After dominating at Laguna Seca in 2011 with pole position and a race win, anticipation ran high as Brumos returned to scenic Monterey, California for this season’s event. Although hoping to repeat their previous success, it quickly became apparent that the team faced a tougher challenge for 2012. Despite initial struggles with set-up, progressive improvements were made, enabling Leh Keen to turn the fastest lap in the final pre-race practice session. Andrew Davis put the Brumos #59 Porsche 911 GT3 on the 2nd row with a strong 3rd place qualifying effort. Pit stops were fast and strategy on target as Davis closed out his stint and the car was handed off to Leh Keen. Keen was making a strong run and led the race for 9 laps, but the car developed severe handling problems, making it impossible to mount a serious challenge. Strategy with fuel played out perfectly, with the #59 going on reserve on the final lap, enabling Brumos to hold on for a 6th place finish. The result allowed Brumos to remain in 5th place in the team championship standings, narrowing the gap to within 12 points of 2nd with one race remaining for 2012.
Leh Keen described the weekend as a tough one, saying, “The guys worked really hard. We didn’t come off the truck that well, but every change we made was a positive, so hats off to the crew for that. Andrew did a great job in his stint, keeping us up front. Then, when I got in the car, we were running well and keeping pace, but at the end of my first stint, the car just dropped off. The tires were starting to go away, but the car became really difficult. We came in and took new tires, so I was expecting to see improvement, but it was never there for me again. There was no grip - the car was unbalanced with understeer and push. After the race we found a problem with the rear sway bar which certainly made a big difference. This track is really hard on the undercarriage in different parts of the course, especially in the corkscrew where there is an extreme amount of compression. So it was a difficult weekend all around, but we’ll keep working hard and Brumos will be ready for a big finish.”
For Andrew Davis, finishing in the top ten was a positive, but not all that he had hoped for at Laguna Seca. “Since this was the site of our great victory last year, it was obviously disappointing that we didn’t repeat,” he said. “Over the long run we just didn’t have quite the car we had last year. Brumos was the only team that actually stretched the fuel out to that last minute, so I was happy with how well our strategy played out, but unfortunately, the pace just wasn’t in the car for us to challenge for the win. Leh drove a great closing stint and we came away with some good points, so I’m proud of the effort everyone put forth. When you struggle to find pace from the beginning you have to push really hard, but our guys never gave up fighting. It is always good to have Brumos behind you, because you know you are going to get the best effort. Now with one race to go we are running out of time for a victory this year, so we’ll focus on the next race and we will give it our all.”
The 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Series finale race will be held at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT, on Saturday, September 29th. It is scheduled for a start time of 3:00 PM ET.