American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón – PC class
Qualified 3rd (8th overall)
Finished 4th (6th overall)
Archie Hamilton competed in his first American Le Mans Series race this weekend in California. He drove the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Oreca FLM09 alongside Mike Guasch and Memo Gidley in the six hour American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Memo Gidley took the qualifying honours in the #5 Muscle Milk/Molecule car, lapping in 1’ 18.114, to put the team provisionally on pole position, but by the end of the ultra-competitive session, the time was only enough for third in the PC class.
Mike Guasch was first to drive and despite leading in the opening stages had fallen to eighth when he handed over to Archie. After a strong and trouble free two and a half hour stint Archie had pushed through the ranks to second, with the leader in sight. Needing to pit for fuel and a driver change, Archie brought the car into the pit-lane just as the safety car was deployed, effectively losing the team a lap and negating Archie’s charge. Memo emerged for the final stint in fourth place. There was insufficient time to regain the podium positions that had been in reach and the car crossed the line fourth in class and sixth overall.
Mike Guasch, #5 Muscle Milk/Molecule Oreca FLM09
“We had a good race weekend all in all but we didn’t get the result we would’ve liked. All three of us drove well and there was no damage to the car which was one of the objectives coming into this six-hour race.
“I had a really good start and the car was great. I was able to get into the lead but unfortunately I went on to lose some positions.
“Both Archie, who was making his debut this weekend, and Memo had good stints. We were up to second at times and down to sixth at others, it was a back and forth battle that in the end didn’t quite go our way, but all in all it was a great weekend.”
Archie Hamilton, #5 Muscle Milk/Molecule Oreca FLM09
“It was pretty eventful for my first ALMS race. I got the car up to second but with the wave around procedure we got shuffled down the order. Without that I think we could have finished on the podium.
“For my debut it was pretty good. My lap times were good. I had a mistake-free run, I was managing traffic and keeping out of trouble, which can be very difficult. I’m proud that the team described my stint as impressive and knowing that I did a good job for such a prominent team in a major event is a great boost.”
Archie next races in the International GT Open at the Nurburgring circuit, Germany on 26th/27th May.