BERNHARD/DUMAS GIVE ALEX JOB RACING PORSCHES FIRST WIN AT MID-OHIO; COLLEGE STUDENT WINS IMSA GT3 CUP --The American Le Mans Series GT2 class defending titleholder Timo Bernhard, along with Frenchman Romain Dumas, driving the Alex Job Racing ...
BERNHARD/DUMAS GIVE ALEX JOB RACING PORSCHES FIRST WIN AT MID-OHIO; COLLEGE STUDENT WINS IMSA GT3 CUP
--The American Le Mans Series GT2 class defending titleholder Timo Bernhard, along with Frenchman Romain Dumas, driving the Alex Job Racing mail2web/Hyatt Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, had the fastest car in the American Le Mans Series GT2 class at Mid-Ohio, and fought off several competitors to win their first race of the season - and Alex Job's first win ever at the Ohio track-
LEXINGTON, Ohio - May 22 - Timo Bernhard, from Dittweiler, Germany, with Romain Dumas, from Ales, France, gave Alex Job Racing its first win ever at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course by grabbing the GT2 pole, taking the early lead, and turning back continuous challenges brought on by yellow flags to secure the win.
Bernhard/Dumas, who had fallen behind in the points chase after a DNF at the ALMS opener at Sebring, had the fastest GT2 car on the course, but the other Porsches in the field would challenge them when a yellow flag closed up the field.
"It was sunny and warm when the race started, and I didn't want to use up the tires early by being too aggressive, so my lead in the beginning was small. The car really felt good, however, and the clouds and falling temperatures allowed me to push harder. I got a good lead on the Patrick Long in the White Lightning Porsche, but then he would catch up on a yellow," said Bernhard.
"Timo gave me a great car after the first stint, but the #44 Lizard Porsche stayed out when we pitted under yellow, and they were hard to re-pass. When I finally got by, and Bergmeister was in second, I managed my lead to the finish," said Dumas.
The Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche of Patrick Long/Jorg Bergmeister was second, thanks in part to an early surge by Long, who took the car from the back of the pack to second place in GT2 within the first 30 minutes of the race. The car had been moved to the back of the pack after a clearance violation detected during post-qualifying inspection.
"This was a sprint race all the way, and our strategy was to push Timo and Romain hard, but finish on the podium to keep our points lead. Both Jorg and I kept the pressure on so we could be in a position to win in either of them made a mistake. With the second place finish, we now lead the GT2 standings by 19 points," said Long, who, along with Bergmeister and Bernahrd, will drive for Petersen at Le Mans in June.
The J3 Racing Porsche of Tim Sugden/Justin Jackson continues its strong run for 2005, scoring its second podium finish of the season with a third place, while the Tony Burgess/Mike Rockenfeller BAM! Porsche came back from a serious practice crash and an all-night engine change to finish fourth. Rockenfeller, Marc Lieb, and Leo Hindery will campaign the car, which will be entered by Alex Job Racing, at Le Mans.
After the fifth-place Liddell/Franchitti Panoz, sixth and seventh places went to the Flying Lizard Motorsports cars, both of which ran in the top three at various times during the event. The Johannes van Overbeek/Jon Forgarty Porsche was headed for a podium finish when a deflating right-front tire and a communications problem with his pit resulted in a front-straight-away spin into the gravel, ending his day with only 13 minutes remaining. The Lonnie Pecknik/Seth Neiman Porsche - the sixth-place finisher - led the race with one hour to go after going one pitstop up on the Alex Job car, but could not maintain the position. Pechnik, Neiman and van Overbeek are also headed to Le Mans in the Flying Lizard Porsche.
The race ended in a steady rain shower, but it started with only ten minutes left, and all the leaders maintained their positions without coming into the pits for rain tires.
The second Alex Job car, the #23 Bell Microsystems Porsche, started fast with Ian Baas at the helm, but Ian spun at the top of turn #11, and came to rest at the end of a blind turn. The #1 Audi and the #51 Panoz both hit the car, causing engine damage and a DNF.
IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE
In round #2 of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge, the 45-minute at Mid-Ohio held right after the ALMS event, Lawson Aschenbach, a student at Vanderbilt University, won an exciting event after taking the lead on the next-to-last lap to secure the victory in his Farnbacher-Loles King Automotive Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
Aschenbach, from Gaithersburg, MD, and pole-sitter Ricardo Imery, from Caracas, Venezuela - also in a Farnbacher-Loles Porsche - swapped the lead several times before Aschenbach out-braked his rival on a rain-soaked track, and held on for the win. Jay Policastro, from Latrobe, PA, climbed up to third after starting well back in the field in his Classic Industries Porsche. Mark Hupfer, from Indianapolis, was fourth, after his third place finish in Atlanta.
In the point standings after two races, Imery leads the series with 36 points (two second places), with Hupfer and Policastro tied for second with 30 points.