Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2010 American Le Mans Series Test

The American Le Mans Series has named G-OIL from Green Earth Technologies as the official motor oil of the series and the sanctioning body, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). Unlike conventional petroleum-derived motor oils, G-OIL is made from saturated animal fats which have been processed through dehydrogenation. While the stuff may not be good for people to ingest in any significant quantities, the saturated fats apparently make a good lubricant and G-OIL has similar properties to petroleum oils. G-OIL is claimed to be biodegradable and Green Earth sells all its products in fully recyclable containers. The car pictured is the G-OIL ORECA-Courage FLM09 racing car for the newly formed Green Earth Team Gunnar (GETG), driven by Gunner Jeannette whose effort had him finish 14th overall and third in LMPC class. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2010 American Le Mans Series Test

The Monterey hills were greeted with a wondrous, but a little chilly, spring day for the third test of the nine race 2010 American Le Mans Series season. The wind blew at times and the day's temperature never hit 70 degrees causing tire adhesion problems for some of the contenders throughout the day. One car even spun as it entered the front straight ready to take a restart, and another overshot the corner entirely and caused a wreck from which it never fully recovered ... from one of many Yellow Flag Caution periods throughout the race.

All in all, the race was hotly contested throughout the six hours until the checkered flag flew and the fireworks from the Mazda bridge, located just past the Start/Finish line, lit up the sky.

This excerpted and edited from American Le Mans Series PDF report -

At 8:18 pm (5h 48m running), Checkered Flag.

Marino Franchitti (#1-LMP HPD ARX-01c) crosses the line to take the overall victory.

Christophe Bouchut (#55-LMPC Oreca FLM09) wins in class by 7.105 seconds over Tom Sutherland (#36-LMPC Oreca FLM09).

Joey Hand, who drives the #90 BMW E92 M3 for Rahal Letterman Racing's BMW team, just before the race. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Patrick Long (#45-GT Porsche 911 GT3 RSR) wins the closet battle just 0.365 seconds ahead of Joey Hand (#90-GT BMW E92 M3) and 2.766 seconds ahead of Oliver Gavin (#4-GT Chevrolet Corvette ZR1).

Jeroen Bleekemolen (#54-GTC Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) lead flag to flag beating Andy Lally (#63-GTC Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) by move than one lap.

Marino Franchitti (#1-LMP HPD ARX-01c) records his 3rd ALMS win.
Simon Pagenaud (#1-LMP HPD ARX-01c) records his 7th ALMS win.
David Brabham (#1-LMP HPD ARX-01c) records his 21st ALMS win.

Christophe Bouchut (#55-LMPC Oreca FLM09) earns his second ALMS victory.
Mark Wilkins (#55-LMPC Oreca FLM09) earns his first ALMS victory.
Scott Tucker (#55-LMPC Oreca FLM09) earns his second ALMS victory.

Joerg Bergmeister (#45-GT Porsche 911 GT3 RSR) now has 31 ALMS wins.
Patrick Long (#45-GT Porsche 911 GT3 RSR) with 17 ALMS wins.

Jeroen Bleekemolen (#54-GTC Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) earns his second ALMS victory.
Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (#54-GTC Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) earns his second ALMS victory ... and first in the United States.
Tim Pappas (#54-GTC Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) earns his second ALMS victory.

American Le Mans Series Monterey Presented PatrĂ³n – Race Quotes:

Marino Franchitti (#1-LMP HPD ARX-01c) “Procedurally this was a great performance for the team. Simon's drive was just a pleasure to watch. David got in and backed us up and got is a bit more of a lead. I knew the Dyson car was a bit of a terrier and I knew I didn't want to let them go. The guys made a great call not to put on new tires right there at the end. I was definitely hanging on for life, it was a bit like drifting or rally driving. It was great to have no damage and keep it together cause the car leaves Friday for Le Mans. So this is great heading to France.” (about the last stop) “Perry, our Michelin guy looked at our tires and said we were good.
Either way I was going to be happy. I knew I'd still have great tires and new tires were still really good. It was a perfect call because I could drive like I wanted to. Michelin was a big part of the win today.”

Simon Pagenaud in the HPD ARX-01c (lower left, black and green) as he brings the car forward through traffic from a start at the back of the pack. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Simon Pagenaud (#1-LMP HPD ARX-01c) “Thank you to the Highcroft Racing team, they did a fantastic job. The whole crew in the pits did a great job. The opening laps were pretty exciting. Starting at the back you have to find motivation and that was getting to the front. The ending of my stint was really good, the Michelin tires were working really, really good. We went through the traffic very quickly. We got ahead a lot from the first yellow the went out. It is a great team to be part of the operation like HR. Its great to go off to Le Mans where we're looking for the win.”

David Brabham (#1-LMP HPD ARX-01c) “The last couple of races here have been pretty good. Last year we won the championship here. I cant say enough about the team, today was an absolutely flawless demonstration of endurance racing. Everything happened out there and we made no mistakes in the pits. My teammates performed perfectly. This is the way to head off to Le Mans with this momentum.”

Joerg Bergmeister (#45-GT Porsche 911 GT3 RSR) “It was definitely a bit more relaxing this year. Especially last year being chased down by Jan. I knew Patrick would do a good job because he has been good all week long. There were some who thought it wouldn't work out because the BMW was charging but I knew that Patrick would work it out and pull away. The car was working well all day long. It was a good race.”

Patrick Long (#45-GT Porsche 911 GT3 RSR) ”Laguna Seca has been special. It was always the race we finished up. And of course last year we finished with a literal and figurative bang. This year not quite as exciting but still exciting none-the-less. We had a call if we were going to play for points or go for the win. On the restart Joey left a bit of an open door and I took it 3 wide through 11. Then it was all about running because I knew Joey wouldn't be happy. We came from P8 and worked our way through a very competitive field. We know Risi had a hard day so unfortunately they were in the mix with everyone else in the end because they were so
tough this weekend. I cant say enough about the competitiveness in all the classes in this Series. So many cars on the lead laps at the end and its just tough.”

Scott Tucker (#55-LMPC Oreca FLM09) “I don't know if there is a secret. I have great co-drivers and a great team. Our manager has a great mind and these guys make it easy for me. They do a great job behind the scenes. “

Mark Wilkins (#55-LMPC Oreca FLM09) “We had to push really hard to keep up front. Christophe drove a great stint, so did Scott to keep the car up there. Level 5 gave us a great car at Sebring and they did here. We knew if we could run to the end we'd be right there.”

Christophe Bouchut (#55-LMPC Oreca FLM09) “Its a nice feeling to win again here. It was a great race, this time we had to fight really hard until the end. The car was working really well. We had no problems at all. I just pushed the car to the maximum to keep our positions.”

Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (#54-GTC Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) “It feels great. Joroen said, we came here to win. We have a race Monday morning and we fly back home. This track is really sandy, it is the most difficult of the track. There was a car who went off at turn 4. An LMP went off and you couldn't see the track. But every driver knows this course so it's fun to drive when everyone is so familiar.”

Tim Pappas (#54-GTC Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) “This is pretty cool. We came out for Long Beach without much preparation. We had a difficult, frustrating race. We went home and worked hard and practice. All the guys at Black Swan are great. The Bleekemolen brothers come over and it was a great race. We didn't put a tire off and made zero mistakes in the pits so that turned out to a race win.”

Jeroen Bleekemolen (#54-GTC Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) “I know the guys are great. We had a great start in Long Beach but some things went wrong, today it went really right. Its great to get the win and hopefully move up in the championships.”

Falling back into Spring, this race will rest for at least another year. It was good to be back so soon, now on to Le Mans, then the second have of the North American Tour begins.

... notes from The EDJE

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