KJ: I picked the ALMS LMPC class for 2010 because I figured it was the best offer to race in an unbiased atmosphere! With Christian Zugel as our C driver (the only C driver in our class), and Gunnar Jeannette and Elton Julian, we figured we had a good chance of finding the podium now and again. We were able to score four wins, a pair of Seconds and two Thirds and the only non-podium finish at Petit Le Mans. Just after the Sebring test we found out there was a new rule for the LMPC class. The rule stated that a driver could drive in more than one car and score points. There was a minimum drive time, but you could split the time between the cars you were driving in. Some writers and fans referred to this as the Tucker RuleScott Tucker of Level 5 Motorsports. I guess because he was the only driver to utilize it.
We seemed to stay competitive during the season even with the ambiguous rules and finally tied Tucker’s Level 5 team going into the last race of the season: Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. That’s where our good luck turned to that’s racing luck. We had a problem with a steering rack and after the fix found ourselves out of contention for the win or even the Drivers or Team championships. We did win the IMSA Cup and the Promoters Cup. The team and drivers Gunnar and Elton finished Second and Third in the championship. Gunnar scored a big award from Michelin Tire and will be treated to a stay in Dubai to test some of the world’s fastest supercars for Michelin. All in all we had a great season and would love to be back in the ALMS as long as we don’t have to compete against a rule that lets a driver crash his car and then jump in another to score points. I’m thinking Scott Atherton won’t let this rule remain in 2011.
When the final history is written on the 2010 ALMS season it will be mostly about the class warfare that took place in the GT class. This was a true major league effort from BMW, Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche. Role players included Jaguar and a privateer Ford GT effort, but the action mostly came from factory efforts. On paper, it was the Risi Competizione squad from Houston as the favorite, with a pair of Ferrari F430s, and the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team’s BMW M3 coupes as the main antagonists. Corvette Racing had years of GT1 experience and while the cars were fast, the Pratt brats were still coming to terms with the GT class.
Porsche was expected to be competitive, but experts wondered how much shelf life was left in a bloated, rear-engined 911 (997) body. And history will also show that anyone who underestimates Porsche will get burned. Great teamwork, consistent driving by Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister, along with a masterful strategy by Weissach veteran Roland Kussmaul gave the Drivers championship to the Flying Lizard duo again.
The Manufacturer and Team titles were there for the taking and no one had their act together enough to take charge. It took the Season of Strangeness to make that decision in the closing moments of the final race of the year. How else can we explain the leading Risi Ferrari sputtering out of fuel with both titles in sight; not only to lose the race and give Corvette Racing its first win of the year, but hand the big prizes over to BMW and Rahal Letterman? In a flash, Munich went from Third in points to First to get the Manufacturers trophy and Rahal Letterman the team title. Bobby Rahal was very direct in the post-race press conference: We had, at best, a sixth-place car today. He does plan to keep the trophy, however.
But few people had as good a view of the 2010 season as Johannes van Overbeek aboard the Number 01 Extreme Speed/Tequila Patron Ferrari 430 GT.