Today marks the 2nd round of the American Le Mans Series at the temporary street circuit of Long Beach, California. This is our Monaco.
Qualifying was rain delayed, then canceled. You can watch the race live on ESPN2 (starting at 7:30 EST) and streamed live on ESPN3 (starting at 7:15 EST). You can find other ways to watch at alms.com.
You may be asking yourself, “With no qualifying, how is the starting order determined?” Good question. Starting order for this race is determined by the point standings coming out of Sebring. New teams get to start at the back of the pack in their class.
What to watch for:
* Carnage. Practice sessions were dogged by heavy rains. Only the GTC cars got some dry time on the track during their qualifying run. No one has really been on the track in the dry.
* More Carnage. This is a street track – a temporary “race track” in the heart of the city. As such, there is no “grassy run off”, no “kitty litter” to slow you down. Mix in multiple classes of cars. Little, to no, practice time. New cars / teams / engineers with very little setup information. Adds up to the potential of watching $500,000+ ~ $2+ million dollar race cars “go squish” against the cold, hard, carbon fiber and composite crushing, cement walls of Long Beach.
* The battle in GT. We have new blood and some old blood looking to make a statement. Lotus makes its GT debut with it’s Evora. Aston Martin makes a welcome come back to the series with it’s beautiful #007 Vantage. Flying Lizard Porsche will be out trying to prove they still have what it takes to lead the class. Falken Porsche has proven they have that little “something extra” to win on street circuits with last years win in Baltimore. BMW, Chevy, and Ferrari round out the mix of cars in GT, all vying for the podium.
* In GTC, look for Valiante to battle his way to the top of his class. During the brief qualifying for GTC, Valiante put down some impressive times, with a fantastic battle against Leh Keen for pole.
And astute watchers might be wondering why there is a black stripe on all the Porsches? A tribute to Ferdinand Porsche who died last week.
[photo credit: ALMS.com]