2010 is the twelfth season of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The schedule includes nine North American events and is similar to the previous year’s calendar with two major exceptions. The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca event moves from October to May and the Saint Petersburg race has been dropped from the schedule. The season kicks off with the 58th edition of 12 Hours of Sebring. It is followed by Long Beach, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Miller Motorsport Park, Lime Rock, Mid-Ohio, Road America, Mosport Park and the season finale at Road Atlanta.

Initially, the ALMS classes and rules were aligned with 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. To address cost concerns, additional alterations were made to the groups in 2010.

  • Le Mans Prototype (LMP) – For 2010, the LMP1 and LMP2 classes were combined. The series technical staff made changes to the rules to allow these two groups to compete on a level playing ground. Teams enter cars such as the Lola B09/60, HPD ARX 01c, Lola B09/86, Porsche RS Spyder and Lola B06/10. A number of different engine options are available.
  • Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) – Also new for 2010 is the Le Mans Prototype Challenge class – introduced to provide an entry-level category for new and gentlemen drivers. This is a spec class that uses the ORECA FLM09 chassis. The cars are powered by a Chevrolet LS3 engine which produces approximately 485-horsepower.
  • Grand Touring (GT) – In the new year, the former GT2 class was renamed GT. This group includes production based vehicles such as the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, Porsche GT3 RSR, BMW M3, Jaguar XKRS, Ferrari F430 GTE and Ford GT-R.
  • Grand Touring Challenge (GTC) – In 2009, the GTC class was introduced. This category is a spec class for Porsche GT3 Cup cars.

The championships are decided by awarding points to the top ten cars and drivers that complete 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 is 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 earn an automatic entry to the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans, but the cars must conform to Automobile Club de l’Ouest regulations for LMP1, LMP2 and GT categories.

The penultimate round of the 2010 American Le Mans season was held at Mosport International Raceway. With just one race remaining after Mosport, all four titles could be decided up this weekend. The event was titled the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport was scheduled to be a two-hour and forty-five-minute contest around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

Unfortunately, with less than thirty-minutes remaining in the event, it had to be red-flagged. Luke Hines’ GTC Porsche damaged the guardrail on Mosport’s back straight. Officials determined that it would take too long to make repairs, and, after ninety-nine-laps, the race finished under the yellow flag.

The first lap of round eight at Mosport International Raceway. At the head of the field is the pole-winning Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder of Klaus Graf. Trailing Graf is the third-fastest qualifier, David Brabham, driving the No. 1 HPD ARX-01c. Behind Brabham are the Drayson and Autocon Lolas. Missing from the picture is the Dyson Lola, which started from the rear of the grid after changing two tires.
The 2010 season began with Klaus Graf and team owner Greg Pickett, sharing the No. 6 Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder. After a big accident at Mid-Ohio, Pickett stepped out of the driver’s seat. At Mosport, Graf shared the car with Romain Dumas. In qualifying, Graf captured the pole. The pair dominated the race, leading flag-to-flag for the victory. This was Graf’s second victory of the 2010 season.
The Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Jorg Bergmeister missed earning the GT pole by 0.301-seconds. He and his co-driver Patrick Long would start eleventh overall in the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Long started the contest and had a difficult stint but remained in the lead. During his time behind the wheel, Bergmeister was challenged by the Risi Ferrari but held on for their fourth victory of the season and extended their points lead.
Capturing the GTC category honours in round eight at Mosport International Raceway were Shane Lewis and Lawson Aschenbach. The pair shared the No. 88 Velox Motorsport prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and qualified second in class. They inherited the top spot and, ultimately, the win when the class-leading Orbit Racing entry crashed and sustained heavy damage. The victory would be a series first for the Velox team.
The podium for the class winners at Mosport International Raceway. Starting from the left and finishing first in GT are Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long. Next to them are the overall and LMP class winners, Romain Dumas and Klaus Graf. Beside Dumas and Graf are the victors in LMPC, Gunnar Jeannette and Elton Julian. And, the final position on the rostrum is occupied by Lawson Aschenbach and Shane Lewis, who captured GTC.
This was a special race for David Brabham as it marked his 100th ALMS event. Brabham co-drove the No. 1 HPD ARX-01c with Romain Dumas. Dumas performed the qualifying duties and was third fastest. The duo finished second and was the only entry that remained on the lead lap. More importantly, they led the LMP title chase heading into the finale and would only have to finish sixth or better to retain the crown.
Although Black Swan Racing missed the opening round of the season, they had the best odds of clinching a championship at Mosport. Drivers, Tim Pappas and Jeroen Bleekemolen, had captured four-victories in the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. In the GTC qualifying session, Bleekemolen recorded the second-fastest time and would start twenty-third overall. When the race ended, they were second.
Sharing the No. 12 Autocon Motorsports Lola B06/10 were Johnny Mowlem and Canadian, Tony Burgess. Although he was only competing on a part-time basis, Burgess earned his first podium result in round six at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The team’s progress during the weekend was slowed by a fuel leak. The Autocon Lola was gridded fifth for the start of the race. A consistent run was rewarded with a third-place finish.
The Grand Touring class podium for round eight of the 2010 American Le Mans Series. In the center are the current points leaders and winners from Flying Lizard Motorsports, Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long. The runner-ups, Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander, are standing to the right of Bergmeister and Long. Completing the rostrum are the third-place finishers, Bill Auberlen and Tommy Milner.
Gridded eighth overall and third in the LMPC class was the No. 99 Green Earth Team Oreca FLM09 of Gunnar Jeannette and Elton Julian. The team struggled to find speed early in the weekend but got faster with each on-track session. By the time the race started, they were on form. Jeanette and Julian would win their fourth event of the season and tie the class point’s leaders, Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut.
The LMPC championship leaders, Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut lost their advantage heading into the series finale at Road Atlanta. By the end of the qualifying session, their No. 55 Level 5 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 was fifth in their category. During the race, Bouchut and team owner, Tucker, moved up the order but were no match for the leaders, Elton Julian and Gunnar Jeannette, and finished second in class.
It was a difficult weekend for Risi Competizione. First, Pierre Kaffer had a big accident, which forced the team to withdraw the car. Then Jaime Melo, who was scheduled to share the No. 62 Ferrari F430 GT with Gianmaria Bruni became ill. With just one entry remaining, the car would be piloted by Bruni and Toni Vilander. Due to the driver change, they would start from the rear of the field but managed to finish second in GT.
In the center are the LMPC winners, Elton Julian and Gunnar Jeannette, for round eight of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport International Speedway. On the left side of the podium are Level 5 Motorsports’, Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut, who finished in the runner-up position. Completing the rostrum and earning their first podium of the season are Christian Zugel and Frankie Montecalvo.
BMW Rahal Letterman Racing entered two BMW M3. Sharing the No. 92 M3 was Tommy Milner and sports car veteran, Bill Auberlen. The pair had four runner-up finishes in 2010, but no victories. Miller qualified the car at Mosport International Speedway and was third in the GT category. Despite the stiff competition and Auberlen driving with a cracked rib sustained in the previous round at Road America, they finished third.
LMPC competitors, Christian Zugel and Frankie Montecalvo teamed up for the first time in round six at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The pair was yet to deliver a podium result, but that changed at Mosport International Raceway. They were the second-fastest entry in the LMPC qualifying session and started seventh overall in the No. 36 Genoa Racing Oreca FLM09. A steady drive was rewarded with a third-place finish.
Until round eight, Bill Sweedler had shared the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with Romeo Kapudija. Replacing Kapudija at Mosport International Raceway was Mitch Pagerey. In his three previous 2010 ALMS starts, Pagerey had raced an LMPC Oreca for Intersport Racing and scored fourth-place finishes at Long Beach and Laguna Seca. At Mosport, he Sweedler would capture the final spot on the GTC podium.
The GTC podium at Mosport for round eight of the 2010 American Le Mans Series. In the center are the winners, Shane Lewis and Lawson Aschenbach, from Velox Racing. This would be the team’s first series victory. On the left side of the rostrum are the championship leaders and runner-ups, Tim Pappas and Jeroen Bleekemolen. Occupying the final position of the podium are Mitch Pagerey and Bill Sweedler.

1LMPDumas / GrafPorsche RS Spyder99-
2LMPPagenaud / BrabhamHPD ARX-01c Honda99-
3LMPBurgess / MowlemLola B06/10 AER98-
4LMPCJulian / JeannetteOreca FLM0995-
5LMPCTucker / BouchutOreca FLM0995-
6LMPDrayson / CockerLola B09/60 Judd95-
7LMPDyson / SmithLola B09/86 Mazda94-
8LMPCZugel / MontecalvoOreca FLM0993-
9LMPCTucker / WallaceOreca FLM0993-
10LMPCGonzalez / DiazOreca FLM0992-
11GTBergmeister / LongPorsche GT3 RSR92-
12GTVilander / BruniFerrari 430 GT92-
13GTAuberlen / MilnerBMW M392-
14GTMagnussen / GavinChevrolet Corvette ZR192-
15GTO'Connell / BerettaChevrolet Corvette ZR192-
16GTSharp / Van OverbeekFerrari 430 GT91-
17LMPCDucote / MarcelliOreca FLM0991-
18GTHenzler / SellersPorsche GT3 RSR91-
19GTBrown / CosmoFerrari 430 GT90-
20GTNeiman / LawPorsche GT3 RSR90-
21GTGentilozzi / GoossensJaguar XKR-S87-
22GTCAschenbach / LewisPorsche GT3 Cup86-
23GTCPappas / BleekemolenPorsche GT3 Cup86-
24GTCSweedler / PagereyPorsche GT3 Cup86-
25GTCHines / MillerPorsche GT3 Cup78Accident
26GTMuller / HandBMW M3 GT48Accident
27GTMurry / RobertsonFord GT-R48Accident
28LMPField / FieldLola B06/10 AER43Mechanical
29GTCPumpelly / RichardPorsche GT3 Cup32Accident

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