2013 was the fifteenth and final season of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). On September 5, 2012, it was announced that the Grand American Road Racing Association (Grand Am) and the American Le Mans Series would merge in2014.

There were ten events on the 2013 ALMS schedule. The calendar was similar to the previous years with one major exception. The Mid-Ohio event was replaced by the new racetrack in Austin, Texas – Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The season kicked off with the 61st edition of 12 Hours of Sebring. It was followed by Long Beach, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Lime Rock, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Road America, Baltimore, COTA, 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.

  • Prototype 1 (P1) – These are purpose built race cars powered by a 6.0-liter normally aspirated or 4.0-liter turbocharged engine. The vehicles can weigh no less than 924-kilograms (approximately 2,040-pounds). Teams enter cars such as the Lola B12/60, HPD AXR-03a and DeltaWing. The prototype teams can choose from a number of different engine manufacturers. Typically, these motors produce between 600-700 horsepower.
  • Prototype 2 (P2) – LMP675 class was introduced in 2001 for vehicles which could weigh no less than 675-kilograms. In 2004, this 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 Prototype categories (P1 and P2) would be contending for the overall win. There are cars such as the Zytek Z11SN and HPD ARX-03b competing in this class. P2 cars use smaller displacement engines than P1 and produce approximately 500-550 horsepower.
  • Prototype Challenge (PC) – This is a spec class using the ORECA FLM09 chassis. The cars are powered by a Chevrolet LS3 engine which produces approximately 485-horsepower.
  • Grand Touring (GT) – This class includes production-based vehicles such as the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, Porsche GT3RSR, BMW Z4 GTE, SRT Viper GTS-R, Ferrari 458 Italia and Aston Martin Vantage GTE. The cars are permitted to use 8.0-liter normally aspirated or 4.0-liter turbocharged engines which produce between 600-650 horsepower. These cars can weigh no less than 1,125-kilograms (approximately 2,480-pounds).
  • 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 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 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This was the thirty-ninth time that Long Beach hosted a race through the city streets. For the seventh consecutive year, the American Le Mans Series teams competed on the 1.968-mile eleven-turn temporary street circuit in the season’s shortest event – just two-hours in length.

The Prototype 1 podium. On the top of the victory podium are the overall and class winners - Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf. This was third consecutive year that Luhr and Graf were the overall victors. The win also marked another milestone for Luhr. He was now tied with Olivier Berretta for the most American Le Mans Series victories at forty-two.
The No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing entered HPD ARX-03a was driven by Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr. Luhr was third quickest in qualifying and took a cautious approach during his stint. During a yellow flag period at approximately 25-minutes into the race, the team changed drivers. Graf charged through the field and at the checkered flag he finished 36.329-seconds ahead of the second place Rebellion Racing Lola.
Capturing the Prototype 2 honours was the Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD AXR-03b shared by Scott Sharp and Guy Cosmo. Sharp qualified the car second in class but there were six-Prototype Challenge entries between him and the category pole-sitter of Level 5 Motorsports. Troubles for the quicker Level 5 HPD AXR-03b during the race helped Sharp and Cosmo score the victory.
Maxime Martin and local boy, Bill Auberlen won the Grand Touring category at Long Beach. Auberlen was responsible for qualifying the car and turned the fifth-fastest time in the class. A superior pit strategy helped Martin and Auberlen take the win. The victory represented a couple of firsts – it was Auberlen’s first win at Long Beach and the first ALMS victory for the new BMW Z4 GTE – in only its second outing.
Chris Dyson exits the Dyson Racing Lola B12/60 at turn eleven (the final corner) after 17 laps with accident damage. Dyson got into turn nine too hot and clouted the concrete barrier while exiting the corner. The weekend looked promising for him and his teammate Guy Smith as they started beside the pole-winning Rebellion Racing Lola. For the second event of the season the pair did not score any points.
Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek co-drove the No. 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD AXR-03b. They started twelfth overall and third in Prototype 2 – immediately behind their teammates Scott Sharp and Guy Cosmo. Brown and van Overbeek were also the beneficiaries of the Level 5 Motorsports pit penalties. They captured the runner-up spot in the LMP2 category.
Neel Jani recorded the fastest lap in qualifying to secure the Prototype 1 and overall pole position. Jani and his co-driver Nick Heidfeld shared the Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60. The Toyota-powered Lola led early in the race but surrendered first place during the final round of pit-stops. A slow driver change allowed eventual winner Klaus Graf to take the lead – the pair finished second in their category.
Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand made it a one-two finish for BMW at Long Beach. Hand qualified the BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE twentieth overall and eight in the Grand Touring group. Like their teammates, Auberlen and Martin, an exceptional pit-stop strategy moved them up the race order and put the team in contention. At the checkered flag, they were second in class and ninth overall.
The No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport Porsche GT3 Cup scored their last victory in the 2012 series finale at Road Atlanta during the Petit Le Mans event. They were off to a good start in the new year taking the win at Long Beach in the Grand Touring Challenge category. Sharing the victory were drivers - Henrique Cisneros and Sean Edwards.
The Grand Touring podium. In the center are the victorious drivers from BMW Team RLL – Bill Auberlen and Maxime Martin. On the right side of the rostrum are the second place finishers and teammates of the class winners – Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller. The final pair on the victory stand are Marc Goossens and Dominik Farnbacher of SRT Motorsports.
At the season opener in Sebring, team owner, Jon Bennett and Colin Braun along with Mark Wilkins finished fifth in the Prototype Challenge category. Long Beach produced better results - which started when Braun captured the class pole. He also led the race overall from laps- 35 to 42. At the checkered flag, Braun and Bennett were third overall and first in class.
The No. 91 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R was the fastest qualifier in Grand Touring thanks to the efforts of Marc Goossens. This was a much better result than the season opener at Sebring when the team started tenth in class. Co-driving with Goossens was Dominik Farnbacher. The pair would finish tenth overall and third in the GT category.
Finishing second in the Grand Touring Challenge class, just 2.130-seconds behind the class winners was the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup. The Porsche was the third fastest qualifier in the GTC group and was driven by Nelson Canache and Spencer Pumpelly.
Mike Guasch and Luis Diaz shared the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09. Diaz handled the qualifying duties and at the end of the session, he was seventh overall and third quickest in the Prototype Challenge class. A solid performance by the two drivers earned them a fourth overall and second in the PC category.

1P1Luhr / GrafHPD ARX-03a80-
2P1Jani / HeidfeldLola B12/60 Toyota80-
3PCBennett / BraunOreca FLM0979-
4PCGuasch / DiazOreca FLM0979-
5PCEnde / JunqueiraOreca FLM0979-
6P2Cosmo / SharpHPD ARX-03b79-
7GTMartin / AuberlenBMW Z4 GTE78-
8P2Brown / Van OverbeekHPD ARX-03b78-
9GTHand / MullerBMW Z4 GTE78-
10GTGoossens / FarnbacherSRT Viper GTS-R78-
11GTMilner / GavinChevrolet Corvette C678-
12GTGarcia / MagnussenChevrolet Corvette C678-
13GTMiller / HolzerPorsche GT3RSR78-
14GTSweedler / BellFerrari 458 Italia77-
15GTWittmer / BomaritoSRT Viper GTS-R77-
16GTBeretta / MalucelliFerrari 458 Italia77-
17PCDrissi / MitchellOreca FLM0977-
18PCShears / NunezOreca FLM0976Did Not Finish
19GTSellers / HenzlerPorsche GT3RSR76-
20GTCCisneros / EdwardsPorsche GT3 Cup75-
21GTCPumpelly / CanachePorsche GT3 Cup75-
22GTCPumpelly / Wong / von MoltkePorsche GT3 Cup75-
23GTCMacNeil / BleekemolenPorsche GT3 Cup75-
24GTCCurtis / StantonPorsche GT3 Cup75-
25PCCumming / MarcelliOreca FLM0975-
26GTCDempsey / FosterPorsche GT3 Cup73-
27GTCKeating / FaulknerPorsche GT3 Cup73-
28P2Tucker / BriscoeHPD ARX-03b66-
29GTCHedlund / HeylenPorsche GT3 Cup62-
30P2Franchitti / TuckerHPD ARX-03b57-
31P1Dyson / SmithLola B12/60 Mazda17Accident
32GTCBallou / Calvert-JonesPorsche GT3 Cup6Did Not Finish
33GTCFaieta / AvenattiPorsche GT3 Cup5Did Not Finish

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