Post Petit Thoughts

What started off as an addition to a weekly post has taken a life of its own and moved to a separate post.

Due to the wedding, I did not make the trip to Road Atlanta for the race. This is the first Petit I have missed in several years. I did watch the majority of the race on ESPN 3.

The big controversy to come out of this one will be the dustup between the number 1 Audi R18 piloted by Romain Dumas and the the Number 8 Peugeot 908 driven by Franck Montagny. Check out the video of the incident (Make sure you watch the video before you read any further…I do not want to taint any unbiased opinions).

Now, I am not opposed to calling this particular crash a racing incident. Montangny clearly came over in front of the Audi, but he was still (mostly) in the racing line. Dumas was a bit optimistic about making that move at that point on the track, because he had a great jump on the Pug, and probably could have made a nice drafting pass further down the long Road Atlanta backstretch. Dr. Ullrich (one of my motorsport heroes) was not happy with Franck.

Audi released this series to show that the Pug moved over. Click to embiggen.

I am truly shocked by the number of mistakes made by AudiSport this year. Driver errors in LMS events, big shunts at LeMans…all very un Audi-like.

As for who is to blame for the Road Atlanta crash…I think this is just the latest “racing incident” between the squads. However, I guess my biggest question is how long do we continue to call these “incidents” and not point at least some of the blame at aggressive (and maybe a bit unsporting) Peugeot drivers?

There is going to be a shakeup on both sides of the battle next season as far as factory drivers go. Dindo Capello, who has a fantastic history with Audi has reportedly raced his last race for the make. McNish has had some issues this season, but should be back. It will be hard to move Tom Kristensen anywhere. But Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler, Romain Dumas, Benoui Treuleyer and even long-time test pilot Marco Bonanomi are ready to go. It would be my guess that Mike Rockenfeller will turn laps somewhere but might also be moved on down the road. I have no idea what will shake out with the Peugot drivers, but rumor has it that the French are looking to make some moves before next season as well. I would only say that – no matter what – Anthony Davidson needs to stay.

The embattled Scott Tucker got the LMP2 win for Level 5 Motorsports.

As for GT, it was a nice race there.  Ferrari (AF Corse)  gets a win, The Flying Lizards bang out a hard fought second place (Thanks to Bergmeister), and BMW slots in at third.

LMPC and GTC also saw some nice battles for championships.

Next year’s Petit has seen a date change, pushed back to later in October. (see the full 2012 schedule)  I don’t hate the change, although the late September/early October date always had fantastic weather.

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3 thoughts on “Post Petit Thoughts”

  1. Nice write up, I was there when it happened but haven’t see the video yet (on DVR). To be honest on the radio and watching the team in the pits, Audi has not been “the Audi of old” for several years.

    Petit was anything but, and with a track that crowded you expect to change body work and patch up the inevitable racing incidents. From what I witnessed Audi stumbled both on the track and in the pits. I have loved and supported them but at some point you must make changes, lest the management grow weary of the endeavor.

    On another note it was refreshing to see someone other than the BMW team on the top step. The Corvette guys said that the 2012 car will have a few changes that might help level the field but bottom line the ACO needs to reign BMW in.

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  2. Thanks Brian.
    I agree with your thoughts on Audi Sport. I think some changes would be good for the team as a whole. I really missed being on the hill this year. I am glad to be able to go back next year.

    BMW have been given a free reign for some reason. They need to be dialed back. I think we also forget just how old the 997 is at this point.

    As for Corvette…they need to step it up. I would think that GM management will have a short leash if the podiums dry up.

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