Fuel Strategies Play Big Role in Results at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Split Race WeatherTech Format.

[VIEW FULL GALLERY]Congratulations to Ozz Negri and John Pew in the Prototype class. The Michael Shank Racing team combined stellar pit work and late-race speed to give the No. 60 Curb-Agajanian Honda Ligier JS P2 its first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory, with the win in Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Negri led all but five of the final 31 laps on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit to give the team its first triumph since winning the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The No. 67 Ford GT, just four races into its heralded program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship,  saw Chip Ganassi Racing co-drivers Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe earn a breakthrough GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Westbrook conserved enough fuel saving the team a pit stop, going on to score the win by 12.545 seconds over Alessandro Pier Guidi in the No. 68 Ferrari. It was Westbrook’s ninth career victory in major U.S. sports car racing and his third at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and was the 12th major U.S. sports car win for Briscoe.

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Test Drive: 2016 Audi S3

As their bread and butter sales models have grown larger and more expensive over the last several years, the top three premium European auto manufacturers have introduced new entry-level models to the U.S. market to appeal to more budget-conscious buyers. Audi has the A3, BMW has the 2 Series and Mercedes has the CLA. Thankfully, all three of them have also built high-performance versions of those cars, which combine their smaller proportions and lighter weight with more horsepower, which is almost always a good combination. Audi’s S3, for example, is clearly based on the $30,900 A3 sedan, but it’s a big step up in performance, street presence, and price.

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Test Drive: 2016 Corvette Convertible

As a man in his late 40’s that was born and raised in the U.S.A. and whose favorite music includes Bruce Springsteen and The Eagles, I’m pretty sure I fall into the primary market segment for a Corvette Convertible. Paying attention to the type of men actually driving Corvette’s bears this out, as I can’t remember the last time I saw someone driving a Corvette who wasn’t a middle-aged white guy. Be that as it may, the 2016 Corvette is such a good car that it will make you forget (mostly) about all the clichés that go with driving one.

I may fall into the target market for Corvette buyers, but I’ve always been much more attracted to European sports cars like Ferrari’s and Porsche’s. As a teenager, my bedroom wall was covered with posters of cars like the Ferrari 308 GTB and Porsche 930 Turbo, not Corvettes, Camaro’s or Mustangs. It wasn’t until I started attending American Le Mans Series races in 1999 and watching the Corvettes race that I started taking a closer look at the road cars and gaining an appreciation for them. Driving them over the last several years as an automotive writer has affirmed that, though they were not without their faults. After spending a week driving the new Corvette Convertible, it’s clear that Chevrolet has done their homework on the new C7 to make it the best Corvette yet.

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