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.
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.
This Sunday sees the long awaited and hugely anticipated season opening race of the 2012 MotoGP™ Championship at the Losail circuit in Qatar. Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies will line up on the grid under the spectacular floodlights alongside their rivals for the first true test of the 1000cc era. A strong winter testing period with very competitive times means both riders arrive in Qatar confident in the abilities of their all-new 1000cc YZR-M1 as they set their sights on the podium.
Intent on recapturing the form that made it sports car racing’s dominant GT force in the early days of the ALMS, SRT Viper will return to the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón this season. SRT Viper Racing is set to debut its competition-ready SRT Viper GTS-R later in 2012, Chrysler Group officials announced today at the New York Auto Show.
The Jerez circuit was the setting for the official presentation of the 2012 YZR-M1 on Thursday, as the Yamaha Factory Racing team unveiled its livery for the forthcoming campaign.
On the eve of the final pre-season MotoGP™ Test at the track, Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were in attendance to show off their 2012 machines to the press which had assembled in the Yamaha team box, and both riders expressed their delight at the new-look M1.
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were the star guests this afternoon for the ‘First Ever’ International MotoXpo Show in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). The MotoGP riders arrived in Malaysia early for the second of the two Sepang tests to attend the event as guests of Hong Leong Yamaha Motor.
The Strider Adventure Zone will return to family friendly Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix on July 27 to 29. For budding young cyclists who love having fun with a competitive edge, Strider Adventure Zone will host the Strider Cup race on Sunday, July 29.
Strider makes no-pedal bikes that help toddlers learn balance and coordination before pedaling, which develops confidence and bike handling skills. Children from 18 months to five years of age will have a chance to experience riding at the Strider Adventure Zone.