A record number of American entries at
the 84th 24 Hours of Le Mans cast a red,
white and blue glow over the event.
Outside of the GT showdown between
Corvette and Ford, plenty of other entries
flew the flag at La Sarthe.
Working from left to right, the west
coast boasted two winners at Le Mans.
Los Angeles-based Scuderia Corsa
scored a major victory in the GTE-Pro
category with an all-American trio driving
a year-old Ferrari F458 Italia. IndyCar
veteran Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and
Jeff Segal were the closest thing to
perfect in the GTE-Am class and had
almost a full lap in hand over the
second-place finisher. California’s Pat
Long rounded out the GTE-Am podium,
while fellow Golden State warrior Gustavo
Menezes unfurled the Stars and Stripes as
he stood atop the podium as part of the
P2-winning French Signatech Alpine team.
From the Lone Star state, Houston-based Risi Competizione led the most
laps in GTE-Pro, pushing Ford to the brink
and taking a hard-fought second to dash
the Blue Oval’s hope of a 1-2 finish. Tracy
Krohn’s outing lacked such a fight for class
honors, but the Texan appeared to enjoy
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
his annual visit on route to 13th in P2.
Ohio’s Michael Shank Racing led all
American P2 entries on its debut at
Le Mans, and while its race was far from
flawless, the spirited program was able to
overcome adversity — even when driver
John Pew hit compatriot Krohn from
behind under braking — to record an
impressive ninth-place finish in a class
packed with 22 entries.
Florida’s Extreme Speed Motorsports
was unable to add the third pillar to its
amazing P2 season. Wins at the Rolex 24
While the Ford vs. Corvette battle took the spotlight, the U.S.A. was represented right through the field.
Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and Jeff Segal
flew back across the Atlantic with GTE-AM
winners’ trophys stashed in their suitcases.
Michael Shank Racing made its first visit
to Le Mans, and took its Ligier-Honda
to ninth in the packed P2 class.
Weather Tech Racing’s Cooper MacNeil,
Leh Keen and Marc Miller met the
sharp end of the ACO’s stick as a
flu-ridden MacNeil was deemed unfit
to drive. Replacement driver Gunnar
Jeanette was barred from standing in,
so Keen and Miller were forced into
Iron Man duty. Miller spun on a fresh
coating of oil at the Dunlop Curves,
ending their day against the barriers
just before the four-hour mark.
At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of
Sebring had the two-car squad gunning
for victory in France, but it could only
salvage 11th and 16th while dealing with
a handful of setbacks. Meanwhile, IMSA
GT veteran Ben Keating loved every
minute of his P2 debut and earned 15th
with Murphy Prototypes.
The GTE-Pro 911 RSR co-owned by
actor/racer Patrick Dempsey gave
Porsche its only ray of hope after the
pair of factory cars blew up or broke.
Although Dempsey is on a hiatus from
driving, he watched as his car earned
the German brand’s top result in eighth.