Long Beach: Porsche Motorsport qualifying report

PORSCHE RS SPYDER, 911 GT3 RSR ON FRONT ROW OF RESPECTIVE GRIDS FOR SATURDAY'S AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES STREET RACE IN LONG BEACH LONG BEACH, Calif. - April 13 - Unlike two weeks ago on a similar street course in St. Petersburg, where American Le...

PORSCHE RS SPYDER, 911 GT3 RSR ON FRONT ROW OF RESPECTIVE GRIDS FOR SATURDAY'S AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES STREET RACE IN LONG BEACH

LONG BEACH, Calif. - April 13 - Unlike two weeks ago on a similar street course in St. Petersburg, where American Le Mans Series qualifying was cut short by multiple crashes, all the classes at Long Beach stayed on the course during Friday's late afternoon session. The results showed the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 prototype and the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR earning front-row grid positions in their respective classes.

In LMP2, the number six Porsche RS Spyder, prepared by Penske Motorsports, Ryan Briscoe (Australia) held the overall pole position for the latter part of qualifying until one of the Acuras edged ahead on the last lap. Still, Briscoe, who will share his ride with Sascha Maassen (Germany) for tomorrow's event, is optimistic as he thinks he can go faster.

"The Andretti Green Acura drivers have a lot of experience on this circuit, and I was just beginning to feel comfortable when the session ended. Even with that, they just nipped us on the last lap," said Briscoe, who won the LMP2 class with Maassen two weeks ago at St. Pete.

"The Penske team figured out the set-up very quickly, and I am looking forward to being very competitive for the race," he said.

Right behind the Briscoe/Maassen entry is the Penske team Porsche RS Spyder of Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France), with Bernhard turning the fastest time during the first portion of the qualifying session. The first LMP1 racer, the Audi R10 diesel driven by both McNish and Capello during the session, was fourth overall.

The Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyders qualified sixth and seventh in class, with the Andy Wallace (England)/Butch Leitzinger (USA) car just ahead of the Chris Dyson (USA)/Guy Smith (England) team racer.

GT2 - Porsches second and third

In GT2, the number 44 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Darren Law (USA) and Patrick Long (USA) qualified second in class, right behind the Melo/Salo Ferrari. Long, who qualified the entry for the Lizards, was less than three-tenths of a second back, and pointed out the Porsches are closing the gap on the Ferraris.

"I was really pleased with the setup on the #44 Lizard Porsche, especially with the limited practice time we had here in Long Beach. I am also gratified that Flying Lizard principal Seth Neiman gave me a chance to drive at this race in front of my hometown friends and family," said Long, who grew up in the nearby San Fernando Valley.

"The Ferraris are a year ahead of us in development of their car race car, but, with the new 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, type 997, we are closing the gap quickly," he said.

Right behind Long/Law was the number 45 Lizard team Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister (Germany)/Johannes van Overbeek (USA) - third on the GT2 grid, with the Tafel Racing Porsche of Wolf Henzler (Germany)/Robin Liddell (England) fifth.

-credit: porsche

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Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Smith , Butch Leitzinger , Robin Liddell , Sascha Maassen , Darren Law , Jörg Bergmeister , Johannes van Overbeek , Ryan Briscoe , Romain Dumas , Wolf Henzler , Chris Dyson
Teams Dyson Racing