Laguna Seca Marks ALMS Debut for Adam Pecorari Aston, PA (October 24, 2006) - Laguna Seca made for the perfect location for Adam Pecorari's American Le Mans Series debut behind the wheel of Gunnar van der Steur's LMP2 machine. Just like the ...
Laguna Seca Marks ALMS Debut for Adam Pecorari
Aston, PA (October 24, 2006) - Laguna Seca made for the perfect location for Adam Pecorari's American Le Mans Series debut behind the wheel of Gunnar van der Steur's LMP2 machine. Just like the historic track they were competing on, the team had several highs and lows along with many twists and turns throughout the event.
Despite racing a fairly new package in the team's #19 EFC Systems, INC Radical SR9, the car was very strong from the opening of practice. The team worked hard, putting in long days and nights to further improve the car for race conditions according to Pecorari.
"We started off strong and worked to have a competitive car all practice long. We spent a few late nights working on the setup and by the time qualifying came Ben had a pretty good car.
Pecorari's first stints in the car left him impressed with the handling and speed of the new Radical and wanting more.
"It only really took a few laps and I was up to speed. The car is like a rocketship, amazing power and amazing downforce. I've never driven anything else like it."
Teammate Ben Devlin placed the car fourth on the grid in qualifying in the LMP2 class and was third fastest in morning practice leading up to the race.
"Ben qualified well and we knew we still had a lot of time left in the car. A podium finish was a very realistic goal going in to the four hour race."
The race started well with Ben setting a quick early pace in fact leading the field at one point, a first for the van der Steur team in ALMS competition. Leading the Penske team cars for several laps was a big accomplishment for this privateer effort according to Adam.
"We were actually winning the race directly ahead of the two Porsches for about seven laps until traffic got in the way and they got by Ben. Not just being able to race with, but lead stout competition like that is a testament to the hard work that Gunnar's team has put in to this effort."
The day took a classic endurance race turn with van der Steur behind the wheel as he made contact with a cone in the middle of the track and then one of the slower class cars resulting in an off track excursion.
"The car was moderately damaged and the repairs unfortunately put us about ten laps behind the leaders when I got in the car," noted Pecorari. "We were losing a significant amount of downforce and horsepower due to a broken radiator so I really had to nurse the car. Ben got back in for the final stint, but the car overheated too much and we had to retire."
Despite the bumps in the road, Pecorari was thrilled with the experience and thinks the team still accomplished much of what it set out to do entering this race.
"All in all it was a good weekend. We showed everyone we have the speed to be on podium, and we still have thousands of miles of development on the car to do. The car was fast and smooth and so much fun to drive. Hopefully this is just the first of many ALMS races for me. I have to thank Gunnar and his entire team for the opportunity."