Grand Am: Road America 2013

Event Coverage: Grand Am – Road America 2013

by Mark Zimmerman

Road America hosted the first combined ALMS / Grand Am event this past weekend and gave sports car fans a preview of what a united series will look like. The sports car fan base has been strongly divided between the ALMS’s strong technology drive and link to Le Mans, and Grand Am’s cost contained formula with more of a NASCAR flare. While this tastes great / less filling has been going on for over 10 years, fans and teams alike all won this weekend with days crammed full of great racing, as well as a good comparison regarding how the different series and classes stack up in terms of lap times.

The Fall Line Audi R8 was at the track and ran in practice, but never qualified or made the race.
The Audi was on track during practice. What you can't see is the incredible brat patty/egg/cheese sandwich I am eating. Best. Track. Breakfast. Ever.

Road America itself is an hour north of Milwaukee, and 2 hours outside Chicago. The 4.048 mile, 14 turn track is tucked in the Wisconsin countryside and features lots of changes in elevation. Think of it as a campground with great food, a go cart track, and live racing with fantastic vantage points. The pits are wide open, and fans can watch all of the prep that goes into putting a racer on the track. 

Leh Keen and Alessandro Balzan stop by for some corn hole after qualifying on pole Friday night. Alessandro had never played this before.

Back to qualifying. Team Sahlen, new to the DP ranks, took their first pole with Dane Cameron piloting the BMW Riley to a 2.00.028 lap. The second spot went to Wayne Taylor Racing’s #10 Corvette DP with a 2.00.575, and the third spot was taken by the 01 BMW Riley DP of Chip Ganassi with a 2.00.710

The Sahlen #42 BMW Riley on its way to its first pole.

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