A hard crash by Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 Gainsco Auto Insurance/Bob Stallings Racing McLaren 650S red-flagged Pirelli World Series practice as it was minutes away from its end on Friday.
“We were on a sticker tire run, trying to make the most of it, and just pushed it a little bit too close, literally, to the edge,” said Fogarty, who was sore but uninjured. “And I clipped the apex wall in Turn 8 and it just fired me straight across, straight into the concrete barriers on the opposite side of the track, no tire wall.
“It sucks. Disappointed in myself, making that mistake. I’m fully aware it’s a street course, and the Red Mist, the desire to be at the top of the charts maybe got the better of me.”
Fogarty wound up third fastest with a lap of 1:20:086. The team was assessing the damage, which could prevent the team from competing on Sunday.
“This part of the sport is hard to stomach sometimes,” said Fogarty, who sits seventh in GT driver championship points. “Street course, a great weekend ahead of us with a lot of promise, and we’re hoping we can get the car together but it was a huge hit. Straight into the concrete barriers – immovable concrete barriers – so the car had to absorb a lot of energy. It did a good job keeping me safe, but it’s in pretty bad shape.”
If that doesn’t look like a reality for this Sunday we’re going to have to regroup and go try and get it done for Barber. It’s really disappointing.”
Michael Cooper, who is racing at Long Beach for the first time, was the fastest GT in practice with a lap of 1:19.671, followed by Alvaro Parente’s lap of 1:20:045 and Fogarty.
“It is exciting to be the fastest in the first practice in the Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe,” Cooper said. “I have studied the layout and put a lot of time in on the simulator to learn as much as I could about the Long Beach circuit. The team has a lot of data on the track and that also helps. When you get out there for the first time running between the walls you get a little claustrophobic. This race has a lot of history and I am looking forward to competing on it for the first time Sunday.”
Martin Fuentes was fastest in GTA with a 1:20.288 lap.