ROMAIN DUMAS and TIMO BERNHARD took the chequered flag on Saturday in the American Le Mans race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the first of six top P2 cars to finish overall. Seven of the top eight finishers were P2 cars.

This was the shortest ALMS race in its history - 100 minutes.

The issue of maximum driver time in the race car was raised and clarified by ALMS. It's complicated, but bottom line, when I asked the question, an ALMS spokesman said the drivers squeaked by without exceeding the maximum 70 minutes, but it was close. That's the good news. The bad news is that shortly thereafter a protest was filed on the subject and will hold up the results becoming official.

The #26 Andretti Green Racing Acura ARX-01a Acura filed a protest against the winning team, claiming it exceeded the maximum driver time. ALMS COO, TIM MAYER, has to review the protest before making a decision. An ALMS spokesman said the result may not be known until Sunday.

Other good news is that all cars cleared Tech.

RINALDO CAPELLO and ALLAN McNISH finished first in P1 class, seventh overall on the lead lap. The sister car with EMANUELE PIRRO and MARCO WERNER was second in class, ninth overall. This finish broke the Audi streak of ten straight ALMS victories.

Corvettes dominated GT1 class, coming in first and second - 0.349secs apart. They finished tenth and eleventh overall, with 71 laps. It would be petty to bring up that they are the only cars in that class. The two Ollies - OLIVIER BERETTA and OLIVER GAVIN - were in the winning #4 Corvette C-R6 and JOHNNY O'CONNELL and JAN MAGNUSSEN were in #3.

MIKA SALO and JAIME MELO won the GT2 class, finishing twelfth overall with 69 laps. There were eleven cars in GT2, the largest field of the four ALMS categories.

Twenty-five of the 26 entries started the race, and all but three finished.

More to follow. Stay tuned.



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