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Chasing a Championship: Coming Down to the Wire

Driver, Team and Manufacturer Titles All in Play in Monterey

BMW Team RLL Photo by Dan Boyd/American Le Mans SeriesFollowing the most recent round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón at Baltimore, championship chases in four classes are beginning to come more into focus. There are 55 points available to winners in the final two rounds – 25 points at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and 30 at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans. Heading into this weekend’s ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón, here is how things stand…

LMP1: Dyson Racing’s runner-up finish at Baltimore combined with a fourth-place showing by Muscle Milk Aston Racing gives the Dyson team a 24-point edge over its chief rivals. Should the Dyson duo of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith earn the 25 first-place points and Muscle Milk’s Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr finish third or worse, the Dyson camp will clinch the drivers and team championship. A DNF for Muscle Milk’s Graf and Luhr also will eliminate them from Graf title contention. On such DNF at Sebring for Muscle Milk is the difference.

Mazda and Dunlop lead the engine and tire manufacturer battles, respectively, by 28 points over Aston Martin and Michelin.

CORE Autosport Photo by Dan Boyd/American Le Mans SeriesGT: BMW Team RLL’s Joey Hand and Dirk Müller added to their lead in the drivers’ championship with a runner-up GT finish at Baltimore. They now lead Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen by 25 points. BMW RLL’s other pairing of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner sits third, just 11 points ahead of Team Falken Tire’s Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers.

Porsche is now second in the manufacturer chase behind BMW, thanks to a win at Baltimore for Henzler and Sellers. BMW leads its German counterpart by 26 points and Chevrolet by 30 points. Dunlop is just four points up on Michelin among tire companies.

LMPC: This currently is the closest of the bunch. Genoa Racing’s Eric Lux moved to within one point of CORE autosport’s Ricardo Gonzalez and Gunnar Jeannette following the Baltimore race following Genoa’s runner-up finish there. A podium for the sister CORE entry of John Bennett and Frankie Montecalvo gave CORE a two-point lead in the team standings.

Black Swan Racing Photo by Dan Boyd/American Le Mans SeriesGTC: Tim Pappas and Black Swan Racing regained control of the team championship with a victory at Baltimore and a fifth-place finish by chief rival TRG; that puts BSR up by 11 points in the team standings. Pappas’ win with Jeroen Bleekemolen increased his lead in the drivers’ championship to 25 points over TRG’s Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly. A win for Black Swan combined with a third-place finish for Pumpelly/Ende would wrap up the drivers championship for Pappas.

The ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 1:30 p.m. PT (4:30 p.m. ET) on Saturday, Sept. 17. The race will air on ESPN2 from 1 to 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 18. Live coverage will be available in the U.S. on ESPN3 or outside the U.S. on www.americanlemans.com. Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and MotorsTV in Europe also will air live coverage. Ticket and schedule information is available on the ALMS schedule page.

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