Friday, May 21, 2010

Driver Meet-Up & American Le Mans Vitesse Mazda RX8 Ride Along

Guy Smith put Mazda power out front at its home track with the fastest time in Friday’s first official practice session for the American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patrón. Dyson Racing’s English ace posted a best lap of 1:14.335 (108.385 mph) in the Lola-Mazda coupe that he will drive with Chris Dyson and Andy Meyrick. Qualifications Update: Guy Smith (#16-LMP Lola B09 86/Mazda) earns his 1st ALMS pole. Strategy for tomorrow from Guy Smith, "Tomorrow, we are looking for a very boring race. We want to just drive around, drive our own race, not make any mistakes. The Dunlop tires are really good. We've never run them here, it was a bit of the unknown. We knew they'd be good" continued Smith, "but they have exceeded my expectations. Dunlop worked hard in the winter, and worked hard with the Europeans. It's great to show we can battle with the Michelins and the Yokohamas. It's really good competition." This is the first pole position for a non-Michelin team since Mosport 2004 when Dyson Racing's Lola-AER was on Goodyear.Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Driver Meet-Up & American Le Mans Vitesse Mazda RX8 Ride Along

The Vitesse program is a new initiative to demonstrate relevance between American Le Mans Series manufacturers' race entries and the vehicles these manufacturers have available to consumers. It's an opportunity for the public to get up close to the vehicles as well as see them perform and maneuver while undertaking hot laps on the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race track.

My camera shifted to video in compact but I posted it anyway ... PART 1: It was fun to see Patrick Longiver for Flying Lizard Motorsports, talk with another driver about the braking and steering dynamics in negotiating turns 3 & 4 with Pete Brock watching on with affirmative amusement. PART 2: Monterey's Jonathan Bomarito Team SpeedSource's race winning GT class driver (2010 24 hours of Daytona) was a joy to ride with and he turned me on the the fact that turn six is tighter and more challenging than it looks from anywhere else than the track! He also happens to do double duty as a teaching driver for Skip Barber Racing School here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Video Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

The Mazda RX8 is the consumer legacy of the legendary RX8 race car that recently won the 24 Hours of Daytona at the beginning of this year. Much of the technology on the Mazda RX8 was developed through Mazdaspeed Motorsports extensive investment in racing and demonstrates as direct a link between technology transfers from the track to the showroom as exists within the American Le Mans Series.

Other Vitesse cars offered like the Corvette Z06, and also a Porsche Turbo have teams that field racing models in the ALMS, fans and guests of the Vitesse program are guaranteed not just an exciting experience, but an exotic encounter with some of the most desired and rare cars on the road. Attending the next ALMS race in your area to get a glimpse of the Vitesse cars and the 200mph prototypes they've inspired is simply a must.
(ht: SPEED TV)

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