Aston Martin Paces Oft-Interrupted Morning Practice

April 16, 2010

Aston Martin Paces Oft-Interrupted Morning Practice

April 16, 2010

The Aston Martin Racing Lola Aston Martin led Friday's morning practice session. Photo credit: Rick Dole

American Le Mans Series teams and drivers got the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend underway with the Friday morning practice session. The two-hour session was peppered with incidents, with five red flags interrupting the flow of laps.

The class pace setters in LMP, LMPC and GT all race on MICHELIN® tires.

Aston Martin Racing’s Lola Aston Martin was quickest overall and in the LMP class at a time of 1:15.112 with Adrian Fernandez and Harold Primat driving.

Fernandez set the fastest time at his “adopted” home race. The Mexican driver usually has a huge contingent of fans that make it to Long Beach, and this year they will hear the unmistakable harmonic sound emanating from the Aston Martin V12 engine.

The Highcroft HPD ARX-01c and Dyson Racing Lola B09-86 Mazda coupe were next up, at 1:16.194 and 1:16.482 respectively. Fastest drivers were Simon Pagenaud in the HPD car and Guy Smith in the Mazda.

In LMPC, the class pole sitter from Sebring, Gunnar Jeannette, set the bar at 1:18.333 in the Green Earth Team Gunnar entry. Johnny Mowlem was second quickest in the new PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports entry.

The GT battle has 12 of the 36 cars present here this weekend. Jan Magnussen was fastest in class in one of the factory Corvette ZR1s at 1:21.895, edging Jaime Melo in the Risi Ferrari at 1:21.903.

Scott Sharp’s Extreme Speed Ferrari, repaired with some new bodywork pieces and suspension components following a fire at Sebring, was third quick in class at 1:22.074. Quick work by fire marshals and Sharp parking right in front of a station saved the team from further damage or incurred expenses.

The No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche and the two Rahal Letterman BMWs completed the top six in class.

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