Laguna Seca: Horag-Lista Racing race report

Horag-Lista Involved in Racing Accident During ALMS Season Finale Saturday At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca MONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 21 - Horag-Lista Racing's Fredy Lienhard Sr. of Niederteufen, Switzerland was running fourth in the LMP2 class when he...

Horag-Lista Involved in Racing Accident During ALMS Season Finale Saturday At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 21 - Horag-Lista Racing's Fredy Lienhard Sr. of Niederteufen, Switzerland was running fourth in the LMP2 class when he was involved in a racing accident during Saturday's American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Luckily Lienhard wasn't hurt, but the team's Lista-sponsored Lola R05/40 Judd No. 27 was retired from the four-hour race at the halfway point due to the damage it sustained in the Turn 10 crash.

Lienhard and co-driver Didier Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz., unofficially ended up seventh in the LMP2 class and 26th overall in the race, which was televised live on SPEED.

Theys qualified fifth in the LMP2 class and 11th overall in the 27-car field on Friday afternoon when his fifth lap in the qualifying session was timed in 1:19.395 (101.477 mph) for the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course. He quickly advanced in the standings and ran in third or fourth place in class during the majority of his stint.

Theys was third in class behind Romain Dumas and Sascha Maassen and eighth overall when he brought the beautiful red and white Lola into the pits an hour and 14 minutes into the event for its first pit stop for fresh tires and fuel.

Lienhard took over at that point. He was holding his own in fourth place, trying to catch Liz Halliday while holding off Guy Cosmo, when he spun in Turn 10 just 30 seconds shy of the half-way point.

Scott Maxwell had no where to go in the Panoz Esperante No. 50 GT2 car and he hit Lienhard, causing extensive front-end damage to the Horag-Lista Lola as well as his own GT2 car, which also retired from the race after the crash. The No. 009 Aston Martin and James Weaver in the Dyson Lola No. 16 weren't involved but they had to take evasive action during the accident, which brought out the event's third full-course yellow.

"I was doing quite OK," Lienhard said later. "I was catching up on a slower Ferrari. The safest place to pass him was in Turn 10, but he closed the door on me. Then I spun about 90 degrees, and the Panoz behind me had nowhere to go and hit me. It was just a racing accident.

"The track was very slippery due to sand and gravel on it, but that wasn't the reason for the problem in this case," he added. "The Ferrari was holding us all up, and I just don't have enough experience passing slower cars here."

"I enjoyed the car," Theys said afterwards about his stint. "The handling was quite OK; it was just a lack of horsepower under acceleration I'd say. I had no close calls, and Fredy and I want to thank the team for all their hard work."

-credit: horag-lista racing

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Series ALMS
Drivers James Weaver , Didier Theys , Fredy Lienhard , Guy Cosmo , Sascha Maassen , Scott Maxwell , Romain Dumas , Liz Halliday