Mosport: Friday Notebook After seeing six of the first seven venues in the American Le Mans Series for the first time this year, Risi Competizione’s Pierre Kaffer will end 2009 with three familiar tracks. It starts Sunday with Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway.
Kaffer and Jaime Melo will try to give Risi and Ferrari its third consecutive class victory at Mosport. Melo and Mika Salo ironically beat Kaffer and Dirk Werner in the Farnbacher Loles Porsche last year.
“Since we arrived, we (the Risi team) have started from the base of last year,” Kaffer said. “We know that the lines are the same. The track is the same. What will make the difference is the weather. If it is dry, we will drive one line. If it is wet, we will drive another. Right now we will have to see what we drive, but we won here at Mosport last year and we hope to make this year better with another win.”
It’s off to a good start so far. Melo went quickest in Friday’s test session at 1:18.004.
DYSON’S DELIGHT AT MOSPORT: Lime Rock Park is the home track for Dyson Racing, but the team might be considered the home team this weekend. North America’s premier independent sports car team has a history of strong performances at Mosport over the years.
Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver were overall winners for Dyson in 2004 and 2005. The year before, Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace were LMP675 class winners. Dyson cars have captured three pole positions and posted the fastest race lap four times.
This marks the first time the team has brought its two new Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupes to the circuit. They stood second and third in P2 after Friday’s test session.
“So far we are very happy,” said driver and team principal Chris Dyson. “We’ve not tested here before but we do have experience racing in Lolas here and right off the truck, the car has been very quick.
“Mosport is a true drivers circuit,” he added, “a satisfying track that demands the highest level of concentration and commitment and very little margin of error. We are looking forward to our first win for Mazda in Canada.”
A WELCOMED RETURN FOR WERNER: Sunday will mark Werner’s first American Le Mans Series race since Long Beach in April. Farnbacher Loles Racing’s ace pilot, who will arrive at Mosport on Saturday night from another driving commitment this weekend, will drive with Wolf Henzler in the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
“It is good to be back driving with Dirk in the car,” Henzler said. “He arrives tomorrow night which means that we are going to have to start from the back and find our way through the field. But I know with Dirk he is fast and a strong competitor.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN – AMBULANCE DRIVER?: Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen has put in his share of storming stints in his American Le Mans Series career. However nothing beats his drive from Sunday’s Danish touring car race in what turned into a mad dash for the hospital with a pregnant wife going into labor in the passenger’s seat!
“It was about nine o’clock that evening after the race. We were about 90 minutes from the hospital when her water broke,” said Jan, who won two of the three rounds at Jyllandsringen. “I’m usually pretty calm under pressure but I drove like an absolute madman that night! We arrived at the hospital with no problems, and then I went home to pack a bag for her.”
About 12 hours later, Jan and Christina welcomed Luca Magnussen to the world. He was born a bit premature, the proud papa said, but doctors expect no problems. He joins big brother Kevin, last year’s Danish Formula Ford champion and now a championship contender in Formula Renault.
Jan will try for his fourth career victory at Mosport International Raceway on Sunday. All three previous wins have come with Corvette teammate Johnny O’Connell, and the two will pair up again this weekend.
Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 30. The race will air live on SPEED. American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche and Living Timing & Scoring will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com. Live coverage also can be heard on Sirius 126 in the US and XM 242. You can follow the Series on Twitter (almsnotes).
The race will also mark the eighth round of the 2009 MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge. Tickets are available at americanlemans.com and mosport.com.
And yes, the race will take place rain or shine.