Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Monday, July 23, 2012

GT Rivalries

by Tammy

Is there another series or class with such epic battles in the last few years as the American Le Mans Series GTs? The Mosport (OK, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) race this weekend gave us another amazing battle, with the top three cars nose to tail for nearly the last 45 minutes. The Flying Lizard Porsche held on to the top spot to win, though he was pressed hard by the Corvette in second and the ESM Ferrari in third.

But a lot of race viewers held their breaths while Jan Magnussen (Corvette) dogged Joerg Bergmeister's (Porsche) bumper, because of their history. Now, I don't know if there's any bad blood remaining between the two teams and drivers (since they're pros and this is racing), but I know that the Corvette fan world still hasn't forgotten or forgiven Joerg for sending (as they see it) Jan into the wall at the checkered flag of the Laguna Seca race in 2009 (video below).

Even if I don't totally agree with it, I understand Corvette fans' point of view. Because I hold my own grudge against Ferrari for a similar incident ... which is ironically the incident that I think dictated Joerg's actions in the video above against Corvette.

On the last lap of Sebring in 2007, Joerg and Jamie Melo (Ferrari) battled it out, trading the lead back and forth. Coming out of the last turn, Melo pushed Joerg left toward the wall, making Joerg have to lift to avoid crashing, therefore losing the win. (Video below, the best angle is the arial view starting at 3:04.)

Fast-forward to 2009 at Laguna Seca, and Joerg's in the middle of exactly the same battle. He couldn't afford to be pushed around again to lose, so he went for it, and Jan went into the wall. Like I say, I get why Corvette fans hate Joerg, because I dislike Jamie Melo and Risi Ferrari for the same reason. 

Now fast-forward to 2012, and you understand why many of us held our breaths as Jan looked for a last-lap pass on Joerg this weekend. He didn't have a chance to pull it off, as the Ferrari (a green one this time) slide under him, with a little bumping and banging, to take second place away. But it was some incredible racing by all three drivers.

So I say ALMS GT racing is currently the most competitive in the world. Who's with me? Who's arguing for another series/class?

No comments:

Post a Comment