Cockpit temperatures over 130 degrees in Porsches as drivers test new parking lot course in Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 19 - The new 1.7-mile, seven-turn road course in the shadow of Robert F. Kennedy Stadium presented itself to the...
Cockpit temperatures over 130 degrees in Porsches as drivers test new parking lot course in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 19 - The new 1.7-mile, seven-turn road course in the shadow of Robert F. Kennedy Stadium presented itself to the 34-car American Le Mans Series field for the first time Friday morning, and the Porsche team drivers were pleasantly surprised, but no one minimized the task at hand.
"The track itself is quite interesting, especially the braking at the end of the front straight. The team that can master the heat, traffic and car set-up will win the race," said Sascha Maassen, current ALMS GT class points leader and senior driver for the #23 Alex Job Racing Xybernaut McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Maassen's co-driver, Lucas Luhr, agrees, and added there is no place for a driver to relax during a lap of the parking lot course.
"It's pretty much stop and go, and very busy. Because of the heat, it is going to be physically hard for us on race day," said Luhr, who co-drove the winning Porsche last month at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Lucas was also the fastest GT driver in the Friday afternoon session, turning a very warm 22 laps in the 98-degree F heat. Temperatures inside their Porsche topped 140 degrees F.
Kevin Buckler, who turned the fastest time in the GT class during the initial practice session Friday morning in his #66 Racers Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS, likes the virgin track surface, but said concentration will be the key."It's not a particularly difficult track, but you cannot overdrive the car and you have to pay attention at all times. The track is surprisingly wide and very smooth," said Buckler, whose has entered and driven the winning GT Porsche at both Daytona and Le Mans this year.
Both Buckler's car and the team #67 Porsche cut their afternoon session short to solve mechanical problems, with the #66 Buckler/Cunningham car suffering from shifter problems, and the #67 Schrom/Law car losing the cooling hose for the transmission. Both problems should be resolved before Saturday's qualifying session.
Porsche is seeking its 25th American Le Mans Series class win, dating back to the beginning of the series in 1999. No other manufacturer has reached 20 wins to date.
The American Le Mans Series Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C. will be broadcast live on the NBC television network starting at 1:00 PM Eastern time on Sunday, July 21. The race will be broadcast in Europe on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, July 28, at 20:00 Central European Time on the Eurosport television network. The Washington event, along with qualifying sessions starting Saturday, July 20, at 12:20 PM Eastern, will be broadcast live online on the American Le Mans Radio Network, which can be accessed on theWeb at www.imsaracing.net. That same American Le Mans Series/IMSA web site will also have live timing and scoring during qualifying and the race event.