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 ARX-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.

2013 was the American Le Mans Series thirteenth visit to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Teams would compete for two-hours, forty-five minutes around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

Thirty-two starters funnel into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s first corner for lap-one of the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix. Leading the field is the pole-sitter, Klaus Graf in the No. 6 Muscle Milk Racing HPD ARX-03a. Trailing Graf are the two other P1 entries – Tony Burgess in the Dyson Racing Lola B12/60 and the DeltaWing Racing DeltaWing LM12 driven by Andy Meyrick. The DeltaWing would be the first car to retire after only sixteen laps.
There were no surprises in the P1 category. Leading the way in practice and qualifying was Greg Pickett’s Muscle Milk team. The No. 6 HPD ARX-03a was driven by Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr. Graf performed the qualifying duties and was 3.693-seconds quicker than Tony Burgess in the Dyson Lola. The race itself was predictable with Graf and Luhr leading every lap and winning by a margin of four laps.
The No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R was gridded twentieth overall and sixth in class for the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix. Sharing the Corvette were Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin. Gavin drove the first stint and quickly moved into third. After the first round of pit-stops, Milner inherited the lead. As the contest came to a conclusion, he was under pressure from the two Vipers but maintained the position to the checkered flag.
Quickest during the abbreviated PC qualifying session was Colin Braun driving the Core Autosport Oreca FLM09. However, the qualifying was cut short when Mike Guasch crashed which brought out the red flag. IMSA rules state that if less than half the session is completed, the grid is set by points. Braun and his teammate, Jon Bennett started second. During the race, the duo overcame a flat tire and pitlane penalty to win PC.
Marino Franchitti was responsible for qualifying the No. 551 Level 5 Motorsports entry. Franchitti was just 0.246-seconds slower than the P2 pole-sitter, Mike Conway. Scott Tucker drove the first stint and after the driver change, Franchitti had to make up a lap. A full course caution worked to his advantage and he closed on Tucker, in the second Level 5 entry, and Scott Sharp. Franchitti passed both drivers and scored the victory.
Topping the GT qualifying sheet was Jonathan Bomarito driving the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R. Sharing the Viper with Bomarito was Kuno Wittmer. At the start of the race, Bomarito jumped into the lead but lost the position when he made a mistake at Moss Corner. His problems were further compounded when he received a pitlane penalty. With Wittmer behind the wheel, the Viper was sixth but some skillful driving gave them a third-place finish.
The third fastest qualifier in Grand Touring was Marc Goossens driving the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R. Co-driving with Goossens was Dominik Farnbacher. Goossens started the race and moved into first place when his teammate, Jonathan Bomarito made an error in turn five. After the driver change, Farnbacher was in second and challenged the Corvette of Tommy Milner but could not find a way past and took the runner-up spot.
Jeroen Bleekemolen captured the GTC pole driving a rebuilt car that was badly damaged in the previous round. Sharing the No. 22 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with Bleekemolen was Cooper McNeil. At the start, McNeil dropped to third in class but after the driver change, Bleekemolen was in second place. During what was the final round of pit-stops for most teams, Bleekemolen stayed on track - taking first place and ultimately the win.
Guy Cosmo qualified fourth quickest in the P2 category driving the ESM HPD ARX-03b. In the race, he caught the class leader, Mike Conway and grabbed first place. Midway through the race, Cosmo pitted handing over the driving duties to Scott Sharp. Sharp rejoined the contest second in class and eventually passed the leader, Scott Tucker but not before Tucker’s teammate, Mario Franchitti passed both drivers. Sharp finished second.
There were only three entries in the P1 category – Muscle Milk Racing, DeltaWing Racing and Dyson Racing. At CTMP, the usual Dyson driver line-up of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith was replaced by Chris McMurry and local racer, Tony Burgess. Burgess qualified the Lola B12/60 second in P1 and fourth overall. The duo was no match for the Muscle Milk Racing HPD ARX-03a and finished second in class – seven laps behind the winners.
Issues during the driver change took the PC race leaders, Duncan Ende and Bruno Junqueira, out of contention. This gave the top spot to the DragonSpeed entry of Renger van der Zande and Micro Schultis. Van der Zande was behind the wheel during the final caution period but lost positions to Colin Braun and Kyle Marcelli on the restart. He recovered and was able to pass Marcelli but could not catch Braun and settled for second.
The No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was qualified by Spencer Pumpelly who was third fastest in GTC. Sharing the Porsche with Pumpelly was Nelson Canache, Jr. Canache grabbed the class lead early in the contest and after the driver change the car was still in first place. Pumpelly made a second stop and lost the lead to Jeroen Bleekemolen. Unable to overcome the deficit, Pumpelly and Canache finished second.
Local fans had something to cheer about as the No. 8 Oreca FLM09 was shared by Canadians, Kyle Marcelli and Chris Cumming. With Stefan Johansson, the duo finished second in PC at Sebring but had not visited the podium since that event. They were gridded twelfth overall and fifth in class for the start. Benefitting from the misfortune of their competitors and a steady performance earned the pair a third-place finish.
Mike Conway was making his debut in the American Le Mans Series and qualified first in the P2 category. Sharing the HPD ARX-03b with Conway was the team owner, Scott Tucker. During the race, Conway battled for the class lead with Guy Cosmo in the ESM HPD ARX-03b. After the final round of pit-stops, Tucker was in the lead but could not hold off Marino Franchitti and the ESM entry of Scott Sharp – he finished third.

1P1Luhr / GrafHPD ARX-03a132-
2P2Franchitti / TuckerHPD ARX-03b128-
3P2Cosmo / SharpHPD ARX-03b127-
4P2Tucker / ConwayHPD ARX-03b127-
5P2Brown / Van OverbeekHPD ARX-03b126-
6P1Burgess / McMurryLola B12/60 Mazda125-
7PCBennett / BraunOreca FLM09125-
8PCSchultis / van der ZandeOreca FLM09125-
9PCCumming / MarcelliOreca FLM09125-
10PCGuasch / ChengOreca FLM09124-
11GTMilner / GavinChevrolet Corvette C6.R123-
12GTGoossens / FarnbacherSRT Viper GTS-R123-
13GTWittmer / BomaritoSRT Viper GTS-R123-
14GTGarcia / MagnussenChevrolet Corvette C6.R123-
15GTHand / MullerBMW Z4 GTE123-
16GTMartin / AuberlenBMW Z4 GTE122-
17GTSweedler / BellFerrari 458 Italia122-
18GTLong / Kimber-SmithPorsche GT3RSR121-
19GTMiller / HolzerPorsche GT3RSR121-
20GTSellers / HenzlerPorsche GT3RSR120-
21PCEnde / JunqueiraOreca FLM09114-
22GTCMacNeil / BleekemolenPorsche GT3 Cup114-
23GTCPumpelly / CanachePorsche GT3 Cup114-
24GTCPopow / DalzielPorsche GT3 Cup114-
25GTCDempsey / LallyPorsche GT3 Cup113-
26GTCHedlund / HeylenPorsche GT3 Cup113-
27GTCCisneros / ArmindoPorsche GT3 Cup113-
28GTCNeiman / von MoltkePorsche GT3 Cup108-
29PCShears / NunezOreca FLM09105-
30GTCKeating / FaulknerPorsche GT3 Cup96-
31PCDrissi / MitchellOreca FLM0985Did Not Finish
32P1Meyrick / LeggeDeltaWing LM1216Did Not Finish

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