The race track that is set amidst the rolling hills of Monterey County wine country and adjacent to the fertile fields of the Salinas Valley has added to its gourmet partnerships with Yancey’s Fancy, a New York-based gourmet cheese maker.
American Le Mans Series Next race: American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patron, May 11-12
Next race: Gran Premio bwin de España, Jerez, Spain, April 29
AMA Pro Racing Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta, Road Atlanta
AMA Pro SuperBike champion Josh Hayes won the Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta on Sunday at Road Atlanta, a day after a surprising loss to Blake Young. Hayes, riding a Yamaha, beat Young by 5.214 seconds.
As Ferraris challenge the race track May 18-20 for Ferrari Racing Days, owners of the prancing horse may take their place alongside them in the paddock with the new Ferrari Car Corral.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s Car Corral experience includes two three-day general admission and paddock tickets with open grandstand seating, two souvenir programs and exclusive premium parking in the paddock with other Ferraris, all for just $75.
“We are inviting Ferrari owners to join in on the fun of this exhilarating single marquee race series,” says Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Ferrari enthusiasts will have their own spot in the paddock amidst the action of Ferrari Racing Days.”
The series allows owners and gentleman drivers seeking to sharpen their skills to compete against each other on some of the finest race tracks in the U.S. and Canada. The vehicles have the same overall appearance and engine as road-going Ferraris while utilizing track-oriented modifications and features.
Ferrari 458s will compete against their predecessor the F430s in the Ferrari Challenge. There will also be separate 599XX and FXX races. The highlight of the weekend might just be the F1 Clienti races, where the high pitch whine of these extraordinary machines reverberates through the race track and surrounding hillside. There is a nothing like the sound of an F1 tearing down the straightaway.
There are plenty of rivalries and Northern California fans will have to choose their favorites at the American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patrón, May 11-12, 2012 with at least nine regional drivers competing.
The American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patron is a six-hour endurance race that features multiple classes of high-tech sports cars competing together with constant passing and on-track battles throughout. The race takes competitors from daylight to dusk and into the darkness, pushing drivers’ and crews’ mental and physical abilities.
The 2012 race will feature Northern California natives:
Townsend Bell (San Francisco) calls Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca the birthplace of his inspiration to become a driver. In 1996 he attended a three-day Skip Barber Racing School class and said from the moment he was buckled in, a light switch went on, and he knew what he wanted to do with his life – race – and he hadn’t event started up the engine. This year he will co-pilot Alex Job Racing’s new Lotus Evora in the American Le Mans Series.
Ken Dobson (Carmel Valley) grew up just over the hills from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, worked as an instructor at the Skip Barber Racing School and probably knows the racetrack better than most. Today he drives in the American Le Mans Series with Butch Leitzinger and Rudy Junco in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA FLM09.
Memo Gidley (Novato) grew up on the Pacific Ocean between Mexico and Northern California, living as “anchor outs” with his family in the San Francisco Bay, before moving to dry land and the town of San Rafael. His first foray into racing was with motorcycles, but a trip to the CART race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca convinced Gidley to pursue open-wheel racing. Gidely climbed his way up the ladder to Champ Car where he recorded three podium finishes with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2001. Gidley pilots the #5 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing ORECA FLM09 and comes into the 2012 ALMS season with four starts, three top-5 and two top-3 finishes.
Michael Guasch (Pleasant Hill) brings a lengthy and diverse resume to the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing lineup. Guasch’s racing background includes 2011 LMPC victory at Sebring with Genoa Racing, and a long history in IMSA support series and FIA GT3 competition.
Joey Hand (Sacramento) is in the midst of his busiest season yet, racing in both the American Le Mans Series stateside and German Touring Cars (DTM) in Europe. Hand is on a mission to defend his 2011 GT drivers’ championship that he shared with co-pilot Dirk Mueller in the No. 56 BMW E92 M3. He is a two time 12 Hours of Sebring GT winner (2011 and 2012) and a winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona (2011).
Seth Nieman (San Francisco) is a driver and team principal for Flying Lizards Motorsports piloting the No. 44 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Now in its ninths season of competition, Flying Lizard Motorsports won GT championships in 2008 and 2009.
Greg Pickett (Alamo) leads Muscle Milk Pickett Racing and their new Honda-powered P1 entry. Since entering the American Le Mans Series in 2008, the team has seven wins and has been runner-up in the championship the past two seasons.
Henri Richard (Los Altos Hills) returns to the Prototype Challenge class (PC) with Dempsey Racing. Last year he competed in the PC class with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, prior to which for drove with TRG Porsche in GT Challenge (GTC). Richard is a former Ferrari Challenge competitor who got his start racing 125cc motorcycles and rallies in his native France.
Johannes van Overbeek (Oakland) is consistently a championship contender in the American Le Mans Series, returning for his third season with Extreme Speed Motorsports in the GT class driving a Ferrari F458 Italia with team owner Scott Sharp. Van Overbeek has posted race victories with both Porsche and BMW in his career and won the 2007 Porsche Cup, which is presented annually to world’s top independent Porsche driver.
Advance purchase general admission is $60 for a two day pass. Children 12 and under are free with paying adult. There is complimentary parking and VIP parking available for $30. Hospitality options start at $250 per person.
American Le Mans Series Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach
Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach for the second straight season. The Muscle Milk Honda Performance Development ARX-03a stopped twice during the race’s sole caution period and ran the final 56 minutes without another stop to win over Dyson Racing.
Attack Performance, manufacturer of precision racing components, has been granted “wild-card” entries for both North American rounds of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, July 27-29, and the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, August 17-19.
With fast cars, interactive displays, fireworks, autograph sessions and so much more, there is ample action for spectators during the American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patron May 11-12, both on and off the race track.
Featuring multiple classes of high-tech sports cars competing together, the American Le Mans Series sees constant passing and on-track battles throughout each race. The six hour endurance race takes competitors from daylight to dusk and into the darkness, pushing drivers’ and crews’ mental and physical abilities.
Riders for Health, the official charity of MotoGP, and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, have announced that 50 VIP guests will spend the day meeting MotoGP stars, touring the MotoGP paddock, and discovering the stunning Carmel Valley. Day of Stars is held on Thursday, July 26, before the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. And, as well as getting your race weekend off to the best possible start, you will be raising money for Riders for Health.
American Le Mans Series
Next race: Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, April 13-14
MotoGP Commericalbank Grand Prix of Qatar
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) claimed a victory at the Losail circuit, finally claiming his first Grand Prix of Qatar win in the MotoGP class. Lorenzo took the lead from the start and held off rival and reining World Champion Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) for the first few laps before conceding the lead and tucking into second. He then played the waiting game, never letting Stoner more than two second ahead. With seven laps to go he stared to close the distance as Stoner’s pace dropped, holding off a determined Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) on his tail to take the lead. Lorenzo crossed the line 0.852 seconds ahead of Pedrosa. Stoner finished third.
AMA Pro Racing
Next race: Tiumph Big Kahuna Atlanta, Road Atlanta, April 18-20
GRAND-AM Road Racing
Next race: Grand Prix of Miami, April 27-29
Next race: UBS Chinese Grand Prix, April 15
Next race: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 15
Next race: Samsung Mobile 500, Texas Motor Speedway, April 14
Next race: NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, zMax Dragway, April 13-15