Just got back to to the hotel here in Monterey after spending the day at the final round of the 2009 American LeMans Series at Laguna Seca. My body is massively sore from hiking around Laguna Seca's scenic hills today, but before I collapse I wanted to post a few quick photos and highlights from the day's practice and qualifying sessions.
At 94:5am sharp, the silence of the morning was broken by the sounds of the ALMS field taking to the track for the first practice session of the day. The morning started off typically cool and overcast, but the sun soon burned off the clouds making for some great racing weather. Here we see one of the Flying Lizard 911 RSR's running with Tommy Milner's GT2 M3 on the front straight.
Speaking of Tommy, I spent a bit of time shooting practice from the #92's pit box. Nothing boosts your self image better than hanging out with a team of pros at one of the world's most prestigious racing circuits…
Team Falken's ALMS squad is also running this weekend, wrapping up their three-race introductory season with the GT2 class Porsche. The blue and green 911 looked fantastic as it navigated Laguna Seca's famous Cork Screw corner.
Besides ALMS, Laguna Seca is also hosting the Speed World Challenge this weekend. Here's a new body style Acura TSX touring car campaigned by the ultra-successful Real Time Racing Team.
Hmmm…is it strange that I was impressed by the Mazdaspeed-equipped CX-7 safety car? Yes those are Ray's wheels.
Also powered by Mazda is the #16 LMP2 Lola. Unfortunatley the car wasn't able to put in a lap during the afternoon's qualifying session.
Also included in the weekend's festivities is the Porsche GT3 Challenge race. It was interesting to watch these guys share the track with the much faster GT2 and LMP cars.
The sound of rumbling V8's fills the air as the GT2 Corvettes prepare to take the track for final practice and qualifying.
It turned out to be a great day for the 'Vette teams, with the #3 C6R of Magunssen and O'Connell taking the GT2 pole and the #4 of Beretta and Gavin taking third.
Finishing in between the two Corvettes was the #62 Risi Competizione F430, which will start from the second position in GT2.
The fastest 911 of the day was the Farnbacher Loles RSR – seen here atop the Cork Screw. The #87 will be starting from the fourth spot in GT2.
In the prototype classes, the P2 pole went to the #15 Acura of Luis Diaz and Adrian Fernandez.
Without a doubt the day's biggest story was Gil de Ferran. In his final race before retirement, de Ferran will start from the front in his specially-painted LMP1 Acura. after recording a blazing 1:11.206 lap time. I'm sure you saw Andy's post earlier today covering the festivities of de Ferran's last race.
Alright, time to refuel for tomorrow's big race. Stay tuned for more from beautiful Laguna Seca.