Niclas JÃ¶nsson will race at two unfamiliar tracks this month, when the American Le Mans Series travels to Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. JÃ¶nsson, now living in Aliso ...
Niclas Jönsson will race at two unfamiliar tracks this month, when the American Le Mans Series travels to Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Jönsson, now living in Aliso Viejo, Calif., missed last year's ALMS race at Mosport because it was the same weekend as his wedding in Sweden. And the Mid-Ohio race is a new addition to the series this year.
But Jönsson is confident he can learn the tracks quickly. "With the very well-balanced car we have and the help from my teammate Bill [Auberlen] who has been to these tracks many times, I hope to be right there after the first or second practice session," he said. "One of my skills is to get used to tracks quite quick because I had to learn new tracks a lot of times when I ran European championships. The same happened last year in Australia -- I was on pace right out of the box -- so I think I'll be okay."
Jönsson had a fast start to the ALMS race at Portland International Raceway, where he led the GT class in the No. 10 BMW M3 GTR. "I got a real good start on the race and just maintained a good pace to save tires and make sure I kept the other cars behind me," he said. "I probably could have gone a bit faster, but I would have ruined my tires and dropped back later on. So I just paced myself and ran as fast as I needed to."
Jönsson has logged a lot of miles this month. He attended the BMW Car Club of America Oktoberfest event at New Hampshire International Speedway, then flew to Washington, D.C., for the announcement of next year's capital city race. He also drove two exhibition sessions at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during the CART race weekend and visited the BMW Team PTG shop in Winchester, Va.
safety tip #5
Jönsson says safely navigating hills is as important in street driving as it is on track. His advice: "Stay to the right as much as possible. Don't get too close to the middle of the road because you don't know what will show up on the other side of the hill. Slow down, don't feel any pressure from the cars behind and make sure you get over the hill safely. Going down the hill, you definitely have to watch your speed because the bottom of the hill can be a sharp corner or a big dip, which can throw the car out of control."