Metal Mulisha founder and 2010 Lucas Oil Driver of the Year “The General” Brian Deegan took home three wins over the weekend at the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and is on target to set an all-time Lucas Oil Off Road record for most consecutive wins in the Pro Lite Unlimited Class. In Saturday’s Pro Lite race, Deegan took his third successive win in the class this year, after taking the lead in the first lap and maintaining his position for nearly the entire race in his #38 Lucas Oil/Rockstar Energy/Metal Mulisha/ Ford.
On the heels of his impressive Pro Lite win, Deegan kept the momentum going in Saturday’s Pro 2 Unlimited, immediately taking the lead and dominating the entire race. At the competition yellow, Deegan was well ahead of the pack and held on strong to the finish. Deegan led the race for the full 18 laps, locking in his second consecutive win in the Pro 2 class.
In Sunday’s Pro Lite Unlimited race, Deegan started in the top five, and on lap four moved into fourth position. Deegan was able to make a pass on lap eight, moving himself into third. After two restarts, Deegan raced from third to first on the restart lap. In the end, Deegan picked up his fourth straight win and is currently one win away from taking the all-time Lucas Oil Off Road record for most consecutive wins in the class.Sunday’s Pro 2 Unlimited, Deegan started fourth and moved into third before suffering a flat tire. Brian headed into the hot pits immediately before an accident forced a red flag of the race. When the race resumed, Deegan was back in fourth, and stayed in the top five through the competition yellow and under the green flag. In turn four, Deegan and Greg Adler made contact, but Deegan was able to pull away and took home third at the finish.
|The final round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series brought a fifth-place position in GT class for Team Falken and fourth in the final results for the GT Team Championship, and fifth place in the GT Drivers’ Championship.
Falken Tire Porsche Delivers Strong Effort at
Petit Le Mans – Final ALMS Race of Season
For the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans, the final round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón brought a fifth-place position in GT class for Team Falken and fourth in the final results for the GT Team Championship, and fifth place in the GT Drivers’ Championship. With two wins plus four top-five finishes out of nine races this year, the Derrick Walker-led team proved it was one to contend with throughout the season.
Record-breaking attendance surrounded the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit, which hosted the endurance classic for the 14th time. The 1,000 miles were covered in nine hours, 30 minutes, with Team Falken’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR piloted by Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler, and his partner, veteran Falken driver Bryan Sellers, joined again for this race by Porsche Junior driver Martin “Raggi” Ragginger. Raggi also drove with the duo at Sebring in March.
As was the case throughout the season, which saw the team cross the country twice, compete over the border in Canada, and record its first two victories after just two full years of ALMS competition, Team Falken was successful as a result of both brilliant strategy and the tremendous effort of Henzler and Sellers.
Team Manager Derrick Walker and Strategist John Ward took full advantage of race yellows all season long, and with excellent pit work by the Falken crew, enabled the team to gain track position and move through the field at every track. This rang true throughout Petit Le Mans, as all three drivers answered the call to push hard through the busy 53-car field to take fifth in class, finishing 15th overall.
At the ALMS banquet Sunday night, October 2, Team Falken Tire won the "For the Fans" award as the organization/person with the biggest impact on ALMS and sports car racing in 2011. This was based on voters who voiced their opinion on ALMS' website.
|United Autosports scored a runner-up rostrum finish last weekend on their Le Mans Prototype race debut.
United Autosports Pull Off Podium Goal at Petit LeMans
United Autosports scored a stunning runner-up rostrum finish last weekend on their Le Mans Prototype race debut. Zak Brown (USA), Stefan Johansson (SE) and Mark Patterson (USA) steered their Pescarolo-Judd home into second place in the LMP2 class as the checkered flag dropped on the Petit Le Mans race.
An early race set-back put their #22 car down to 49th overall but a strong car, faultless drives and expert pit stops saw Brown cross the line after 367 laps of the Road Atlanta race track 13th overall and 2nd in class. With attrition always a large factor of endurance racing, United Autosports survived nine safety car periods and the team made just 13 pit stops to earn victory in the Michelin Green X Challenge.
In typical Petit Le Mans style, the first hour was an action-packed 60 minutes, which included two safety car periods. Johansson, who started the race fifth in class, had moved up to second in just 13 laps going into the first full course caution. But it was the second "yellow" interval that would lose Johansson eight laps.
A slow-paced safety car backed the traffic up enough at the final chicane to cause a car to damage the #22’s rear bodywork, which forced Johansson into the pit lane with a smoking right rear corner. Unfortunately, the car had to return to the garage for a replacement rear diffuser.
Johansson returned to the track 15 minutes later with a full tank of fuel, a new set of tires and a complete new rear body section with a strategy that should pay off later in the race—now being able to run "long." By the time the race had reached quarter distance, Johansson had progressed to fourth and had weaved his way through the "GT" field into 36th overall.
A fourth full-course caution just shy of three hours into the event brought about the #22 car’s first driver change as Johansson handed over to Patterson. In his debut Le Mans Prototype race, Patterson’s double-stint progressed #22 up to third in class when he returned to the pits for Brown’s LMP race debut just before half race distance.
It would be mid-way through Brown’s first double stint when the class-leading #26 Oreca ’03 Nissan ran into problems, promoting Brown to the second spot, which would then remain unchallenged.
Entering into the "night" period, the circuit was in almost complete darkness with just 60 laps of the 1,000-mile race remaining. Patterson was knocking on the door of the top 10 overall but couldn’t close the gap to the lead #33 car. However, the gap to third was looking safe and well under control.
Drama continued into the closing stages for Brown who found himself in the middle of a "GT" class battle as the final yellow flag period of the race bunched the remaining cars together for a dash to the flag. Brown put all his long-distance experience into play achieving his team’s goal of a podium finish.
Jason Saini held off a last lap attempted pass from 2011 SCCA Pro Racing MX-5 Cup Champion Michael Cooper to take his first win of the season in the finale at Road Atlanta.
Saini Holds Off Cooper for Win in MX-5 Cup Finale at Road Atlanta; Cooper Takes 2011 Championship
Jason Saini of Fort Worth, Texas, held off a last-lap attempted pass from 2011 SCCA Pro Racing MX-5 Cup Champion Michael Cooper of Syosset, New York, to take his first win of the season in the finale at Road Atlanta, part of the 14th Petit Le Mans weekend. Marc Miller of Holland, Michigan, crossed the finish line in third. Saini crossed the finish line first in a hard-fought win that saw seven official lead changes during the 27-lap race amongst three different drivers.
The winning No. 28 Autobarn Mazda of Countryside/New Balance/Phiten/SunTrust/CJ Wilson’s Children’s Charities MX-5 led Cooper in a nose-to-tail battle past the white flag signaling one lap to go, but Cooper took the lead in Turn One. Trying to hold off Saini with just three corners to go, Cooper’s No. 6 Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5 slid wide in Turn 10 and off the track.
Cooper and Saini had enough of a gap on third place for Cooper to hold the runner-up position, 10.096 seconds behind Saini at the checkered flag. Saini averaged 90.758 mph for the 27-lap, 68.58-mile race. It was the first win of the season for Saini and the C.J. Wilson Racing team, formed over the off-season and competing in their first season of racing. Saini has seven career Playboy MX-5 Cup wins to his credit.
Cooper had already clinched the championship heading into the race at Road Atlanta, but rather than hold back, was gunning for his sixth win of the season. Cooper began the race’s standing start from the pole and pulled away from the field in a four-car train with Saini, Jeff Mosing’s No. 10 Frank’s International/Race Now For Autism/ALARA Racing MX-5 and Todd Lamb’s No. 4 OPM/SafeRacer/TraqMate/toddlamb.com MX-5.
Lamb lost touch of the draft through traffic on Lap 10 and then spun trying to catch up, while Mosing spun trying to keep the pace with three laps to go, leaving Cooper and Saini to settle it on the track.
Cooper set a new track record with a 1:39.895 (91.536 mph), the fastest lap of the race. Lamb, the 2009 Champion racing in just his second weekend of MX-5 Cup since his title, recovered to finish seventh. Mosing held on for a fifth-place finish.
Miller ran his No. 29 C.J. Wilson Racing/Race Now For Autism MX-5 in a second pack behind the lead group early in the race, pulling ahead of that pack but too far back to catch the leaders. When Lamb and Mosing spun, Miller climbed to third for his ninth career podium and first since a runner-up finish in the 2009 Championship.
Dean Copeland finished fourth in the No. 7 Copeland Motorsports/Sync Speed Inc MX-5 after running nose-to-tail with Miller for a large portion of the 45-minute timed race. Ara Malkhassian, who ran with Miller and Copeland early, finished sixth in the No. 11 ALARA Racing MX-5.
Cooper earned his first career title with the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Championship, scoring 498 points after the series-mandated drop of one race. That Championship earns him a funded ride in a MAZDASPEED3 for the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge during the 2012 season. Mosing finished a career-best second in the championship with 414 points, followed by Saini (399 points), Copeland (393), and Malkhassian (368).
Colin Wall of Vancouver, took the win in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge class that ran with the Playboy MX-5 Cup at Road Atlanta.