Observations and Thoughts on ALMS at Mid Ohio

When I first logged onto ESPN3 yesterday afternoon to watch the ALMS race, I was expecting a frustrating afternoon; initially the stream was buffering frequently and suffered from poor video quality.  By just after the green flag, things seemed to settle down; the stream quality improved and only buffered a couple of times over the next 3 hours.  Overall, I’m still not as happy with the streaming as I was watching on TV but at least the new 22″ monitor made the viewing experience a bit better.  The one true positive is the outstanding commentary by Radio LeMans’ John Hindhaugh and Jeremy Shaw.

Yesterday’s ALMS race at Mid Ohio was nothing short of interesting to say the least.  Strangely, after having a clean race at Lime Rock they had a race reminiscent of IndyCar at Toronto at Mid Ohio.  There was a lot of contact and the officiating was somewhat inconsistent.  Rain late in the race threw a spanner in the works and resulted in a red flag finish but the racing itself was pretty good through all four classes and the Falken Porsche was an unexpected but popular winner in GT.

      • Interesting start to the GT class race at Mid Ohio. One of the vettes and the Risi Ferrari are around the #56 BMW for P1 and P2. #ALMS   After qualifying, RLL BMW seemed to be ready to dominate the GT field but it proved quite different once the green flag dropped for the race.  Both the #4 Corvette and the Risi Ferrari got around the #56 BMW and the race just degenerated from there for the BMWs.
      • Suspect there will be a penalty there, Lux could have definitely avoided hitting Gonzalez there in the fight for the LMPC lead. #ALMS    Lux made an optimistic move to pass Gonzalez in LMPC and bumped him off of the track in a move that the broadcast crew and many fans believed was indeed avoidable contact.  Fans on Twitter and the broadcast crew were expecting a stop and go or pass through penalty but shortly thereafter it was announced that there would be no further action regarding the incident.
      • Apparently #ALMS race control has been taking advice from #IndyCar race control. 1 call makes no sense and two others heavy handed…    It seemed the door had been opened and more contact incidents followed but the ALMS officials pulled out the iron fist and penalized the responsible teams with 60 second stop and hold penalties.  Throughout the race, they continued using the iron fist and my opinion changed; there is no way they were taking advice from IndyCar officials because Brian Barnhart would never use such a harsh penalty.  The inconsistency wasn’t to stop.  In a decision definitely reminiscent of an IndyCar call, the #55 BMW wasn’t penalized for spinning their teammate in the #56 BMW in what certainly looked to be avoidable contact.
      • Oh, and it was worse that it appeared, they plugged in the fuel hose while they were working on the left rear tire. Should be a penalty.   Late in the race, the LMP1 contenders Muscle Milk Aston Martin and Dyson Mazda began trading mistakes on the track and in the pits.  During a particularly slow stop, it definitely appeared to many watching the coverage that the Muscle Milk team plugged the fuel hose into the car while one of the tire changers was still working on a tire which should have drawn a penalty.  This didn’t seem to draw any notice or comment from the ALMS and definitely contributed to my view of the officiating as inconsistent.  Had this penalty been called, it is likely that Muscle Milk would not have won the race despite Chris Dyson’s subsequent spin.
      • Wow. So many good experienced drivers going off, it has to be treacherous indeed out there. #ALMS   It would probably be easier to list the drivers that didn’t spin off once the deluge started at Mid Ohio, conditions just got too wet to race and definitely influenced the outcome of the GT and LMPC classes.
      • As much of a Corvette fan as I am, I would not be upset to see the Falken Porsche win this one. #ALMS    Wolf Henzler in the Falken Porsche survived the deluge while his competitors spun in the extremely wet conditions to take the GT lead before the race was first yellow flagged and ultimately red flagged.  Some might argue that the Falken team backed into this one but I disagree; they were in position after pit stops for rain tires and Henzler kept the car on the track while Flying Lizard and Corvette spun off.

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