Viper Friday Morning Driver Change Practice

076a2937It certainly isn’t a novel insight to note that success on the track stands on the foundation constructed well before the race starts.  One of those key elements is the fluid changes of drivers on pit stops.  With three drivers in each car for the Petit LeMans, coordination is critical.  Team owner Ben Keating and driver Jeroen Bleekemolen were joined by Marc Miller for the event.  While Miller is a competent driver and has been in the Viper before, he is not a regular pilot.

Watching the driver change practice, Bleekemolen is clearly the leader.  Soft spoken but firm, he guides and directs the switches.  Even though each of the drivers has gotten in and out of a race car thousands of times, it is far easier to lose significant time in the pits than to gain it on the track.

This photo was taken at the end of the last practice before qualifying.  The three drivers have just finished practice and are doing a quick de-brief on the pit wall.  The practice must have paid off as the Viper took the GTD win in its last IMSA outing with Bleekemolen in particular driving an epic race.

Camera Settings – 1/320 shutter speed, f/13, ISO 100, 24mm.

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