Laguna Seca: BAM! preview

Leo's laps BAM! (British American Motorsport) will wrap its first season of racing with a strong driver lineup for the American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif. Leo Hindery, Jr. of New York will drive the No. 43 YES...

Leo's laps

BAM! (British American Motorsport) will wrap its first season of racing with a strong driver lineup for the American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif. Leo Hindery, Jr. of New York will drive the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with two champions - Lucas Luhr of Monaco and Sascha Maassen of Raeren, Belgium, who shared the ALMS GT driver titles in 2002 and 2003.

Hindery hopes for a strong finish on Oct. 16, but he said success is more than race results:

"This commentary, because it is the last of the season, is about racing, specifically ALMS racing, and not about the race ahead, although we are all looking forward to it since we all love Laguna Seca and its remarkable fans. I started the season with Mike Rockenfeller and Peter Baron at Sebring (fifth place), stopped off in Le Mans in the middle with Mike and with Marc Lieb (almost second place), and am ending it with Sasha Maassen and Lucas Luhr in Laguna Seca (a podium?). Regardless of our result on Saturday, what a season it has been, a season of camaraderie and partnership, great racing (and some not so great - the third lap of Lime Rock comes to mind) and friendships the likes of which define one's life, with crew members, fellow drivers, officials and fans. What a ride 2004 was, and I am grateful for it."

hot laps

As Porsche factory drivers, Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen benefit from a customized fitness program. They train year-round to combat the effects of international travel and competition in extreme weather conditions. The pair topped the N-GT class in an FIA-GT Championship race last week in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 36C (97F) heat and 90 per cent humidity, but they're hoping for a more comfortable climate in California.

"I like the sun and I like the heat, so usually I can take it pretty easily," Luhr said. "I have no problem when it is just humid or just hot. What I don't like is when it's really, really hot and humid. Laguna Seca is good because it's hot and it's dry."

champion communication

Although Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen have driven together for four years, the ALMS race on the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca road course will be their first North-American start together this season. Watch for some practiced interaction.

"We don't need to talk," Maassen said. "Sometimes when Lucas comes out of the car, I can tell the engineer, 'Uh-oh, the car is not good.' I can tell by his attitude. We know each other; it's like a couple that knows each other, both the good and bad. We leave each other alone if we have a bad moment ... or I tease him a little bit!"

-sp-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Leo Hindery , Marc Lieb , Mike Rockenfeller