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.
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.
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.