ALMS is for the fans!
ALMS is for the fans! Photo by Lynne Huntting
The sun came out Saturday morning at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and it’s been blue skies and gentle breezes for hours. The ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron had its morning warmup. SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge qualified for Sunday’s race. IMSA sanctioned Cooper Tires Prototypes Lites and IMSA GT3 by Yokohama had their races. It was a busy morning, and there were fans everywhere.
ALMS Pre Grid
ALMS Pre Grid. Photo by Lynne Huntting

In addition to all the track activities, the ALMS drivers had an autograph session, all positioned in front of their paddock/garage locations. It was elbow to elbow. Even more crowded was the grid prior to the ALMS start – with a fan walk. It was not for the faint of heart nor the claustrophobic. But the fans lapped it up, getting autographs, taking and posing for pictures, and just generally enjoying the wonderful weather.
Bryan Sellers & Engineer
Bryan Sellers & Engineer. Photo by Lynne Huntting

BRYAN SELLERS/No.17 Team Falken Tire and his engineer opined that while they were enjoying sitting on the pit lane wall enjoying the weather, it was unexpected and affected the car setups. They had to revise, considering that it was their hottest day and their coldest day – all in the same race. Sellers is on a roll, figuratively. He’s won two races this season and is looking forward to Saturday’s race, but admits that it will be tough with the right competition and challenging road course. He will start ninth in class, twentieth overall. His co-driver is WOLF HENZLER.

The qualifying driver starts the race in ALMS.

In the morning ALMS Warm-up, the fastest drivers per class were: LMP1-LUCAS LUHR/No.6 Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing AMR/Lola Coupe B08 62; LMP2-CHRISTOPHE BOUCHUT/No.055 Level 5 Motorsports Lola; LMPC-FRANKIE MONTEBELLO/No.05 CORE Autosport Oreca FLM09; GT-JOHANNES van OVERBEEK/No.01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari F458 Italia; GTC-MARTIN RAGGINER/No.30 NGT Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup; and UNC-ROMAIN DUMAS/No.911 Porsche Motorsports North America Porsche GT3 Hybrid.

Dyson crew thrashing on Pole Car - on Grid
Dyson crew thrashing on Pole Car - on Grid. Photo by Lynne Huntting

During the morning warm-up the pole sitting car, No.16 Dyson Racing Team Inc. Lola B09/10 had some mechanical problems, which they worked on all the way up to the start of the race.

For Sunday’s Cadillac Sports Car Grand Prix, World Challenge driver RANDY POBST/No.6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 AWD has the pole, overall and in the GT class. Starting first in the GTS category will be PAUL BROWN/No.50 Tiger Racing Ford Boss 3025; and AARON POVOLEDO/No.88 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 AWD will be on pole for the TC class.

The IMSA GT3 by Yokohama race started 37 of the 38 entries, with SCOTT TUCKER/No.055 Kelly Moss Motorsports was excluded for avoidable contact.

Bryce Miller & Sascha Maassen
Bryce Miller & Sascha Maassen

Bryce Miller's winning IMSA GT3 car
Bryce Miller's winning IMSA GT3 car. Photo by Lynne Huntting

BRYCE MILLER/No.35 TruSpeed Motorsports won overall and in the GT3P (Platinum) class. The GT3G (Gold) class was won by MIKE HEDLUND/No.64 Jerry Woods Enterprises, finishing fourteenth overall. Miller started second behind pole sitter, HENRIQUE CISNEROS/No.26 NGT Motorsport, taking the lead on Lap Four and racing on to win the 26-lap race. Cisneros finished second, with CARLOS KAUFFMAN/No.24 NGT Motorsport finishing third.

The Margin of Victory was 0.953 and the race ran for 45.34.171.

Turns out the IMSA GT3 winner Bryce Miller is D. Bryce Miller from Laguna Niguel CA. The ALMS GT driver Bryce Miller hails from Summit NJ.

New Jersey BryceMiller joined the obligatory ALMS drivers autograph session. Then he waited in the pits as his co-driver, SASCHA MAASSEN started the ALMS race in their No.48 Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. They will start tenth in the large GT field, twenty-first overall.

LUCAS DOWNS/No.79 Eurosport Racing won the Cooper Tires Prototypes Lites overall and in the Lites 1 class. SCOTT TUCKER/No.5 Level 5 Motorsports won the Lites 2 class, finishing eleventh overall. Tucker was a busy man on Saturday also. He was entered in three races, and ran two. After his ALMS autograph session, he suited up for the ALMS race. Bouchut qualified the Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-01G LMP2 car and will start the race, first/only in class, and fifth overall.

The weather continued warm into the afternoon, certainly feeling (to me) warmer than the reported 62 degrees – the predicted high. The low is supposed to be 53, so we’ll see.

Last Modified on September 17, 2011
This entry was posted in ALMS
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