Porsche GT Teams Fall Short at ALMS Mosport
The detour of the American Le Mans Series to Canada was not rewarded with success for the Porsche GT teams: After their second position in Lime Rock, the Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) went home empty-handed from round four of the season on the Mosport International Raceway east of Toronto.
The best-placed Porsche team was factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany) and America’s Bryan Sellers who secured fifth place in the GT class with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Falken Tire squad.
“We were running well the first part of the race, especially after our first pit stop, where we went into the pits in fifth place and came out in second,” said Henzler, the 2008 ALMS GT co-champion, “but the yellow flag penalty really cost us time. I saw the yellow flag in turn four, and was already more than halfway past a GTC car, but they gave me a penalty anyway for passing under yellow. It dropped us down to fifth place again, and we never caught up.”
With Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, four-time Mosport winner Joerg Bergmeister made a clean start and at times even took the lead. But right before a pit stop after the halfway point in the 2:45-hour race, the #45 vehicle lost fluid from the power steering unit. Following the repairs, Patrick Long rejoined the race with a nine-lap gap to the GT front-runners to finally see the flag in twelfth place. This yielded zero points for the title defenders.
“Our car ran very well over the whole weekend,” said Joerg Bergmeister. “During my stint we were always in the top three and even had the lead. But when I tried to avoid a slower competitor, I spun, we lost the lead and then the power steering went. It was simply bad luck.” Patrick Long said: “After the pit stop we collected a lot of data but unfortunately no points.”
At his maiden race in Mosport, Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) took over the wheel of the second Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports from his American teammate Seth Neiman while in 14th and pushed through to finish eighth.
“I am happy that Flying Lizard Motorsports has given me the chance to learn these two difficult North American tracks – Lime Rock and Mosport,” said Holzer, the newest Porsche factory driver.
“I was able to take the car in 14th position in GT and finish eight, and I had a great battle with former Porsche factory driver Sascha Maassen in the Paul Miller Porsche. I felt that I accomplished a lot when I was able to get by Sascha. I look forward to being back with the team at Road America next month,” he said.
The GTC class victory went to Americans Spencer Pumpelly and Duncan Ende in a TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The GTC race mirrored that of its GT brethren with multiple lead changes. It climaxed with Pumpelly`s last-lap pass on TRG teammate Dion von Moltke.
"My job was to get a good lead for Spencer," co-driver Ende said. "Spencer had the rough day, I knew if anyone could get us back in the race it was him. He had to dance with the flat spots but did a great job."
It was sweet redemption for Pumpelly and Ende in their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Not only did the duo barely missed out on a win at Lime Rock Park - the result of a last lap pass by von Moltke on Pumpelly - but Pumpelly was spun from the GTC lead earlier in the race.
"This might be the only race I`ve won twice," Pumpelly said. "We passed the (Black Swan Racing car) and then the (Alex Job Racing car) again. Next thing I knew I was going backward. Then I got to watch the GTC race for the lead while sitting backward. But I got back in the pits and the car was 100 percent after that. Even with some small flat spots, the TRG team put together a great car. Duncan did a great job putting us in a spot to win the race too. Great job by him today."
By: porsche motorsport