Time out . With just two rest days between the Sonoma and Trois RiviÃ¨res rounds of the American Le Mans Series, different members of the team chose to relax in different ways. Some took in sight-seeing in San Francisco, some took in the ...
Time out .
With just two rest days between the Sonoma and Trois Rivières rounds of the American Le Mans Series, different members of the team chose to relax in different ways.
Some took in sight-seeing in San Francisco, some took in the awe-inspiring sight of the giant coastal redwoods at Muir Woods, CA. Tomas Enge, together with the engineering department, chose a much more energetic way of 'relaxing' however.
Seven team members, including the Czech driver, set off early on Monday morning for the Flume Mountain Biking Trails at Lake Tahoe, CA. Two days later the exhausted party returned glowing from the exercise, mountain air and a bracing swim in the freshwater lake and, more amazingly, all in one piece.
There was intense competition for the King of the Mountain jersey at the end of each day. Tomas lost it by a nanosecond on the first day and was light years ahead of the rest on the second!
Flying and charity work .
During his increasingly rare visits to his home country in between his many racing commitments, Dane Jan Magnussen manages to indulge his passion for flying model aircraft and also to donate some of his time to one of his favourite charities, the children's cancer ward in the Rigs Hospitalet in Copenhagen.
He and his fiancée, Christina Bergdahl, visit the hospital twice a year - once in the summer and once near Christmas - and lighten up the lives of the young in-patients. Jan says he usually plays racing games on the Playstation with the kids, while graphic artist and designer Christina does drawings with them. He also adds that Christina is always more popular than he is .!
And back to the cars .
"When I get in the Ferrari and hear that engine, I get goosebumps all over." Jan Magnussen's comment about the distinct sound of the 550 Maranello's 6-litre V12 engine was echoed exactly by David Brabham, both in their second race with the Care Racing supported Prodrive Ferrari team.
With 5853cc at their disposal, the car's speed has never been in question and the drivers have no complaint about lack of power. Each engine takes approximately 100 hours to build, including dyno testing, by one technician at Prodrive's UK base. The company not only builds and re-builds engines for the team currently racing in the ALMS, but also provides the same service for the three Care Racing 550s being operated by BMS Scuderia Italia in the FIA GT Championship. Up to 50 engines will pass through the hands of the technicians in one year, under the management of Jason Hill, who also attends all the ALMS races.
The original aluminium block, cylinder heads and crankshaft of the production Maranello are retained, although heavily modified, while all other parts are designed and manufactured from scratch by the Prodrive engine department.
In today's first practice session on the Quebécois street circuit of Trois Rivières, the plan closely followed that of Sonoma's opening practice laps. Tomas Enge and Peter Kox, making their first visit here, learnt the layout of the track before starting to make some set up changes to improve the balance and handling of the car, while Brabham and Magnussen improved their knowledge of the Ferrari and the feel of the car in relation to set up changes. They ended the session with just one tenth of a second between them, and within close reach of their leading competitors.