David Donohue - A lap of Sears Point

David Donohue - A lap of Sears Point

Panoz Motor Sports is scheduled to contest the next round of the American Le Mans Series next weekend at Sears Point Raceway in California. The team will field three cars at the event - enabling its compelte Le Mans line-up of David Brabham, Jan...

Panoz Motor Sports is scheduled to contest the next round of the American Le Mans Series next weekend at Sears Point Raceway in California. The team will field three cars at the event - enabling its compelte Le Mans line-up of David Brabham, Jan Magnussen, Bryan Herta, Gunnar Jeannette, Bill Auberlen and David Donohue to compete.

David Donohue.
Photo by Darren Maybury.

David Donohue describes a lap around Sears Point:

Sears Point is a great challenge and probably one of the most difficult and challenging tracks in the country. I am really thrilled to hear of the fantastic improvements they are making to the track.

Coming down the straight after the hairpin there used to be a change in grip where you turned off the drag strip and onto the road course. That has now changed with the drags having their own separate strip.

As you head up the hill through the two left handers it is basically flat until you veer left and get set up for the right hander which is very slow and actually crests the hill.

You have to make sure you don't run out of road here at the exit because yon cannot see it as you approach.

You then face a steep climb as you head towards turn three and four. There are a lot of elevation changes through here and visibility is, again, quite poor. The flag marshals play a very key role here because of that limited vision.

The next right hander is quite tough because you actually have to brake a little earlier than what you would expect because the road is running downhill.

You then run flat-out down towards the carrousel which is quite tricky because there is a harsh bump just before turning-in which can upset the car.

There seems to be an endless variety of lines you can use on the way into the turn, but you always end up with the same exit line.

It is quite fast through here and bumpy. After a straight you hit the far hairpin at turn 7 and this is very slow and tight. Getting your exit right here is vital because of the fast bit of road that follows. The exit leads into the esses which is a rhythm series of corners - if you get the first bit wrong, it can really destroy your lap time.

You are carrying quite a bit of speed through turn 9 and the entry to 10 is tricky because you are still turning left, before having to make the right hander.

This is quite fast and there is not a lot of run-off here. The final hairpin at turn 11 is a key passing opportunity and similar to turn 7 - traction on the exit is vital for getting good straight line speed.

-panoz-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Bryan Herta , Bill Auberlen , David Donohue , Gunnar Jeannette