Laguna Seca preview notes

American Le Mans Series racing teams have gathered at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif., for Sunday's GlobalCenter Sports Car Championships presented by Honda. The two-hour, 45-minute race will be televised live on Speedvision beginning at...

American Le Mans Series racing teams have gathered at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif., for Sunday's GlobalCenter Sports Car Championships presented by Honda.

The two-hour, 45-minute race will be televised live on Speedvision beginning at 3 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time) and will also be shown live on Eurosport. The ALMS Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.

Thursday will be a test day for Prototype, GTS and GT teams entered in the event. Official practice is set for Friday morning, with provisional qualifying for Friday afternoon. Final qualifying will be held Saturday afternoon.

Laguna Seca Raceway is famous for its "Corkscrew" turn, and drivers in the ALMS always look forward to the challenge it offers.

"I love Laguna, especially the Corkscrew," said Allan McNish, Audi R8 driver and leader of the Prototype driver standings. "It's an extremely fast, steep, downhill section. Ride over the curb and unbalance the car and you're in big, big trouble."

"If they took out the Corkscrew, I'd quit racing here," said BMW V12 LMR driver Bill Auberlen.

Even non-driving members of racing teams hold the highest regard for the tricky turn.

"Laguna Seca is a wonderful circuit, and I am anxious to see our cars come through the famous Corkscrew turn," said Len Hunt, head of Audi Sport North America.

Dick Barbour Racing, which has won seven of the nine ALMS races this year in the GT class, will again field a two-car team of Porsche 911 GT3 R vehicles in the Laguna Seca event. Bob Wollek and Sascha Maassen, winners of four of those races, will be joined by three-time winners Dirk Muller and Lucas Luhr on the team.

Barbour Racing is currently first in GT Team Points for the series, and Maassen, Wollek, Muller and Luhr occupy the top four spots in the driver standings. The team's win in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta helped Porsche clinch the GT Automobile Manufacturer's title for the 2000 season.

Laguna Seca Raceway hold special memories for team owner Barbour, a former driving champion. His team scored a win at the historic circuit in 1980 in a Porsche 935 that helped Barbour capture the IMSA championship that year.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Dirk Müller , Allan McNish , Bill Auberlen , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Dick Barbour , Bob Wollek