Laguna Seca: GT drivers - voices of Monterey

VOICES OF MONTEREY: THE GT2 CLASS Dirk Werner: "The track just provides a good facility for the last race because it has so much atmosphere."Click here for Hi-ResIs there a better place to close the American Le Mans Series' season than at Mazda...


Dirk Werner: "The track just provides a good facility for the last race because it has so much atmosphere."Click here for Hi-ResIs there a better place to close the American Le Mans Series' season than at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca? The Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patron has proven over the years to be a fantastic finale with a four-hour race into the California darkness. One of the remaining championships in play is the GT2 manufacturer battle between Porsche and Ferrari with the German marque leading by 15 points with 25 available for the race.

Dirk Werner, Farnbacher Loles Racing
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

"Laguna's really an awesome area. The weather still is nice. I think that's a big reason too, and the track is just awesome. It has obviously the famous corners like The Corkscrew. And I think that the track just provides a good facility for the last race because it has so much atmosphere. I guess every driver just likes to go there because it's so nice and the track is really challenging to drive. I think it makes sure there is a lot of action going on.

"It has a lot of elevation changes; the surface is very smooth. The track just has a very nice layout; it has slow turns, it has fast turns. It has hard braking areas. It's easy to get an opportunity to overtake somebody if you set them up right. And it has the famous Corkscrew corner which is really one of the most challenging corners you'll find because it's blind and then goes downhill so you don't see where you want to go. The track is just really state-of-of the art.

"It is just a special place for fans to come because you have a great view on the track, and I think the fans like to come there because the championships will be decided there. We showed a strong performance in the last few races, and our goal is to be up front by the end of the race. The car has been fast, the driver lineups have been good everywhere and we just want to show that we are ready to win another race. We just want to get paid off for all the work that everybody has put into the effort."

Risi Competizione and Tafel Racing have led the Ferrari contingent this year in the American Le Mans Series' GT2 class.

Dominik Farnbacher, Tafel Racing
Ferrari F430 GT

"My goal is, of course, to win the race and to give the team something they deserve after working so hard during the season. Before last year I only knew Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from watching MotoGP and playing Gran Turismo on my Playstation. My motivation for this race is that I love the track, the hills and elevation changes. I only drove Laguna once in my life, and that was last year when Wolf (Henzler) and I got second with Tafel Racing. It was a very good feeling when we had such great success last year. So I have a new goal for this year's race: last year second, this year first."

Nic Jonsson, Risi Competizione/Krohn Racing
Ferrari F430 GT

"The number one way to have a successful car is to last the whole race and have a pit crew that does not make mistakes. We have both of those every race with Risi Competizione. They are very meticulous in the preparation and the guys are fantastic and a first-class crew, along with first-class equipment. It's a pure team effort to be able to achieve the results we've had in such a tough environment. As far as the car is concerned, I think the Ferrari has shown to be very good on braking and good to put power down, but Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a very low-grip track. They actually resurfaced the track a few years ago and it's still very slippery because of the sand that blows across the track all the time. It's like polished asphalt. I think though it should be a very good track for the Ferrari because the geometry on the car helps it get good traction."

Mika Salo, Risi Competizione
Ferrari F430 GT

"There are some tricky parts and some similar corners to some of the street circuits we've raced at this year. When you first race there it's more difficult maybe to memorize than most of them because of the elevation changes, and also the low grip is an issue there. It's a beautiful track and a nice place, the whole area. I really enjoyed it the last two years and we're just going to try to repeat the same thing this year."

Flying Lizard Motorsports enters its home race with the GT2 driver and team championships

Jorg Bergmeister, Flying Lizard Motorsports
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

"Definitely for Flying Lizard Motorsports it's a home race; there's going to be a lot of people there. Also my wife's family is from the Bay area so it's a home race for me as well. So I'm really excited to be there. The fans there are really supportive, so it's gonna be a great race for us hopefully.

"It's a very challenging track. You always have to watch out for sand on the track or if someone drops a wheel right in front of you. And also there's always a compromise. You have some really slow corners, but also some fast corners so you have to get the right mix for the car and the setup.

"(The Corkscrew) is fairly challenging because it's completely blind, so on the corner you don't really know where you're going. You're trying to orientate yourself with the trees that are there. And after a while you get used to it but it always takes for sure a couple of laps to know where you're going."

Patrick Pilet, Flying Lizard Motorsports
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

"A lot of drivers talk to me about the track and they say it's a really nice track, it's a famous track in the U.S. I'm ready, happy to go to the last race of the season. There will be a lot of guests for Flying Lizard, for me too, and I hope we finish with all the cars on the podium; that's a happy end for the team. It's my first season in the American Le Mans Series, and it's too short for me. I need more races but I think it's a good end to finish with Laguna for sure."

The final round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series is the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patron from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The four-hour race into darkness is scheduled to start at 2:45 p.m. PT on Saturday, October 18. NBC Sports will air the race from 2 to 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 19. XM Satellite Radio's Channel 144 will air the race from 4 to 8 p.m. ET on the same day. Live video of qualifying will be available on starting at 3 p.m. PT on Friday, October 17. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage on, which also will feature Live Timing & Scoring.

-credit: alms

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Nic Jönsson
Teams Krohn Racing , Risi Competizione , Flying Lizard Motorsports