A few news and notes from around the paddock Saturday morning in advance of this afternoon's American Le Mans Series third round of 2012 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The race goes green at 4:30 p.m. ET this afternoon.
CONQUEST'S RECOVERY – Conquest Racing missed Friday's qualifying session due to a front suspension issue, but worked to repair the car after a rather freak incident. A front rocker post, a portion which the team said is not supposed to break, did anyway – and left the team scrambling to build a replacement part as there were no spares.
Luckily, the team found a nearby fabricator where a part could be constructed according to the original blueprint. Drivers Martin Plowman, David Heinemeier Hansson and Antonio Pizzonia were able to test the car in the truncated morning warm-up (see below), and Plowman ran a best lap of 1:17.640, second overall and best in P2 by nearly a second over Luis Diaz (Level 5).
The P2 class field has five cars this race, with Conquest's Morgan Nissan joined by the two Level 5 HPD ARX-03bs and new additions from Dempsey Racing (Lola Judd) and Project Libra (Radical Roush Yates).
FOG STOPS PLAY – The morning marine layer and thick fog that hung over Monterey caused two things to be changed. The ALMS was able to still have a warmup for just 20 minutes, from 10:40 to 11:00 a.m. However, the morning's autograph session, originally scheduled from 11:05 to 11:45, was canceled.
Klaus Graf set the overall fastest time of 1:16.999; Joey Hand led GT with a 1:24.084 in the BMW Team RLL No. 56 M3.
DYSON FIGURES OUT THE CHALLENGES – Dyson Racing has struggled to find a balance on its new Lola B12/60 Mazda coupe this weekend, although it appears to have finally dialed in a setup prior to qualifying. Guy Smith found nearly two seconds from the team's best practice time of 1:17.111, down to 1:15.358 in qualifying. The team's video below describes the challenges of this track.