American Le Mans Series Monterey - The Galleries

Photo: Rick DoleWith a mere 24 minutes remaining in the American Le Mans Series Monterey endurance race, the Dyson Mazda Lola stopped running when its oil filter failed. Guy Smith and Marino Franchitti were in a battle that left them both exhausted. But neither of the United Kingdom natives would have traded a moment of the fun they had. Fun or not, Patron Highcroft Racing were the ones jumping up and down with joy while the pole winning Dyson Racing team shook their heads in disbelief.

The 6 hour race had 10 cautions with the final two coming within laps of one another toward the end of the race. The ninth caution was for Smith (Dyson Racing). The final one set up the pass at the restart by Patrick Long to take the LMGT class lead away from Joey Hand.

With five hours and 48 minutes on the clock, Hand held the class lead for the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing. As they came through the final turn, with the green flag waving, Long placed his Flying Lizard Porsche in the prime spot to take the LMGT victory for himself and co-driver Joerg Bergmeister.

Christophe Bouchut came home first in the LMP Challenge (LMPC) class for Level 5 Motorsports. Mark Wilkins and Scott Tucker were the other two drivers that allowed Bouchet to take the win by margin over seven seconds to their nearest challenger. The new LMPC class is starting to take shape with teams taking on the challenge driving Oreca FLM09s.

The class that is made up of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars had a first time winning team when Black Swan Racing’s trio of Jeroen Bleekemolen, who was the final driver in the closing hours, team owner Tim Pappas and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen landed the LMGT Challenge (LMGTC) victory.

Of course, these are just words. Words can’t capture the excitement like pictures… especially pictures seen through the eyes of legendary lensmen, Rick Dole and Regis Lefebure. And though I may be a lot younger than them, (sic) I did my best hiking through the hills of Laguna Seca just trying to keep up. And while we all damn near froze our fingers… and other parts of our anatomy, I’m pleased to once again provide you with the best view on the web. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca by Dole, Lefebure and Thawley.

Rick DoleRegis LefebureJohn Thawley

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