TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH 2009: THE AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, May 17, 2009
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
(John Grafman photo) The Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series is a crowd thriller with models most attendees can relate to like the Porsche 911 GT3 and Porsche RS Spyder, Ferrari F430 GT, Viper, Doran Ford GT-R, and Corvette C6.R. Along with those are race cars that are far from street ready, like the new prototypes from Acura, and Mazda, and even an Aston Martin Vantage GT2. These magnificent flying exotics race around the 11 turns of the Long Beach course as if they were shot out of cannons. The win this year went to the Acura team, an LMP1 prototype (No. 66 car), piloted by Simon Pagenaud from France and Gil de Ferran from Florida . This dedicated team was able to hold off second place team (No. 9) Scott Sharp from Florida and David Brabham from the UK.
(John Grafman photo) The race ended early when a GT2 Corvette burst into flames. The screams and yells from the crowd were heard blocks away. However, the extraordinary driver of this Corvette, Boris Said, ran to safety and was uninjured. Who knows who might have won the race if it had gone the distance? However, as this wasn't the case, third place went to Mexico's Acura team (No. 15) Luis Diaz and Adrian Fernandez. This American Le Mans Series race was dominated by the prototypes. Completing the top five finishers were Mazda's team (No. 16) Guy Smith from the UK and Chris Dyson from New York finishing fourth, followed by another Mazda team (No. 20) of Butch Leitzinger from Pennsylvania and Marino Franchitti from the UK, finishing fifth. - Kurt Fuhrmann LA Car's Long Beach Grand Prix coverage: LBGP 2009: The Circus Comes to Town LBGP 2009: Pro/Celebrity Race LBGP 2009: The Molly Sanders Interview LBGP 2009: Drifting LBGP 2009: The Tanner Foust Interview LBGP 2009: American Le Mans Series LBGP 2009: IndyCar Racing LBGP 2009: Speed World Championship LBGP 2009: Racing Goes Green LBGP 2009: The Grand Prix Lifestyle