RICARDO GONZALEZ SCORES FIRST CAREER ALMS WIN
Mexico City, Mexico - Ricardo Gonzalez secured his first victory in the American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patron at the Grand Prix of Long Beach after starting the race from pole position in the LMPC category. The Mexican driver and his co-driver, Gunnar Jeannette, had a phenomenal weekend taking home the hat trick of pole position, fastest lap and the race win at the historic street course. The victory was also the first for the rookie Core Autosport team.
Gonzalez took the green flag and immediately started pulling away from the rest of the pack while maintaining a quick pace and turning the fastest race lap during the first half of the race. After a long caution period he once again pulled away once the green flag dropped and handed the #06 prototype to his teammate in the lead. Jeannette rejoined the track in second place and immediately started chasing down the leader who had opted not to change tires during their pit stop. After only a few laps Jeannette recovered the lead by completing a daring pass in Turn 1 and never looked back. After their victory the Gonzalez/Jeanette duo have now positioned themselves as the leaders in the LMPC Championship.
The American Le Mans Series Presented By Tequila Patron will take a two month break to allow its teams to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and will return on July 9th for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, third round of the 2011 season.
I can't imagine a better place to take my first victory than Long Beach.
Ricardo Gonzalez No. 06 Excel / Composite Resources / Cooper Gay / Oreca FML09
"I can't imagine a better place to take my first victory than Long Beach, it is such a big and prestigious race. The weekend was simply perfect, we started on the pole, we got the fastest lap and we won the race. It was actually an easy day for us, we had a great car and we only needed to keep a good pace without making any mistakes, which is exactly what happened.
After the green flag I pulled away from the field until we had a very long yellow flag, which allowed the traffic to catch up. When we went back to green I managed to keep a comfortable rhythm and controlled the gap until it was time to make a pit stop. Gunnar did an excellent job as well, he came out of the pits in second place because the other car did not change tires during their pit stop but he quickly caught up to them and passed them. The rest of the race was simple, just taking care of the car and maintaining a good pace. It took us a race longer than we thought to lead the championship but now that we are on top we are going to keep pushing until we clinch it."