsche GT3 RSR113-
17GT2Bergmeister / HenzlerPorsche GT3 RSR113-
18GT2Mueller / FarnbacherFerrari F430 GTC113-
19GT2Milner / SutherlandPanoz Esperante GTLM Ford112-
20GT2Figge / TafelFerrari F430 GT111-
21GT2Neiman / LawPorsche GT3 RSR111-
22GT2Cocker / DraysonAston Martin V8 Vantage GT2109-
23GT2Pilet / Van OverbeekPorsche GT3 RSR105-
24GT2Feinberg / HallDodge Viper105-
25LMP1Field / Berry / FieldLola B06/1086-
26LMP1Lewis / FaulknerLola B06/1064Mechanical
27LMP1McMurry / BurgessLola B06/10 AER42Accident
28GT2Pastorelli / Pastorelli / BassengPorsche GT3 RSR29Mechanical
DNSGT2Murry / Robertson / RobertsonFord GT-Did Not Start

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