The inaugural 1000Km de Algarve, the first Le Mans Series night race, was a huge success and produced one of the most fascinating races of the season.
Pescarolo Sport took up the challenge at this brand-new track and claimed first place overall, Quifel ASM Team took his first victory of the season in the LMP2 class. Luc Alphand Aventures won again in the GT1 class and JMW Motorsport dominated the GT2 class.
Team Pescarolo Sport climbed on the first step of the podium and demonstrated once again how their car is very reliable. The team from the Sarthe was able to defend its lead in the Series. “We didn’t qualify well,” explained Jean-Christophe Boullion, who broke the wins record of the Le Mans Series today. “We should have been able to set a better lap, because the car was fantastic. In fact, the car has been doing well from the beginning of the weekend.”
What a season for Aston Martin Racing! Before the 2009 season kicked-off, the British team admitted that with a limited budget, it could but only aim to do its best: victory was not the target. The crew probably changed their minds after one victory, a second and a third place, and last but not least, a fourth place overall at the Le Mans 24hrs despite seven diesel-engined cars. Had the engine not failed during the qualifying session at Spa, the Britons would be an even stronger second of the Series.
Team Oreca-Matmut AIM has been one of the strongest sides since the beginning of the season, but have been unable to capitalize on it yet. The car had been quick all weekend and an excellent strategy call from the team helped the drivers to bring a trophy home. There could have been no better place for Tiago Monteiro who was running his home race gaining his second podium of the season, but the first one with the new car. It should give the team an incentive for the future.
The LMP2 class wass more uncertain than ever with a new winner. Nevertheless, this victory was deserved after the Quifel ASM Team and its Zytek showed a good performance, but bad luck during the previous races. The luck has turned today for Miguel Amaral who was running his home race. The Portuguese team takes the lead in the Series, but the leadership is fragile because the gap is narrow to Racing Box. The Italian team is delighted to be back on the podium after a good start at Barcelona and Zytek can be proud of having two cars on the podium as G.A.C. Racing Team turned its second place on the grid into a third place on the podium.
The Michelin Green X challenge is a race within the race at every 2009 Le Mans Series event and the winner, on this occasion, was Racing Box with the Nr.29 car.
Corvette and Ferrari take the victory
Even if it is a shame to watch only two cars on the podium, both competitors tried very hard to shine and as expected the Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette crossed the finish line first. The reliability of the American car, here run by a French team, is now legendary with many victories in 24-hour races and it has been the key to this win, in front of Larbre Compétition
After two wins in a row, Porsche surrendered to JMW Motorsport and Ferrari took their first victory of the season. The classification changed many times, but the British team took a strong lead in the middle of the race. IMSA Performance Matmut could not reach the top of the podium because of an early incident and Team Modena was once again on the podium after Spa, as they demonstrated that they stored up great experience from the GT1 class last year to build a strong team in the GT2 class.
1 16 “LM”P1 Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo – Judd 215 laps
2 007 “LM”P1 Aston Martin Racing Lola Aston Martin 215 laps
3 10 “LM”P1 Team Oreca Matmut – AIM Courage-Oreca LC70 – AIM 214 laps
6 40 “LM”P2 Quifel – ASM Team Ginetta-Zytek 09S – Zytek 207 laps
7 29 “LM”P2 Racing Box Lola B08/80 Coupé – Judd 205 laps
8 41 “LM”P2 G.A.C. Racing Team Zytek 07S – Zytek 205 laps
14 72 “LM”GT1 Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R 194 laps
24 50 “LM”GT1 Larbre Competition Saleen S7R – Ford 192 laps
15 84 “LM”GT2 Team Modena Ferrari F430 GT 190 laps
16 92 “LM”GT2 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F430 GT 190 laps
17 76 “LM”GT2 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 189 laps