AUSTRALIAN RYAN BRISCOE AND GERMAN SASCHA MAASSEN GIVE PENSKE PORSCHE RS SPYDER FOURTH STRAIGHT OVERALL ALMS WIN; BERNHARD/DUMAS GIVE PORSCHE ONE-TWO FINISH Johannes van Overbeek/Joerg Bergmeister give Flying Lizard Motorsports and Porsche its...
AUSTRALIAN RYAN BRISCOE AND GERMAN SASCHA MAASSEN GIVE PENSKE PORSCHE RS SPYDER FOURTH STRAIGHT OVERALL ALMS WIN; BERNHARD/DUMAS GIVE PORSCHE ONE-TWO FINISH
Johannes van Overbeek/Joerg Bergmeister give Flying Lizard Motorsports and Porsche its first win of the season in GT2
LAKEVILLE, Conn. -- With more than 150 Porsche owners and their families looking on from Lime Rock Park's "Porsche Platz," the Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyders scored a one-two overall victory as well as an LMP2 class win at the American Le Mans Series' Northeast Grand Prix today.
The #6 team car, driven by Ryan Briscoe (Australia) and Sascha Maassen (Germany) took the lead from the #7 Penske Porsche of Romain Dumas (France) and Timo Bernhard (Germany) when Briscoe passed Bernhard with only 25 minutes left in an action-packed two-hour, 45-minute event. Dumas had put his Porsche on the pole with a fast practice time after qualifying had been rained out, and he led the race for the first hour before handing the car over to Bernhard during the first of many yellow flags. Bernhard continued to lead with Briscoe running second until the final pit stops -- again under yellow -- when Briscoe's car go fresh tires and Bernhard stopped for fuel only.
"It was a good call by Roger Penske, as it gave Timo a quick pit stop to maintain the lead, but gave us fresh tires in case something happened and we had to battle the Acuras at the finish," said Briscoe, who has now won two races in a row overall -- Salt Lake City and Lime Rock - with Maassen.
"There were no team orders -- other than we better avoid running in to each other -- so, with fresh tires and a good run on Timo down the straightaway, I was able to get by him cleanly," he said.
Bernhard and Dumas still lead the LMP2 points chase after six events with 107 points -- they won overall at Long Beach and Houston, while Maassen and Briscoe are second with 98 points. The Acura team of Brabham/Johansson is third with 68 points. Porsche leads the engine manufacturers points over Acura, 119 -- 86.
Fourth overall and fourth in class was the Chris Dyson (USA)/Guy Smith (England) Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder. Smith put the car on the front row with a fast practice time, and Dyson was challenging for the lead early in the race when he was penalized for moving over in lane after the green flag dropped -- a decision the team disputed, but to no avail. The Dyson Racing Porsche team car of Andy Wallace/Butch Leitzinger was fifth in class and sixth overall.
In the GT2 class, the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driven by Johannes van Overbeek and Joeg Bergmeister -- after four second-place finishes, broke through for their first win of the season -- and the first win for Porsche's latest version of the 911 race car. The team was running fifth when the three Ferraris ahead of them crashed into each other in one of the most bizarre incidents ever witnessed in the American Le Mans Series. Then, they took the lead when the Rahal Letterman Porsche of Ralf Kelleners/Tom Milner had to pit for a flat tire. Kelleners/Milner settled for second place -- their best finish of the season. Despite the finish being their first win, the consistent podium finishes for Bergmeister and van Overbeek have put them into the GT2 points lead as the Ferrari crash left the former leaders -- Melo/Salo -- with only two points.
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix will be telecast on tape-delay on Sunday, July 8, at 1:00 PM EDT on CBS-TV.