2006 DRIVER LINEUP NAMED FOR PENSKE PORSCHE RS SPYDER
Four American Le Mans Series Champions among six drivers named for two-car team
ATLANTA, November 24, 2005 - The six-driver lineup that will pilot the two Penske Porsche RS Spyders in the American Le Mans Series for the 2006 season was announced today.
Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr, who drove the car to its inaugural LMP2 class win at Laguna Seca last month, and Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, who teamed up for a very successful ALMS GT2 season in 2005, will be the season-long team drivers. For the longer races - the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta - requiring three drivers, Emmanuel Collard and American Patrick Long will join the regulars.
Maassen, originally from Germany and now living in Belgium, is the most successful GT driver in American Le Mans Series history (22 wins) and has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring (four times) and the ALMS GT2 championship (three times). Luhr, also originally from Germany and now living in Monaco, has also won at Le Mans, also won Sebring four times, and shared in the ALMS GT2 championship with Maassen 2002 - 2003 - all in Porsche 911 GT3 RS/RSR race cars. Lucas and Sascha moved on to the European FIA-GT N/GT series in 2004, where they won the championship in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Bernhard (Germany) and Dumas (France) won four ALMS GT2 events in 2005 in their Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, and finished a close second in the year-end championship. Bernhard won the ALMS GT2 title in 2004 with co-driver Jorg Bergmeister. Emmanuel Collard, originally from France and now living in England, has won a race in ALMS (with Maassen and Luhr at Petit Le Mans in 2004), and most recently at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Patrick Long, originally from Los Angeles and now living in Las Vegas, as the only American employed as a Porsche factory driver, teamed with Jorg Bergmeister this year to win the American Le Mans Series GT2 class championship in the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Also, Long and Bergmeister were named to the American Auto Race Writers and Broadcasters (AARWBA) All-American racing first team last week for their accomplishments. Long has won the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, both with Petersen/White Lightning.
The Penske Porsche RS Spyder is supported by Porsche's racing partners led by DHL Global Mail, Mobil 1, Hyatt Hotels, Michelin, and ZF Sachs AG. At the car's debut at Laguna Seca last month, Maassen and Luhr put the RS Spyder on the LMP2 pole, and ran a flawless race, stopping only for a drivers change and fuel/tires during the four-hour event.
Commissioned by Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) and Porsche Motorsport North America for racing customers who compete in the LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype 2) class of the ALMS, the Porsche RS Spyder features a completely new Porsche engine, transmission, and chassis, all incorporating the latest in Porsche automotive technology and created to conform to new 2006 rules and regulations of international sanctioning body Automobil Club de l'Ouest. Penske Motorsports, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Racing, Inc., will field the new Porsche prototype in the entire 2006 ALMS season starting with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., and its subsidiary, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd., are the exclusive importers of Porsche sports cars and Cayenne® sport utility vehicles for the United States and Canada. A wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG, PCNA employs approximately 300 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 209 U.S. and Canadian dealers. They, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service.