The American Le Mans Series is over. Fifteen years of competition and friendships, perhaps now scattered to the winds. I say that with wistfulness more than negativity, because I get that things change, and I believe that change and evolution are good things. But it was hard to leave the friends I'd made at the end of the night, wondering if I'd ever see them again anywhere but on social media.
It was in the Series that the outlook was uncertain (and that the new series seems more like a buy-out than a merger). In the paddock, Petit was also simply another race to be run and struggled through and won. And 2014 promises nothing but new, exciting challenges, starting with the (former) ALMS teams taking part in the 24 Hours of Daytona, come January.
Pinning down my favorite memory from my experience with the ALMS was pretty hard, until I thought all the way back to the beginning. Sebring, 2004. Team media guy (and now good friend) Shane Mahoney took me from the pits, over pit wall and across pit lane to stand at the wall of the track. During the race. At night. Unforgettable!
And what I'm most excited about for the future is seeing the new Corvette C7.R out on track, whaling on the new GTLM competition. And as a really cool side note, I got to meet Harlan Charles in the paddock at Petit on Saturday. He's the product manager for the new C7 Stingray, and he's a reader. Fingers crossed he's going to like the book I gave him!
What's your favorite ALMS memory? What are you looking forward to in 2014?