Speaking about Valentino Rossi’s seventh place at last weekend’s Grande Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril, he said: “I think the result yesterday is based mainly on the small steps taken between one practice session and the next, keeping the same basic bike set-up and just trying to solve the small problems that you have practice by practice. Of course the result is better than before, but it is not at the level we are expecting, so we know we have to close the gap.”
There are some interesting story lines developing for this year’s battle for drivers’, and manufacturers’ honors in the Pirelli World Challenge Series as it returns to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Cadillac Sports Car Grand Prix. A large, 43 car field is set to race May 11 as part of the American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patrón race weekend.
Adrian Fernandez has just about done it all in racing: Motocross rider, Formula Ford, Indy Lights, Champ Cars, IndyCars, NASCAR, LMP2 and LMP1 driver; team owner in CART, IRL and ALMS. This year finds him in the midst of yet another chapter in his varied and successful career: driving Aston Martin’s Vantage GTE in the FIA World Endurance Championship and selected races in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
Thirty-four of the world’s top sports cars take on the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit next week in the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón. This six-hour enduro in Monterey, Calif., offers a heartier points payout and, with the Le Mans break on the horizon, represents a pivotal moment in the 2012 season.
This past weekend, Sonoma’s Infineon Raceway staged the second Ferrari Racing Days of the season, the first in North America, providing the perfect backdrop to a special event that saw over four hundred Ferrari owners take to the track. Providing further excitement were the Ferrari Challenge races and sessions for those entered in the F1 and XX programmes, who were able to drive their own cars, under the guidance of engineers from the Corse Clienti department and instructors, including the Scuderia’s Marc Gene.
The American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patrón is providing an opportunity for VW car owners/clubs to unite and join in on the fun and racing action May 11-12.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s VW Car Corral experience includes a two-day general admission and paddock ticket with open grandstand seating, one souvenir program and preferred parking with other VWs, all for just $90.
“We’ve put this offer together so VW enthusiasts can enjoy a VIP experience as part of our world-class event,” says Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
In his return to the Pirelli World Challenge Series after having won the driver’s championship last year, Patrick Long clinched victory Saturday at at Miller Motorsports Park. Having won pole position, Long fell to second at the start, to the charging Cadillac of Johnny O’Connell. Long and O’Connell gapped the rest of the field for the first six laps before Long was able to pass the Cadillac into turn one, and once at the front of the race, checked out to win by 3.032 seconds over championship leader O’Connell.
Acting has opened a lot of doors for Patrick Dempsey, “Dr. McDreamy” of the ABC TV show Grey’s Anatomy and star of a number of motion pictures. But he has put in some long hours and plenty of hard work to turn the dream of being a professional race driver into reality.
This year’s American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is the 14th race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. A number of drivers and teams seem to find Monterey as a home away from home given their amount of success at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit.
Who should you watch during the six-hour endurance race on May 12? Here are a couple of names…