Lime Rock Park
Ricardo Gonzalez Maintains Championship Lead After Second Place Finish At Lime Rock
Ricardo Gonzalez alongside Core Autosport teammate Gunnar Jeannette maintained their championship lead in the LMPC category of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron after a second place finish at the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix this weekend at Lime Rock Park.
It was an exciting race for the Mexican driver who started the race from the front row and after only 17 laps took the lead in his #06 Excel prototype challenge car and opened an impressive gap of over 20 seconds over his nearest competitor. Gonzalez managed to avoid a variety of incidents and smartly worked himself through the heavy traffic at the short and tight 1.5-mile Lime Rock circuit.
Gonzalez came into the pits for Core Autosport’s first pit stop on Lap 60 and handed the car over to Jeannette in the lead while the team filled the car with fuel and opted not to change tires. After the restart Jeannette held on to the lead for various lap in a fierce battle with the #63 LMPC car but eventually had to give up the spot as his used tires were no match to the new rubber on his competitor’s car. Jeannette lost almost 40 seconds with the used rubber until his last pit stop when the Core crew did a quick tire change under green and got him back on track ready to chase down the leader. During the last hour of the race Jeannette managed to make up over 40 seconds on the leader and got within a couple of laps of catching him, finally crossing the finish line only 2.246 seconds behind.
The Core Autosport duo will have a free weekend to rest before their next event which will take place at Mosport International Raceway July 22-24, 2011.
For video and live timing and scoring please go to www.americanlemans.com
- 06 Excel / Composite Resources / Cooper Gay / Oreca FML009
“Obviously in a way we are a little disappointed because we dominated the first half of the race and things were looking very promising, but we just had bad luck with our strategy. But on the other hand we are fighting for a championship and that is the priority and as long as we keep scoring points and finishing on the podium we’ll be in good shape.
At the beginning of the race I came up on a very slow GT car at the exit of the last corner and had to slow down and fell all the way to fourth, but I kept my focus and little by little we managed to recover the positions until we got to the lead and managed to pull a big gap on second place. During my stint I was hit on the left rear and that messed up the alignment a bit, which caused our tire wear to be a lot worse than expected and that’s why we ended up loosing so much time before we changed tires.
Now we go on to Mosport where I know that once again we’ll be the team to beat. Our combination of car, drivers and team without a doubt is the strongest although sometimes you also need a bit of luck.”
By: richardo gonzalez PR