Laguna Seca is one of my favorite weekends on the IMSA calendar. It’s a great track with a lot of history, fun to drive, great restaurants nearby, and we’ve always run well there.
This year we went into the weekend knowing it was going to be a bit of a struggle. We knew for the championship we just needed to keep our focus on racing the Nos. 5, 31, and 90, so that’s what we did.
We were about a second or more off the pace to the Mazdas, so we knew they were pretty much untouchable for the weekend.
Ricky did a solid job to put us P4 on the grid. We were right in the mix with the other Corvettes, so it was still going to be a tough race in the middle of the pack.
This race was back to how we ran it in 2014, just Prototypes and GTLM. Almost every time we are together, the races so caution free, so we were expecting long green flag runs.
When the race went green, Ricky dropped to fifth into Turn 1, but was able to get right back by the No. 31 car into the corkscrew. I was so focused on watching our battle I didn’t notice that the Mazdas had pulled out a ten second lead in five laps.
Ricky was putting some serious pressure on the No. 5 car for the following 15-20 minutes. We have our onboard live in the pits, so we were able to see the No. 5 car struggling.
Ricky pressured him into a mistake through the corkscrew, which gave him an opportunity to make a move. Ricky made a great, clean pass into Turn 9, going to the inside.
Turn 9 and 10 are very quick corners where you usually don’t make passes. Without the mistake the No. 5 car made, Ricky wouldn’t have had that chance. We were pretty much past him by the time we got to Turn 10.
The No. 5 car was probably a bit frustrated after being passed there and never seemed to give up.
Turn 10 is just a brush of the brake before you turn in, so if you’re not wheel to wheel with the car you’re attempting to pass, you’re not going to get by.
He thought otherwise and went in there on the marbles and hit us on the right rear. It sent us both into the gravel.
By the time we were pulled out of the gravel, we were two laps down, so the race was over for us. Frustrating, but it’s part of racing.
At that point, it’s just damage control. I got in the car and all we could do was run to the finish and collect as many points as possible.
We’re just six points out of the lead of the championship, so we’ll head to Detroit and hope to get back to our winning ways on the streets of Belle Isle.