The Alley

Smith, Mazda edge Graf, Aston Martin for Long Beach pole

Quality edged quantity in the battle for the overall and LMP1 class pole for Saturday’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, the second round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series season. In a seesaw, back-and-forth battle, Guy Smith in the Dyson Lola Mazda beat Klaus Graf in the Muscle Milk Lola Aston Martin to the pole. As the two cars were separated by about half the track, each driver exchanged the fastest time. Smith ultimately...

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BMW, Corvette up front on GT grid at Long Beach

Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW didn’t score a single pole position in 2010, but the defending GT manufacturer and team champions of last season have erased that statistic in 2011. Sacramento, Calif.’s Joey Hand nabbed the Long Beach pole position at a time of 1:19.090 in the No. 56 BMW M3. Teammate Bill Auberlen of Redondo Beach, Calif. made it a BMW 1-3 on the grid in the No. 55 car at 1:19.447. “Track position is...

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Gunnar gunning for Long Beach repeat from pole

One of the American Le Mans Series’ most extroverted and interesting drivers, Gunnar Jeannette returns to this year’s Grand Prix of Long Beach as defending champion in the LMP Challenge class. He’s doing it with a new team, CORE Autosport, and a new co-driver, Ricardo Gonzalez. “No pressure, right?” says Jeannette about the opportunity. It was a big deal when Jeannette — the youngest driver in series...

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Getting Miles Ahead … at 17

American Le Mans Series debutante Miles Maroney let his high school teachers know he was taking a sick day this Friday. This isn’t your typical sick day, however. He has a fever for racing, and the only prescription was more track time. Maroney, just 17, becomes the youngest participant in series history as he makes his first start in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09 in the LMP Challenge class. Maroney, just two...

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Fast Friday morning shots from Long Beach

The American Le Mans Series’ two-hour Friday morning practice session got the weekend rolling at the 2011 edition of the Grand Prix of Long Beach. An assortment of shots from ace photographer Rick Dole are now live in the “Galleries” section of MichelinAlley.com.

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