The Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama took us into our lunch break where I had a chance to walk around and mingle with the fans. ALMS is a very fan friendly series and really pays attention to the needs and wants of their race fans. The day is full of fun and educational activities for race fans and their families alike to enjoy. Maybe I’m getting old, but seeing kids at the race having a great time now brings a smile to my face when before they used to be a nuisance.
|This kid’s neck must have been sore after the race from trying to catch a glimpse of the cars speeding between turns 3 & 4. Good to see the young ones taking an early interest in the sport.|
Right after lunch was the first race for the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship, so a nice way to warm up for the American Le Mans Race which was set to start right after the Prototype Lites. These look just like small versions of the Prototypes that race in ALMS and that really is about all they have in common. Here is a break down of the 3 classes in the Prototype Lite Championship which are all purpose built race cars:
- Lites 1 – Built on the Elan Motorsports Technologies DP-02 chassis which features a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, six-speed sequential gearbox, and full aero package. They are all powered by a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder Mazda MP2 engine, sealed by Elan Power Products.
- Lites 2 – Though they may look similar, they are vastly different from the Lites 1 cars. Not only are they smaller and lighter, but they are powered by either a Kawasaki ZX10R or a Suzuki GSXR engine! Both engine options rev to 12,000 rpms and produce up to 180 horsepower.
- Lites 3 – These prototypes use the Elan/VanDiemen DP-06 chassis and are a low cost option for drivers who are ready to take part in a professional race series without signing over the deed to their soul. They use a multi-tubular steel spaceframe that has additional bracing in the cockpit and footwell areas for added driver safety. They are powered by a 2.3 liter, four cylinder Mazda MZR engine that produces close to 170 horsepower.
Just like the GT3 Challenge, the Prototype Lites Championship was going to have two races split between both days. James Kovacic took the checkered flag on Saturday with a dominating win in the #37. Two seconds separated Kovacik and second place winner Matt Downs, but this was nothing compared to the 5 seconds that separated Downs from the rest of the field.