Monterey – Live Race Blog

May 22, 2010

Monterey – Live Race Blog

May 22, 2010

The Muscle Milk Team CytoSport car led the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge through 1.5 hours, but has hit problems after switching drivers. Photo credit: Rick Dole

After an hour, 30 minutes in the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge, the Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder leads the prototype category. Running on E10 after the longest first stint of any car in the field, the Porsche has a Green Racing Challenge index of 1.0000 and GRC score of 48.7658. The Patron Highcroft HPD ARX 01-c is second with the Autocon Lola third.

In GT, the two Corvette Racing ZR1s lead with the No. 4 ahead of the No. 3. Those two run on E85 second-generation ethanol, as does the third placed No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche.

The race just went yellow for the fourth time for an LMPC car stopped on the front straight. More pit stops are looming for the field.


Race start at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Photo credit: Rick Dole

Past 4:00 p.m., we’re an hour and a half into the six hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The race has just restarted from the second full course caution of the day.

The field has just completed its first round of pit stops. Klaus Graf in the Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder went the furthest distance before making a visit to the pits, changing tires and adding fuel after more than an hour and 17 minutes on track.

Graf trailed Clint Field for the first 38 laps of the race, as Field got the jump from third on the grid at the green flag. Field’s Intersport Lola AER had pace and the ability to negotiate traffic in the 35-car field, but their race ended early on an apparent engine failure.

The passing star of the race though, has been Simon Pagenaud. Pagenaud turned in a sterling performance in the Highcroft Racing HPD ARX 01-c, up from 33rd on the grid to fourth overall in only four laps. Just afterward, the first full course caution flew with one LMPC and GTC each involved. The No. 95 Level 5 car suffered a blown engine and the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 Cup spun off at Turn 5.

Pagenaud spent the rest of the first stint hounding Chris Dyson in the polesitting Dyson Racing Mazda powered Lola before passing him in a daring, three-wide maneuver into Turn 11. Pagenaud had to negotiate both Dyson and a TRG Porsche in GTC. He’s still aboard the Highcroft car now.

Also of note, Pierre Ehret in the Autocon Lola AER made it into fourth overall after starting from the pits. Paul Drayson spun on the first lap but has recovered to fifth in the Drayson Lola Judd.

GT has seen the Ferraris mostly at the top of the leaderboard. The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari and No. 01 Extreme Speed Ferrari each spent a portion of the race in the top spot, but now the Corvettes are lurking. Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 had a brief moment in front and so did the Rahal Letterman BMWs as they ran a little longer on their first stint.

At the restart Pagenaud leads overall and Gianmaria Bruni in GT for Risi, after taking over for Jaime Melo.

Race temperature sees the ambient hovering around 65 degrees and the track temperature at 86 into the second hour. After the relative heat of the afternoon, things will cool as the race continues, and the teams will have to work to get and keep heat in the tires on the low-grip surface.

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