Sascha Maassen drives the No. 23 McKenna Xybernaut Porsche for Alex Job Racing. The team competes in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series. Here is Maassen's description of Mosport International Raceway, site of the next ALMS ...
Sascha Maassen drives the No. 23 McKenna Xybernaut Porsche for Alex Job Racing. The team competes in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series. Here is Maassen's description of Mosport International Raceway, site of the next ALMS race.
Mosport is Mosport, it's different. I don't know a track that's similar. It's a very quick track with a lot of high-speed corners. It's pretty bumpy, as well, and it goes up and down. It has everything in it, actually.
Corner number one is a very quick right-hander with an elevation change. It's important to get through this corner, going downhill and uphill again. That leads to corner number two where you have to brake over a crest. You have to brake just before it because if you brake afterwards, you are in big trouble. It's a double-apex left-hander in fifth gear, so very quick.
Corner number three is the first time you have quite heavy braking, down to third gear, right-hander. At the edge of the corner you have to keep the car tight - if you accelerate too early, you run out of road. Then the most interesting corner, four, going left and downhill. If you find the right line, you are incredibly quick there. If you don't find the right line, you are in incredibly big trouble! This corner is really, really quick. It's a fifth-gear corner, then heavy braking uphill toward the slowest corners, 5A and 5B.
5A is in third gear, you brake through 5A into 5B, another right-hander. It's the slowest corner but it's very important for the lap time because after 5B there is the long straight, so you definitely need to accelerate very well out of 5B. It keeps going up and uphill, and you come to some corners that are not really corners. You arrive in sixth gear at the highest speed, which is about 260 kilometres per hour.
Then corner eight, another fifth-gear corner, right-hander. Right after the right-hander, there's a quick left-hander and you have to change down to fourth gear. This one has very slippery tarmac; especially in the rain, it's very tricky. Then you come to the last corner, a right-hander, third gear. It is very bumpy and the grip is also bad. The last two corners have very old tarmac, so that's why they are so slippery.
Unfortunately, the prototypes overtake everywhere at Mosport because they are so much quicker through the quick corners. You look in the mirror when you exit the last one and you don't see anybody, and before the next one they are by. They are so much quicker, you cannot see them coming. It's quite wide so I have no problem, but it's a problem for them if they go offline and try to overtake on the outside!
It's not so easy in GT. If a car can get an advantage in engine performance, it can overtake easier on the straight. But if you have a similar speed, you have to risk a little bit. If you're better through a quick corner, then you have a chance to outbrake them for the next one. Everything always happens at high speed, so it's not an easy thing.
[To win at Mosport] Like always, stay out of trouble is the first thing. And stay ahead.