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Graf, Dumas Win Red-Flagged Race

Jonathan Ingram | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, August 29 2010

The Porsche of Klaus Graf and Romain Dumas won a scary ALMS race at Mosport on Sunday. (File photo courtesy of the American Le Mans Series)

By Jonathan Ingram | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Klaus Graf and Romain Dumas took the American Le Mans Series victory at Mosport in the Team Cytosport Porsche RS Spyder after a red flag for a damaged guard rail halted the race with 25 minutes of the scheduled two hours and 45 minutes remaining.

The leading GTC class Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Luke Hines was turned into the guardrail on the back straight at top speed by the Lola-Judd of Jonny Cocker. Despite an enormous head-on impact, Hines walked away from the heavily damaged entry of Orbit/Paul Miller Racing and chatted with corner workers at the site of the broken guard rail. But the race was ended due to problems with repairs after an extended red flag period.

The field took one lap under yellow behind the safety car in order to take the checkered flag after the decision to end the race was made.

Starting driver Dumas nearly lapped the second-placed Highcroft Racing entry of David Brabham during his opening stint. The HPD ARX-01c of Highcroft suffered from a lack of grip with its new aero package while the Porsche prototype was on familiar turf, returning after strong performances by Penske Racing for three seasons when Dumas, a winner in 2007, was one of the drivers.

Graf drew closer to the Highcroft duo of Brabham and Pagenaud in the championship and trails by 16 points headed into the season-ending Petit Le Mans. Due to its distance, the class winner can collect a maximum of 30 points at the 1,000-mile race.

In GT, Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister extended their lead over Risi Competizione’s Gianmaria Bruni with a victory. The No. 62 Ferrari had to start at the rear of the GT field because Bruni’s regular co-driver Jaime Melo was too sick to compete and a late driver switch was made to Toni Vilander, whose regular entry was crashed by co-driver Pierre Kaffer in practice.

That put the Lizard Porsche GT3 RSR, which qualified second, into the lead at the start. Despite a split pit strategy for the BMW M3’s of Rahal Letterman Racing team and the strong showing of the No. 4 Corvette, the Lizard Porsche maintained the first position.

A strong challenge from the No. 4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen, co-drivers for the first time on the re-arranged factory team, came to naught and the Risi Ferrari was able to move up to second before the red flag. Gavin ran into trouble shortly after the first hour. He was behind Bergmeister when he suffered damage to the right front as his GT entry was hit by the Lola-Mazda of Chris Dyson at Turn 2.

That incident took the Dyson Racing team out of contention in LMP. Earlier, the Drayson Racing Lola-Judd fell off the pace after team owner Lord Paul Drayson spun at Turn 2 and the team needed to make repairs on the pit road before Cocker’s ill-fated stint. The young British driver also had contact with a GTC entry in practice and the Drayson team nearly missed qualifying as a result.

Gunnar Jeannette and Elton Julian of Green Earth Team Gunnar scored the victory in the LMPC class for Oreca-built prototypes and in GT3 Shane Lewis and Lawson Aschenbach were the winners in the Porsche GT3 Cup entry of Velox Motorsports.

– Jonathan Ingram can be reached at jingram@racintoday.com

Jonathan Ingram | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, August 29 2010
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