Intersport Racing Charges To The Front on the Mean Streets of Long Beach In a stunning comeback, Intersport Racing reasserted themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the flagship prototype division of the American Le Mans Series present by...
Intersport Racing Charges To The Front on the Mean Streets of Long Beach
In a stunning comeback, Intersport Racing reasserted themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the flagship prototype division of the American Le Mans Series present by Tequila Patron at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Throughout every session of the weekend, the No. 37 AER powered Lenco Mobile Lola turned fast lap after fast lap. Ultimately, come race day, the No. 37 car's dominant 23 lap lead was bested only by a single lap and the eventual race winning Acura of defending champion, Highcroft Racing.
With the drop of the green flag, Jon Field deftly maneuvered the No. 37 Lenco Mobile Lola into second position behind the Aston Martin driven by Harlod Primat. Content to wait for the right opportunity, Field craftily picked Primat's pocket on the restart. From there on it was all Jon Field and all the competition could do to keep the No. 37 car in their sites.
"The car was extremely quick and very comfortable to drive," said Field. "Once I was out front, I was able to use traffic and the characteristics of the track to maintain a comfortable lead. I really don't recall getting any pressure from the rear."
"Our guys did an fantastic job pulling this car together and having it ready for this race," Jon continued. "After the crash at Sebring, we were forced to go to our back-up car. Brian [Alder] and his crew literally rebuilt the car from the ground up, updating it with all the latest upgrades from Lola. Needless-to-say, they did a heck of a job-- they got it right."
After a pit stop for refueling, Clint Field climb in ready to continue the fight. On his out lap, Clint detected an odor of fuel. In a heads-up move, Clint quickly returned to the pits for the team to investigate the cause. The crew found fuel in the cockpit from an unidentified source so decided it was not safe to continue. While Intersport's day was cut short, the quick thinking on Clint's part avoided what could have been a bad situation.
"Dad drove the wheels of the car," noted Clint. "He had a great start and made a textbook move on the restart. He was perfect. We have so much fun watching him do what he does best-- go to the front. It was classic Jon Field-- he's great."
"The car is right," Clint continued. "Given the short schedule here at Long Beach, we've had very little time to get the car sorted out. The test at Putman last week was nothing more than a shakedown. We've yet to really work with the setups and see what else we can get out of it. I think it's fair to say we'll be ready for them at Monterey next month."
"I can't say enough about the team," Clint added. "Sebring was such a disappointment. But to their credit, everyone dug in and was determined to come back strong. Today's performance is a credit to their hard work. I think that was on dad's mind too. I know how he is. He wanted to pay these guys back with a good show and let them see the results of their efforts. This was a great weekend for us."
The No. 89 Quicksilver Oreca FLM09 made huge strides in only its second race with a fourth place finish in the LMPC class and 17th overall. After a tough 12 hours at Sebring, the team was enthusiastic about their Long Beach results. With Ben Devlin stepping in to mentor the drivers, everyone feels they're definitely heading in the right direction.
"I was really excited coming into Long Beach," noted California native, Brian Wong. "I have been coming to the Long Beach Grand Prix for years, but never as a driver. It might not be the most popular event on the schedule, but for me personally, it's really important. Being born, raised, and living just 30min south in Newport Beach, this is my home race. It was really cool to have all my family and friends out to support me."
"This was a much better weekend," declared Brian. "We still have a lot of work to do, but we're definitely making strides. Ben [Devlin] is a great addition to the program. I think he is going to help bridge the communication between us as drivers and the guys working on setting our car up. We'll learn and we'll grow."
"Long Beach is difficult for a couple of reasons," noted Brian. "First, I have no experience racing a temporary street circuit. Second, we had very little track time leading up to the race. Our practice went well with both Mitch [Pagerey] and I getting in the car and having a chance to get comfortable. We felt that if we kept our nose clean and staid off the walls, we could have a good shot at a podium finish."
"I felt my portion of the race was fairly clean," Brian concluded. "I fought my way up to fourth in class. Given Long Beach is a very tough track for passing, it was quite a challenge dealing with traffic. Overall, though, I thought that Long Beach was a really fun track and I enjoyed the great turnout of fans."
Mitch Pagerey jumped into the LMPC car for the second shift and brought the No. 89 Quicksilver prototype home fourth in class.
"Long beach was awesome," said an enthusiastic Mitch. "We finish ahead of where we started, had good race pace, and ran without damage. These are all things we needed to do-- so I'm very pleased. More importantly, he car was comfortable and well prepared for the week. For that, we need to thank Intersport and the No. 89 crew for all their hard work. On top of that, we had another flawless pit stop."
"The addition of Ben Devlin has just been great," acknowledged Mitch. "It is going to be huge for us having someone with Ben's experience to tap into."
"Lastly, as much fun as I have driving and being with this team," noted Mitch, "I have to say, it's amazing to be around Jon Field. To watch him drive and to share in his enthusiasm is priceless. I can only hope some of his freakish talent will rub off on me."
The next round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patrón.
-source: intersport racing