American Le Mans Series 2013 Season Review


There was an odd vibe to the 2013 American Le Mans Series season, as it felt rather like a long-running TV show destined for an emotional ending and final chapter. While there was still yearlong excitement as preparations were underway for the merged TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014, every ALMS weekend had a sense of finality to it, and that was before the grand finale at Petit Le Mans in October which took on emotion in several ways.

The on-track reviews first:


There wasn’t a ton to dissect in P1, as Muscle Milk Pickett Racing waltzed to its second straight ALMS P1 championship with its HPD ARX-03c, Michelin tires, and drivers Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr. The pair won eight straight races from Long Beach in April through Virginia in October, and the last of those wins took Luhr up to 49 total wins, most in ALMS history. The Long Beach and Monterey wins were probably the best of the bunch for Pickett’s crew, as they fought tooth-and-nail with the Rebellion Racing-entered Lola Toyota coupe. Rebellion won the Petit finale, but primarily focused on its FIA World Endurance Championship efforts. Audi, with nothing officially to play for, signed off at Sebring with the win there.

Sadly Dyson Racing wasn’t able to put up its usual title challenge for its memorable 30th season of racing. The Lola Mazda had early season mechanical issues and after Lime Rock, team director Chris Dyson opted to focus on the team’s long-term future (which, as of this writing, is still to be determined) and stepped out of full-time driving with friend and co-driver Guy Smith. The DeltaWing team ran eight of 10 races with a new group compared to 2012; the David Price-led squad punched above its weight most notably at Road America, where Andy Meyrick and Katherine Legge both led in the DeltaWing spyder’s swan song. The team premiered its coupe version at Austin a little more than a month later.

P2 featured a pair of two-car HPD ARX-03b efforts, with Level 5 Motorsports getting the best of Extreme Speed Motorsports. ESM made a late shift into P2 after running Ferraris in GT for the past three seasons. Level 5’s team principal Scott Tucker took the driver’s title, and ran at various points with Marino Franchitti, Ryan Briscoe, Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Mike Conway as teammates. Guy Cosmo shifted from ESM to Level 5 in the latter portion of the year. ESM won at Long Beach, but Level 5 took the remaining nine race victories.


The best road racing category in North America lived up to its billing once again with another three-horse race, although this one was a primarily American affair. Experience with the tried-and-tested Corvette C6.R, in its final season of competition, netted Corvette Racing the crown over BMW Team RLL and the upstart SRT Motorsports squads. Bobby Rahal’s BMW team ran the new Z4, which excelled on handling tracks but had a straight line speed gap, while the SRT’s first full year with the Viper GTS-R was excellent at most circuits and thrived on its power.

Those three teams, each fielding two cars, took the first eight victories in 10 races. Corvette’s pair of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia atoned for a difficult 2012 to take the driver’s title over BMW’s Dirk Mueller, who ran with Joey Hand and John Edwards in the team’s No. 56 car. BMW won only twice, Viper once compared to Corvette’s five wins, but the reality is that the three cars were actually very evenly matched most of the year. Edwards, in his first year in a factory program, really stood out.

Longtime class stalwarts Ferrari and Porsche, sadly, seemed to lose a step in 2013. ESM’s late departure to P2 left only Risi, back after a year’s hiatus, and the privateer Team West/AJR efforts running the potent F458 Italias. Risi nearly won at Sebring on its return but otherwise had a tough year, capped only by a win at VIR, while the West team had to make the most of its Yokohama tires. Porsche really struggled with the flagship 911 GT3 RSR in its final season, and when all three of its cars were caught up in the Baltimore start line melee, it added insult to injury. The Falken team’s Petit Le Mans win at least kept Porsche on the scoreboard in 2013, in an upset victory delivered by Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers and Nick Tandy in a 2010 car.


As spec categories and requiring a Silver-rated driver in the second seat, sometimes the PC and GTC categories do not get the recognition they deserve. That sells the pro drivers in the category short, and the ams that race alongside are most of the reason these cars exist on the grid. For my money, these two classes always seem to put on barnburner shows.

Sadly the PC driver’s title came down to a rules review after the finale at Petit, when the second-place finishing 8Star Motorsports team wasn’t eligible for points. That promoted Mike Guasch to the driver’s title over Chris Cumming by a single point. Cumming won the last three races of the year driving with talented Canadian pro Kyle Marcelli at the BAR1 team, while Guasch’s PR1 teammate rotated throughout the year. A Sebring win with inexperienced David Cheng and David Ostella as teammates was a highly impressive result for Guasch, especially as this was the class’ first race with Continental tires replacing Michelins.

Elsewhere in the class, the RSR pairing of Bruno Junqueira and Duncan Ende had blazing speed but frequently bad luck; CORE autosport’s excellent pair of Colin Braun and Jon Bennett was split up later in the year to allow Braun a GT shot in the team’s Porsche; and Performance Tech bagged a win in Baltimore with teenager Tristan Nunez that team’s emerging star.

GTC qualifying was always a highlight of any ALMS weekend. Andy Lally put down one of the laps of the year to score pole for Dempsey Racing’s class debut at Sebring, and any of Lally, Spencer Pumpelly, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Damien Faulkner, Nick Tandy, Jan Heylen, Dion von Moltke or the late Sean Edwards was a viable pole threat the rest of the year. Many of the races tended to come down to who made the fewest mistakes and avoided contact from other cars; the Bleekemolen/Cooper MacNeil pairing took the title, but Pumpelly and his co-driver Nelson Canache also impressed throughout the year, with a class-high four wins.


The emotion I mentioned at the start of this piece includes several other elements. Edwards’ death in October cast a black cloud ahead of the season finale at Petit; the NGT Motorsport team withdrew as a mark of respect, and the team’s car was repainted in a tribute livery.

The P1 class, a staple and bastion of the latest technological innovations, would also go away when the season drew to a close at Atlanta in October. Pickett will continue in 2014 with a P2-spec ORECA 03 Nissan, announced last week, while Dyson’s plans are uncertain. Sebring will be run without an Audi prototype in the first time for more than a dozen years next March, and that is going to be weird.

There’s other parts of the ALMS era that have also come to an end. It still remains to be seen whether the “feel” of a TUDOR Championship event in 2014 will feel decidedly one way or another; that said, we’re thankful for 15 years of a series that provided many memories, stars and cars to reflect back on.

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Motocross season opener: Jett Lawrence rockets to the top

SuperMotocross Rankings season opener
Align Media

As the SuperMotocross season heads outdoors, the NBC Power Rankings change significantly with results from the Motocross opener at Fox Raceway in Pala, California. The Power Rankings assign a numeric value to each individual moto (90 points maximum) as well as the overall standings (100 points) and averages that number over the past 45 days. Included in the Power Rankings are results from the final five Supercross rounds, which fit into that 45-day timeframe.

Dylan Ferrandis finished on the podium in his first race back after experience a concussion in Supercross Round 4 at Houston. – Align Media

It didn’t take long for Jett Lawrence to rocket to the top of the SuperMotocross rankings – only about 74 minutes in fact. Lawrence dominated his first moto and beat his teammate Chase Sexton, the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross champion, to the line by 10 seconds. He had to fight a little harder for the second moto win as Sexton stalked him throughout the race and ended up less than a second behind.

Beginning this week, we have added the SuperMotocross points’ ranking beside the rider’s name and in one fell swoop, Lawrence went from being unranked in the 450 class to 26th. To qualify for the inaugural SuperMotocross’ guaranteed 20 positions that automatically make the gate for the three-race championship series, Lawrence needs to be inside the top 20 in combined Supercross and Motocross points. The bubble is currently held by Justin Starling and Lawrence needs to make up 44 points to overtake him.

Sexton’s second-place finish in the overall standings at Fox Raceway marked his ninth consecutive top-five finish. After the race, Sexton compared the battle he had with Lawrence to the one he experienced with Eli Tomac in last year’s Pro Motocross championship. These two riders had a significant advantage over the field in Pala, but there is still a lot of racing to be completed.

MORE: Jett Lawrence wastes no time, wins first 450 race

After missing 13 rounds to a concussion, Dylan Ferrandis told NBC Sports that he was not going to do anything risky in the season opener at Fox Raceway. If he dialed back his effort at all, one would be hard-pressed to notice. He finished third in both motos and was third in the overall standings. Ferrandis began the weekend just outside the top 20 in combined SuperMotocross points and climbed to 19th. In the next few weeks, he will get a little more breathing room over the cutline and then challenge for wins.

Adam Cianciarulo’s three-race streak of top-five finishes ended with a sixth-place overall at Fox Raceway, but that was enough to advance him one position in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings and land him eighth in the combined points standings. His individual motos were moderate, but Cianciarulo is still battling the effects of injury and a nagging loss of strength in his wrist.

Aaron Plessinger returned from injury in the Supercross season finale to finish second at Salt Lake City. He added another top-five to his season total and now has six of those in the 13 rounds he’s made. With Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac not currently racing in Motocross, Plessinger has an opportunity to rise to the third seeding in short order.

450 Rankings

Driver (SMX rank) Power
1. Jett Lawrence (26) 93.33 NA
2. Chase Sexton (1) 92.36 1 -1
3. Dylan Ferrandis (19) 89.00 NA
4. Adam Cianciarulo (8) 82.89 5 1
5. Aaron Plessinger (5) 81.20 9 4
6. Justin Hill (9)
Not racing MX
79.75 8 2
7. Ken Roczen (4)
injured | Not racing MX
79.13 3 -4
8. Jose Butron (30) 75.67 NA
9. Lorenzo Locurcio (29) 75.00 NA
10. Eli Tomac (2)
74.50 2 -8
11. Dean Wilson (10)
Not racing MX
72.88 7 -4
12. Cooper Webb (3) 71.17 6 -6
13. Jerry Robin (32) 70.33 NA
14. Justin Barcia (6)
70.00 4 -10
15. Kyle Chisholm (15) 65.36 11 -4
16. Dante Oliveira (36) 65.00 NA
17. Shane McElrath (11)
Not racing MX
63.63 12 -5
18. Ryan Surratt (38) 63.33 NA
19. Josh Hill (13)
Not racing MX
62.38 13 -6
20. Justin Starling (20)
Not racing MX
62.13 19 -1

Motocross 450 Points

A bad start to Moto 1 at Fox Raceway was not enough to deter Hunter Lawrence. Neither was the fact that he was riding with sore ribs after experiencing a practice crash earlier in the week. He was a distant 10th to start the first race and for most of the 30 minutes, it seemed he would finish off the podium. Lawrence did not win the 250 East Supercross championship by giving in to hopelessness or pain, however.

Lawrence picked off one rider and then another until he found the battle for the top five in front of him at the halfway point. Once the field started to lap riders, Lawrence used the opportunity to continue forward through the grid. He passed third-place Jo Shimoda with two laps remaining and challenged Maximus Vohland for second on the final trip around Fox Raceway, but had to settle for the final spot on the podium. Lawrence dominated Moto 2 and claimed the overall victory in Pala.

Justin Cooper made his first start of the season at Fox Raceway and earned enough NBC Power Average points to climb to second. Partly this was due to consistently strong runs in both motos and a 5-4 that gave him the fifth position overall, but he is also not weighed down with moderate Supercross results. It will take a week or two to see where his strength lands him on the grid.

Motocross 250 Points

In only his third Pro Motocross National, Haiden Deegan scored a second-place finish in the overall standings. – Align Media

RJ Hampshire may feel he has something to prove after finishing second to Jett Lawrence in the 250 SX West division. He certainly rode like that was the case in Moto 1 and easily outpaced the field on his way to victory lane. In Moto 2, he crashed twice on Lap 1 and dropped back to 39th. It took half of the race to get inside the top 20 and salvage points. By the end of the race, he was 11th and while that was enough to get him on the overall podium, it cost him points in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings.

Haiden Deegan surprised the field in Houston in his 250 Supercross debut by finishing fifth. At the time, he said his strong result was because there were no expectations. He echoed that statement after the Motocross season opener. His second-place finish in the overall standings was enough to project him five positions up the SuperMotocross Rankings. In 11 rounds in the combined series, Deegan has earned seven top-fives and a worst finish of eighth.

Jo Shimoda did not make his first Supercross race of 2023 until late in the season. He finished fourth on the hybrid track of Atlanta, which had some similar elements to Fox Raceway. His fourth-place finish in Moto 1 of the Motocross opener made it seem likely he would score an overall podium, but a sixth in the second race cost him points in the NBC Power Rankings in a field that promises to be extremely tight.

250 Rankings

Driver (SMX rank) Power
1. Hunter Lawrence (1) 89.56 2 1
2. Justin Cooper (42) 84.67 NA
3. RJ Hampshire (3) 83.67 3 0
3. Haiden Deegan (4) 83.67 8 5
5. Jo Shimoda (16) 82.33 7 2
6. Guillem Farres (46) 79.33 NA
7. Levi Kitchen (6) 79.11 5 -2
8. Max Anstie (5) 77.83 12 4
9. Max Vohland (8) 77.50 14 5
10. Enzo Lopes (10) 76.00 11 1
11. Mitchell Oldenburg (13) 74.25 16 5
12. Carson Mumford (19) 71.22 17 5
13. Jordon Smith (7) 70.56 9 -4
14. Ryder DiFrancesco (48) 70.33 NA
15. Chris Blose (12) 67.00 13 -2
16. Chance Hymas (27) 66.00 19 3
17. Tom Vialle (9) 65.78 18 1
18. Jett Reynolds (55) 63.33 NA
19. Michael Mosiman (28) 62.33 20 1
20. Garrett Marchbanks (64) 59.00 NA

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner in Supercross and overall winner in Motocross. It awards 90 points for each Moto, Heat and Triple Crown win. The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days.

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 13 AT ATLANTA: Justin Barcia leapfrogs the Big 3
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 11 AT SEATTLE: Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 10 AT DETROIT: Chase Sexton narrowly leads Webb
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 8 AT DAYTONA: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 7 AT ARLINGTON: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Eli Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 AT OAKLAND: Perfect night keeps Eli Tomac first
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 5 AT TAMPA: Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb close in
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 4 AT HOUSTON: Eli Tomac rebounds from A2 crash, retakes lead
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Ken Roczen moves up, Chase Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage