The wind picked up and cooled off the Friday afternoon practices for the Monterey Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The skies were clear and folks were grabbing jackets, while the many colorful flags atop the transporters were blowing in the wind. Sounds like a song.
The Grand-Am Rolex Series had its second practice, and was done for the day. Its Qualifying is actually Saturday, not Friday. The cars were slower in the cooler afternoon session. TIMO BERNHARD and ROMAIN DUMAS/No.12 Penske Racing Porsche/Riley had the fastest Daytona Prototype at 1:20.559/100.011. ANDREW DAVIS and ROBIN LIDDELL/No.57 Stevenson Motorsports Pontiac GXO-R had the fastest GT class car, in seventeenth place overall. Their time was 1:27.547/92.028 mph.
The Koni Sports Car Challenge Entries number 39, twenty in GS class and 19 in ST class. DEAN MARTIN and KEN WILDEN/No.59 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang GT in the GS class were fastest in the two Koni practice sessions, with a best overall lap of 1:36.427/83.553 mph set in the first session. The fastest ST car in the first session was run by TOM LONG and DEREK WHITIS in No.145 in Mazda MX-5, at 1:41.415/79.444 mph – eighteenth overall in the session. The fastest ST car in the second session was DON SALAMA and WILL TURNER/No.95 BMW 328i, running a 1:41.246/79.576 mph – twentieth overall. Great showing after not making it out for the first session.
Among the 80 Koni Challenge drivers, ten are from Canada, two from Puerto Rico and the rest from the US.
ARA MALKHASSIAN/No.11 Alara Racing was the fastest SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup driver in the early morning practice session – while it was still cold and foggy. He turned a lap of 1:42.99/78.237 mph.
There are 21 American drivers in this field.
In the new Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Series, ANDREW CADDEL/No.1 Kaufmann Racing was overall having the best time. He was first in the first practice and third test, and second in the other two tests. There are 18 cars in this fledgling series, and all are from the United States.
Saturday’s weather promises to be warmer.