SportsCars: 2013 Petit Le Mans GTC Preview

The American Le Mans Series season concludes at Road Atlanta. (Photo: John Dagys)

The 15th and final season of the American Le Mans Series draws to a close this weekend at Road Atlanta with the annual running of . FOX Sports’ SPEED Blog kicks off its team-by-team preview with analysis of the contenders for the 1,000-mile/10-hour enduro.

TV Schedule (Saturday, Oct. 19):
11 a.m. – Noon ET, FOX Sports 2
2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 2
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1
8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 2

GTC (9 Entries)

: While at a two-point deficit in the teams’ championship, Alex Job Racing drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen and Cooper MacNeil hold a 13-point advantage in the drivers’ title race. That means a fifth place finish or better for the No. 22 WeatherTech-sponsored entry would hand the championship to do the duo. Jeroen’s brother, Sebastiaan, completes the driver lineup this weekend.

: Heading in as leaders in the GTC teams’ championship, the California-based squad boasts a two-car squad vs. AJR’s single Porsche entry, which could come into play in the race. Both the No. 44 of Dion von Moltke and Seth Neiman as well as the team’s No. 45 entry of Spencer Pumpelly and Nelson Canache have visited victory lane this year, so expect the Lizards to be on full attack. Brett Sandberg (No. 44) and Madison Snow (No. 45) have been brought in as reinforcements and will both bolster the team’s chances.

NGT Motorsport: Still in with a mathematical shot of the drivers’ and teams’ titles, NGT returns to the site of their first ALMS victory. With the No. 30 MOMO-sponsored Porsche featuring the strong lineup of Henrique Cisneros, Kuba Giermaziak and Mario Farnbacher, a repeat win at Road Atlanta should not be ruled out. And if they do make it to victory, and both the Lizards and Alex Job falter, Cisneros and co. could walk away as champions.

TRG: On the heels of back-to-back class victories, what does Kevin Buckler’s TRG squad have up their sleeve for Petit Le Mans? With impressive runs, the team has almost been in a class of their own since COTA and now enters its final professional race with a Porsche. Damien Faulkner and Ben Keating are rejoined by Silver-graded Craig Stanton. A third straight win could say a lot for this effort, which struggled in the first half of the season.

Dempsey Racing: Enduring a rough year, both on and off the track, Dempsey Racing will be looking to end 2013 on a high note with the return to a two-car operation. Charlie Putnam, Charles Espenlaub and Darren Law will pilot the team’s No. 10 Porsche, alongside the season-long No. 27 entry of Patrick Dempsey, Andy Lally and Joe Foster. Either car could play a factor for a podium finish, especially the No. 27 entry, which has shown speed, but not much luck, this year.

JDX Racing: While winless in 2013, it hasn’t been for a lack of trying for the Jeremy Dale and Harrison Brix-owned operation. The Hertz-sponsored Porsche has been strong in some races but has yet to deliver the complete package. Can Petit Le Mans be their race? It’s unclear, but with one of the strongest driver lineups in class with Jan Heylen, Mike Hedlund and Jon Fogarty, a podium finish is more than possible.

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