The really early birds, such as volunteer race marshals and officials, got into the track Friday by 6am for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach while it was still dry. It was warmer than I expected. The skies looked promising, with almost flickers of rosy trying to push through the grey clouds. But, ultimately, the only red was the color of three session-stopping flags.
But, by the 7:15 am Green Flag for the American Le Mans Series the sprinkles had escalated into a torrential downpour. Parts of the track, especially by ‘The Fountain’ had serious puddles. The five-class sports car group got all kinds of weather in its two-hour session. The teams all went out on intermediate tires – no drys, no monsoons. There were a few slides here and there as some drivers felt like they were auditioning for Team Drift.
Car 54 Where are you? Its owner/driver, TIM PAPPIS/LOL B11/80 HPD, caused the third of three Red Flags when he hit the wall and did sufficient damage to require a flat bed tow. The other two were AMELIO DiGUIDA/No.66 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup; and the No.7 Oreca FLM09. Its drivers are JAMES KOVACIC and TONY BURGESS.
The top cars in each class were:
P1 – LUCAS LUHR/Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03a
P2 – MARTIN PLOWMAN/Conquest Endurance Morgan
PC – KYLE MARCELLI/Merchant Services Racing
GT – WOLF HENZLER/Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 G3 RSR
GTC – MICHAEL VALIENTE/JDX Racing Porsche
The ALMS cars were first on track at oh dark thirty, and are scheduled to end the day with Qualifying starting at 5pm local time.