Friday, August 7, 2009

Gil de Ferran Takes ALMS Pole at Mid Ohio

One day, open wheel and sports car veteran Gil de Ferran announces he will step out of the Acura cockpit in ALMS and the next, he goes out and puts the car on pole! A winner at every level, de Ferran showed the P1 competition the way and led an Acura sweep of the top two class positions as Luis Diaz swept the Lowe's Fernandez machine into the first P2 slot. While the ALMS car count in P1 and P2 still eaves much to be desired with the departure of Audi this season, these cars are beautiful and sound even better. And there's probably no better place to showcase skills for the road racing crowd than Mid Ohio. For a Friday practice and qualifying day, the sports car enthusiasts were out in droves. I'm sure the place will be jammed to the gills tomorrow for the featured ALMS race.

The Indycars didn't get on track until late in the afternoon and you really needed a program today to keep everything straight. Robert Doornbos bailed out of Newman Haas Lanigan this week and is a teammate to EJ Viso at HVM this weekend. Oriol Servia jumped right into "Bobby D's" former seat and spent the afternoon session getting comfortable in the 06 car, not having been in an Indycar since May at the Indy 500. And who was in the 5 car normally piloted by Mario Moraes but Paul Tracy? I thought the helmet style with the Monster energy drink logos looked odd! The IRL and Lights qualifying sessions are tomorrow for Sunday races so it should be an interesting day. It is supposed to be close to 90 degrees the rest of the weekend so that will surely test everyone's stamina.

I covered about two-thirds of the track today and tried to go where the light was best. One of the great things about shooting road racing, especially at a track like Mid Ohio, is the variety of cars and angles to photograph. Now I'm sitting in a Super 8 and watching the Rolex cars at Watkins Glen on Speed TV, so it doesn't get much better than this. If only the photo meeting weren't so darn early tomorrow!

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