ALTON, VA – The ALMS series made its debut at the Virginia International Raceway this past weekend. It turned out to be a great race venue, and the Corvette Racing team of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner clinched the GT-class championship. GM also won the manufacturer’s title and Corvette Racing won the team title. What makes this more spectacular is that the season finale at Road Atlanta is still weeks away. It’s going to be difficult to say this without sounding big-headed or pleased with myself,” quipped Gavin, “but, hey, who cares: I WON THE 2012 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES GT DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP!”
Though the Corvette appeared dominant, the four-hour race was far from a slam-dunk. Not only are the GT-class Corvettes so evenly matched against the Porsches, Ferraris and BMWs, the windy VIR track was new for all the competitors. Entering the race with a 28-point lead, luck appeared to be with Gavin/Milner as they narrowly escaped a first lap incident when the #20 Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda spun in turn one. “I was hoping things would go well for us, with this being my 100th start,” Gavin said. “When I managed to get through the melee in Turn 1, I thought this could very well be our day. Things worked out for us today, but we've worked at it. We made our own luck. We clambered and put ourselves in the right position. We executed that four times this year, and that’s why we won the championship.” The victory was especially sweet as this was Oliver Gavin’s 100th ALMS start and VIR is Milner’s home track. Second place went to the Porsche GT3 team of Bergmeister and Long with the final podium position going to the 458 Italia of Overbeek and Sharp.
The Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a Honda of Graf/Luhr won the overall and P1-class completing 135 laps. The P2–class win and 3rd place overall fell to the HPD ARX-03b Honda of Tucker/Bouchet. The P1 and P2 class championships will be decided at Road Atlanta in October. The Chevrolet-powered Oreca FLM09 of Bennett/Braun won the PC-class and GTC-class was won by the Porsche GT3 Cup car of MacNeill/Keen.
Also, last weekend at the NHRA US Nationals, Burns customer Charlie Westcott again won the Hemi Shootout with a 8.397 sec, 159.06mph pass with the 1968 “warfish” Barracuda, against the Barton-powered ’68 Dodge Dart of Jim Daniels (8.485sec/156.92mph). Charlie took his second straight sweep at the Indianapolis Mopar Hemi Challenge (and fifth Hemi Challenge win overall), pocketing the $15,000 winner’s purse from Mopar. Read more: http://blogs.moparmusclemagazine.com/6786763/mopar-news/mopar-hemi-challenge-nhra-us-nationals/#ixzz26l2a6qJ1