PENSKE PORSCHES TOP TWO QUALIFIERS OVERALL FOR SATURDAY'S ALMS MID-OHIO EVENT; FERRARIS BEST PORSCHES FOR TOP GT2 GRID POSITIONS LEXINGTON, Ohio -- July 20 -- Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) will start on the pole for the...
PENSKE PORSCHES TOP TWO QUALIFIERS OVERALL FOR SATURDAY'S ALMS MID-OHIO EVENT; FERRARIS BEST PORSCHES FOR TOP GT2 GRID POSITIONS
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- July 20 -- Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) will start on the pole for the fourth time in seven rounds of the American Le Mans Series as Bernhard set a new qualifying lap record in the #7 Penske Porsche RS Spyder for Saturday's Acura Sports Car Championship at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Right behind them will be the team #7 Penske Porsche of Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Ryan Briscoe (Australia), with Maassen qualifying only two-tenths of a seconds back. Both cars broke the LMP2 qualifying record by four seconds.
Bernhard, who has earned three poles this season (Dumas has put the car at the head of the grid once), said the 20-minute qualifying session was not easy, as he entered the fray after many of the cars were already trying to turn their fast laps.
"It was hard to find a clear position on the track to put together a good lap," said Bernhard, who won overall here a year ago with Dumas.
"It was fun competing against Sascha for the pole, as both cars were running well. When the crew is making only minor nose and wing adjustments, you know that both the set-up and drive train are good. With the top nine cars within 1.5-second of each other on the grid, anyone can win tomorrow's race, but I feel we have the best team, so that gives us an advantage," he said.
When asked what he thought of his time within a second of the IndyCar times today, Bernhard said, "Let's bring the car out again on Sunday for the IndyCar event, and we will challenge them as a third Team Penske entry."
The Fernandez/Diaz Acura qualified third, followed by the LMP1 Audi R-10 of Capello/McNish. Fifth was the #16 Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder of Butch Leitzinger/Andy Wallace, while the #20 team Dyson Porsche of Chris Dyson/Guy Smith will start ninth.
It continues to be Porsche versus Ferrari in GT2, with the Ferrari capturing the pole this time with the Melo/Salo Ferrari capturing the class pole and Enge/Mueller Ferrari second. The top-qualifying Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was the Jorg Bergmeister/Johannes van Overbeek #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports entry, with Bergmeister doing the qualifying chores. He and Johannes currently lead the GT2 points, spurred on by their win two weeks ago at Lime Rock. After the Helary/Bruni Ferrari (fourth) is the fifth-place #71 Tafel Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Wolf Henzler/Robin Liddell.
The American Le Mans Series feature race will begin on Saturday, July 21, at 3:15 PM EDT, and last two hours and 45 minutes. That race will be telecast on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, July 22, at 2:00 EDT on CBS-TV.