PORSCHE PROTOTYPES CAPTURE FRONT ROW FOR LIME ROCK ALMS EVENT SATURDAY LAKEVILLE, Conn. - June 30, 2006 - Romain Dumas from France broke the outright American Le Mans Series qualifying record by more than one second in his Penske Porsche RS...
PORSCHE PROTOTYPES CAPTURE FRONT ROW FOR LIME ROCK ALMS EVENT SATURDAY
LAKEVILLE, Conn. - June 30, 2006 - Romain Dumas from France broke the outright American Le Mans Series qualifying record by more than one second in his Penske Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 prototype Saturday enroute to the pole position for tomorrow's New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
Dumas, who will co-drive with Timo Bernhard from Germany, not only topped the LMP2 class, but outdistanced all the more powerful LMP1 race cars, including the Audi R8 - which qualified fourth - to sit on the overall pole for the race, breaking both the LMP2 and LMP1 qualifying records. Also breaking both records was the Porsche RS Spyder team car, driven by Lucas Luhr from Monaco. Luhr and Sascha Maassen from Belgium placed second in qualifying, and will start along side Bernhard/Dumas for tomorrow's event, marking the first time Porsche has put two cars on the front row at an ALMS event.
"The Porsche factory engineers and Penske Motorsports crew have worked hard to improve the ride and suspension travel for the RS Spyder, and it handled the bumps and surface changes at this track very well today," said Dumas, who turned his fast lap on his third lap out.
"We had planned to do six laps. but after four fast laps, we decided to bring the car in. I think there is even more speed for the car here, but we will save it for the race," said Dumas, who won the GT2 class here last year with Timo Bernhard in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Five weeks ago at Mid-Ohio, Dumas/Bernhard were forced to the rear of the grid after pole-setting qualifying times because of a slight vehicle weight violation, but came back to score Porsche's first overall win in the American Le Mans Series since its inception in 1999. Maassen/Luhr were second in Ohio, marking the first time that LMP2 cars have finished one-two overall in the history of the series.
GT2 - Porsche, Ferrari, BMW Battle as Advertised
The Porsche 911 GT3 R/RS/RSR has earned the most pole positions in GT2 since the start of the American Le Mans Series, but at Lime Rock this afternoon, it was the new Risi Ferrari 430 which bested the class with Toni Vilander of Finland taking the top spot for tomorrow's race. Wolf Henzler of Germany, qualified the Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT2 RSR three-tenths of a second
behind the Ferrari, but their time was disallowed as IMSA found their rear spoiler to be non- compliant with the rules. Henzler will co-drive tomorrow with Johannes van Overbeek, who leads the GT2 points championship, and their car will start from the back of the pack.
The second Flying Lizard Porsche with Seth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik at the wheel, qualified fourth behind the PTG BMW M3, but both cars moved up to second and third after the disqualification of the Henzler/vanOverbeek car. The Patrick Long/Jorg Bergmeister Porsche was fifth and the Alex Job Racing Porsche driven by Klaus Graf/Mike Rockenfeller sixth. Long and Graf both spun during the 20-minute qualifying session.
The New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock, round four of the ten-race American Le Mans Series, will be held at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut on Saturday, July 1, from 3:00 PM EDT to 5:45 PM. The race will be telecast by CBS Sports on Sunday, July 2 at 4:00 PM EDT, and in Europe on Motors TV, also on Sunday. A live web radio broadcast can be heard on the American Le Mans Series web site - www.americanlemans.com. The ALMS site will also carry live scoring for the race. Porsche fans can see results and photos on www.porschemotorsport.com - a newly re-organized site for Porsche Motorsport activity.