I put together two videos from the footage I got at the race. First, a “Sights and Sounds” video featuring work in the pits as well as on-track action from both the WeatherTech and Continental Tire SportsCar Championships. Second, I wanted to do a sound comparison of the new-for-2016 GTLM cars. Two raucous V8s were replaced by turbos; I thought it would be interesting to compare.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca rewards smooth and committed driving. Without the top speeds of Daytona or the stop-and-go cornering of Long Beach, cars and drivers need to keep their momentum up and maintain a high minimum speed through the corners. On paper, this should play right into the hands of the LMP2-based machinery.
This was my first opportunity to see the newly introduced GTLM cars from Ford, Ferrari, and BMW in person. The same can be said for the GT3-spec GTD cars as well. Both classes put on a great show. I’m already looking forward to next year and finding out what the prototype field will look like. I can only hope that it is as diverse and competitive as the GT fields.
As a bonus, the gallery also includes an audio clip to complete the experience. Click the speaker icon to enjoy the sounds of the PC and GTD cars as they exit The Corkscrew.
Unfortunately for Wayne Taylor Racing, their second consecutive Long Beach victory has largely been overshadowed by the Mazdas’ return to form and the questionable driving of Porsche’s Fred Makowiecki. Ricky and Jordan Taylor both drove fantastic stints and earned the first win for a Daytona Prototype in 2016. The Mazdas, finishing 4th and 5th, showed that they finally have the pace to race with the DP cars, beating the Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 handily in the process. This fulfills the promise of their new gasoline-fueled engine, just in time for their home race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The old airport runways of Sebring are an entirely different animal than the high-banks of Daytona. Rather than smooth asphalt, the cars were asked to navigate an uneven patchwork of several different surface materials, some portions dating back decades. The track puts intense stress on the car as well as the engineers and drivers tasked with finding a setup that works over the bumps. As such, it is a great opportunity to examine the relative performance of all the cars in a totally new environment and after several Balance of Performance (BoP) adjustments from IMSA.