MID-OHIO QUALIFYING HIGHLIGHTS PORSCHE/ACURA AND PORSCHE FERRARI RIVALRIES; RS SPYDER TO START ON LMP2 SECOND ROW AND 911 GT3 RSR ON GT2 FRONT ROW FOR SATURDAY'S RACE ALTANTA - July 18 -With the top seven qualifying positions overall separated...
MID-OHIO QUALIFYING HIGHLIGHTS PORSCHE/ACURA AND PORSCHE FERRARI RIVALRIES; RS SPYDER TO START ON LMP2 SECOND ROW AND 911 GT3 RSR ON GT2 FRONT ROW FOR SATURDAY'S RACE
ALTANTA - July 18 -With the top seven qualifying positions overall separated by less than one second, the Penske Porsche RS Spyder of Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) qualified third overall and third in the LMP2 class for tomorrow's American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, the Acura Sports Car Challenge.
Bernhard, who qualified the car, realized how close the qualifying session was, and thought the team had a good car for tomorrow's event.
"To be less than three-tenths of a second off the pole is a good position for us, and the car feels good. Romain and I have won this race two years in a row, and we both feel that we can get the most from the RS Spyder at this track," said Bernhard.
The de Ferran/Pagenaud Acura and the Brabham/Sharp Acura are just ahead the Bernhard/Dumas Porsche, with the Matos/Montagny Acura four. The other Porsche RS Spyders all qualified in the top ten, with the #6 Penske Porsche of Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) eighth overall (sixth in class); the #16 Dyson Racing Porsche of Guy Smith (England) and Chris Dyson (USA) ninth overall (seventh in class); and the #20 Dyson Porsche of Marino Franchitti (Scotland) and Butch Leitzinger (USA) tenth overall (eighth in class).
In the GT2 class for production-based sports cars, Dirk Werner (Germany), sharing the #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Richard Westbrook (England), held the provisional pole position for most of the 20-minute qualifying session, but lost out in the last two minutes to the Melo/Salo Ferrari.
Werner was disappointed not to gain his second straight pole, but he thought the crew had the car well set up for tomorrow's race.
"The Farnbacher Loles Porsche was very fast during qualifying, but the window to turn a fast lap during the short 20-minute session is only a lap or two, and I lost a tenth or two from traffic in both fast laps. You can't win the pole every week, and we started first at Lime Rock last Saturday, but we think the car is set up well for the race. There are many more opportunities for the prototypes to pass the GT cars here, so we should have less yellow flags than last week, and we are shooting for another podium finish," said Werner.
The #45 Flying Lizard Porsche qualified by Wolf Henzler (Germany) and shared with Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) will start third on the GT2 grid, just ahead of the Mueller/Farnbacher Ferrari. The second Lizard Porsche, qualified by Patrick Pilet (France) and raced with Johannes van Overbeek (USA) , starts fifth, while the third team car, qualified by Lonnie Pechnik (USA) and co-driven by Seth Neiman (USA) will start seventh. The VICI Racing Porsche, driven by Nicky Pastorelli and brother Francesco Pastorelli (The Netherlands) will start tenth on the GT2 grid.