This week Merchant Services Racing heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisc. and Road America for the Road Race Showcase and seventh round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón Championship. The team is optimistic that Saturday’s four-hour classic will provide a perfect opportunity for their first win of the season.
“We can win here,” cited team principal, Brian Alder. “We’ve got great driver lineups in both cars and, most importantly, I think the Prototype Challenge cars can take advantage of the track length to get out and run… avoiding the early GT traffic experienced at other tracks.”
The team is again fielding two cars for this event. Chapman Ducote will return to the team joining Kyle Marcelli and James French in the No. 8 Lamex, Butterfield Farms ORECA Prototype Challenge car, while the Downs brothers, Anthony, Lucas and Matt, will pilot the No. 7 sister car.
A popular track among sports car competitors, Road America has hosted races since September 1955. It is one of only a handful of road circuits in the world maintaining its original configuration… being 4.048 miles in length and 14 turns. The track features many elevation changes, along with a long front stretch where speeds approaching 200 mph may be reached. One of the best known features of this course is a turn on the backside known as “the kink..
“We’re coming off our first podium [Mid-Ohio],” noted Alder. “I’m confident we can take advantage of the four-hour format and the wide open runs afforded by stye of Road America. It’s the home track for the Downs brothers which should help with setups and getting the cars sorted quickly. Hopefully, all these things will play into our strengths.”
The Road America Road Race Showcase is the seventh round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. The four-hour race is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Aug. 18. ESPN2’s telecast begins at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 19. Full, live coverage starts at 3:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the world`s leading sports car championship and is recognized as the Global Leader in Green Racing. In the tradition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, multiple classes of cars – purpose-built prototypes and production-based Grand Touring automobiles – race on the track at the same time to create compelling race action and constant passing. All cars in the Series compete using one of five approved alternative fuels or energy sources: clean sulfur-free diesel, cellulosic E85 or E10, Isobutanol and electric hybrid technologies. The Series has more automobile marques involved than any other major race series in the world as manufacturers develop relevant technologies on track that transfer directly to the customer showroom. The ALMS competes at North America`s premier road racing tracks and selected temporary street circuits in major urban markets.