Detroit: Porsche qualifying report

DYSON RACING RS SPYDER TOPS PORSCHE LMP2 QUALIFYING AT DETROIT GRAND PRIX; HENZLER CAPTURES GT2 POLE FOR FLYING LIZARD PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR ATLANTA - August 29 - Guy Smith (England) put the Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder on the inside of the...

DYSON RACING RS SPYDER TOPS PORSCHE LMP2 QUALIFYING AT DETROIT GRAND PRIX; HENZLER CAPTURES GT2 POLE FOR FLYING LIZARD PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR

ATLANTA - August 29 - Guy Smith (England) put the Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder on the inside of the second row after qualifying third overall - and third in the LMP2 class - for tomorrow's Detroit Sports Car Challenge Presented by Bosch.

Smith, who, with co-driver Chris Dyson (USA), is fifth in LMP2 points, was fastest RS Spyder in qualifying, outdistancing his Dyson Racing teammates Marino Franchitti (Scotland)/Butch Leitzinger (USA), who qualified eighth, and the two Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyders, which qualified sixth and seventh. The Brabham/Sharp Acura was first overall, with the de Ferran/Pagenaud Acura second. In all, LMP2 race cars took the top seven positions.

"Our Dyson Racing crew, led by Stefan Dwornik and Peter Weston, set the car up perfectly despite the limited amount of track time earlier in the day because of the rain, and the car felt well balanced during the qualifying session. I thought we even had the potential for a better lap, but traffic prevented a really clean try," said Smith, a former 24 Hours of Le Mans overall winner.

The Penske Porsche RS Spyders both had challenges during qualifying, with the Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) car plagued with electrical problems and the Patrick Long (USA) and Ryan Briscoe racer missing the set-up after limited track time earlier in the day due to the rain.

"The Bernhard/Dumas car had the right set-up, but electrical problems prevent Timo from using full power during qualifying, so he only turned a handful of laps with limited revs and shifting ability," said Dieter Steinhauser, head of the RS Spyder program for Porsche AG.

"Because of the limited amount of dry track time earlier in the day, we decided to use the qualifying to test our race set-up, and the Long/Briscoe car had the wrong set-up for Patrick's qualifying effort. While the other car had the right set-up, it was hampered by the electrical problems. In all, we have all the information we need for our race set-up, but it was not soon enough for good qualifying," said Steinhauser.

The Porsche-Ferrari battle continued in the GT2 class, with Porsche winning the pole position this time in Detroit. Wolf Henzler (Germany), driving the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, put the car he will share with Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) first on the grid by only three hundreths of a second over the Melo/Salo Ferrari for tomorrow's event. For Henzler, it was his third pole of the season - second on a street course - as he says he likes the precise driving needed to go fast on street circuits.

"With no run-off area, you must drive perfectly on a street course to keep the car off the wall, and I am at my best under those conditions," said Henzler, who also won the pole on the street course at St. Petersburg.

"We were really at a disadvantage after rain this morning as we didn't have time to secure a good set-up, but the Lizard crew guessed right and I was pretty fast from the beginning of qualifying. I knew I could go faster, and the crew brought me in for a tire pressure adjustment, and that made the different. With Joerg and me trying to expand our lead in the GT2 drivers championship, it is a big advantage to start on the pole," said Henzler.

The Mueller/Farnbacher Ferrari was third in GT2, followed by the second Flying Lizard Porsche qualified by Patrick Pilet (France) for himself and co-driver Johannes van Overbeek (USA) in fourth place. The third Flying Lizard Porsche, qualified by Porsche UPS Junior driver Martin Ragginger (Austria), was seventh in class, less than a second out of fifth position. Ragginger, who was fastest in the rain during the morning session, is currently competing n the Porsche Carrera Cup series in Germany, and this is his first American Le Mans Series race. Ninth in class was the VICI Racing Porsche, qualified by Marc Basseng (Germany), which had exhaust manifold problems left over from its accident last week at Mosport.

-credit: porsche

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Smith , Patrick Long , Marino Franchitti , Johannes van Overbeek , Ryan Briscoe , Romain Dumas , Wolf Henzler , Patrick Pilet , Marc Basseng , Martin Ragginger , Chris Dyson
Teams Team Penske , Dyson Racing , Flying Lizard Motorsports