The GT class in the American Le Mans Series has produced a good deal of excitement and close racing over the last couple of seasons, and today’s qualifying at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca didn’t disappoint.
After heading two of the three practice sessions leading into today’s 15-minute window during which the grid was set for tomorrow’s six-hour race, Olly watched from the edge of his seat as his Corvette Racing team mate Tommy Milner secured a front row grid spot in a nail-biting session. Five different manufacturers were represented in the top six places and less than one tenth of a second separated the six cars behind Milner, showing just how competitive it is.
“Qualifying was extremely exciting wasn’t it?” said a delighted Olly after he’d warmly congratulated his American team mate in the No. 4 Corvette. “First of all it seemed like the ESM Ferrari had it, then Tommy was on top, and then Darren in the Aston Martin came through and blew everyone else away. You can see from the six cars behind us, all within four or five hundredths of a second, that this track gives super close racing so it bodes extremely well for a good race tomorrow.
“In the last practice session before qualifying we didn’t even put new tyres on and we just ran a simulated race session. Tom reported that the car was pretty solid and we’re happy with things leading into tomorrow. It was Tommy’s first qualifying session of the year and he did a stellar job, ticking all the boxes we talked about before the session. I’ll be starting tomorrow and he’s put me at the front with not too much wear on the tyres – exactly what I asked him to do. Perfect job!”
The six hour race into the darkness at the former US Army base, the 2.238 mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course on the Monterey Peninsula, California, begins tomorrow at 1:30 pm PT and live streaming coverage will be available outside the USA via www.americanlemans.com. ESPN2 airs the race at 5 pm ET on Sunday, May 13, with live coverage available on race day starting at 4:15 pm ET on ESPN3.