Porsche, BMW, Ferrari and Corvette Stage Epic ALMS GT Battle at Road America; Flying Lizards Top Porsche with Fourth Place Finish with Pappas/Bleekemolen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Winning GTC
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin – August 20 – Although they never led the American Le Mans Series four-hour event at Road America’s four-mile sports car course, the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR ran with all the leaders all day, and their fourth place finish was certainly not due to lack of performance from the team or the drivers.
Defending class champions Patrick Long (USA) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) got all they could out of their Porsche race car, but it wasn’t enough to catch the winning Ferrari or the second and third place BMWs.
“We had a good day, and took the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche to the best result we could, with good performances from both the crew and the drivers, but fourth place was our best today. When the BMW can pass us on the outside in a place on the track that is not in a braking zone, it shows the situation the Porsche is in with the regulations ,” said Bergmeister.
“Our strategy put us in a position for a top finish, and our pit stops were perfect – and both Joerg and I had good driving stints, so we would have hoped for a better finish, but, at the end of the day, the Flying Lizards were happy with our day. The difference between fourth and first lies in an area that is outside of our control,” said Long.
The Wolf Henzler/Bryan Sellers Falken Tire Porsche finished in sixth place, and Henzler was pleased with the team’s performance as a follow-up to their Mid-Ohio win.
“As I drove the first and last stint, there was more pressure for the final hour of the race as we were fighting for finishing positions. This was Team Falken Tire’s best performance in the dry – our Porsche was able to keep up with the top Ferraris, Corvettes, and BMWs for long periods during the race – very satisfying for us. The tires are much improved, and our team worked very hard to keep us in the top six for the whole race. For those who saw my “pass” on TV, I remember going by the BMW, but I never even saw the GTC car on the other side!” said Henzler.
Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs occupied the next two positions as well, with the Paul Miller Racing Bryce Miller/Sascha Maassen GT Porsche in seventh place, while Marco Holzer/Seth Neiman were eight in the other Lizard Porsche after an extended run in the top six.
In American Le Mans Series GT Challenge, Tim Pappas/Jeroen Bleekemolen took the win in their Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup after surviving a last lap shunt and a last-turn flat tire to take the checkered flag, passing the TRG Porsche of Spencer Pumpelly/Duncan Ende. Bleekemolen’s Porsche Supercup teammate Sean Edwards ran out of gas on the last lap, and coasted to a third place finish, but was then given an 150-second penalty for blocking the field and the James Sofronas/Alex Welch GMG Porsche was elevated to third place in the final standings.
The Road America event will broadcast on ABC television at 4:30 PM EDT tomorrow, Sunday, August 21.