Long Beach: Farnbacher Loles Racing qualifying report

Farnbacher Loles Racing will start the American Le Mans Series race in Long Beach, Calif., from fifth on the GT2 grid. Marc Basseng of Leutenbach, Germany, qualified the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in one minute 20.788 seconds on the 1.968-mile ...

Farnbacher Loles Racing will start the American Le Mans Series race in Long Beach, Calif., from fifth on the GT2 grid. Marc Basseng of Leutenbach, Germany, qualified the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in one minute 20.788 seconds on the 1.968-mile street circuit, at an average speed of 87.696 mph. Basseng and Australian Alex Davison, currently racing from Ludwigsburg, Germany, will share driving duty in the 100-minute race on Saturday.

"Fifth is not bad, but it is not really good," Basseng said. "We had the possibility today to be third or fourth. I didn't get one lap really together; it's a shame. My last qualifying was more than a half-year ago, so maybe it wasn't a perfect lap for me. We lost maybe two- or three-tenths of a second, so the qualifying result could be better.

"But we saw in qualifying that the car is really good for the race, in consistency, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the race pace is. The team did a really good job this weekend. All through the weekend, we did good development, practice by practice."

tire talk

The Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche runs on Michelin tires, which have dominated American Le Mans Series competition since the series started in 1999. The tire company is looking for its 250th class win in the series this weekend. Michelin's ALMS logistics manager, Jerry Rinaldo, noted the teams have a choice of four types of tires this weekend -- and they may opt to use only one set during the race.

"Because Long Beach is such a tight street race, we've only brought four solutions of tires -- two solutions of soft and two of medium. If you have a hard compound, it's going to slide over here like grease. So you want more stick," he explained. "The reason for the two different soft solutions is for different heat conditions, so they'll grip better when they go to turn the corners. Then it's going to be all grunt out of the corners.

"The tires' wear should be good here because it's going to be cool tomorrow. There should be a lot of yellow [caution] flags because the course is so tight, so I suspect the teams have an opportunity to double-stint the tires."

-credit: flr

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Series ALMS
Drivers Alex Davison , Marc Basseng