PORSCHES IN A CLASSIC FACTORY BATTLE; THIRD, SIXTH AND NINTH IN AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES QUALIFYING AT MOSPORT IN CANADA BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - August 29 - The giant GT2 factory battle between Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, BMW, Panoz and Ford, now...
PORSCHES IN A CLASSIC FACTORY BATTLE; THIRD, SIXTH AND NINTH IN AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES QUALIFYING AT MOSPORT IN CANADA
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - August 29 - The giant GT2 factory battle between Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, BMW, Panoz and Ford, now the marquis competition in the American Le Mans Series, has taken shape for tomorrow's Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport as qualifying shows a bunched grid.
The top Porsche 911 GT3 RSR qualifier was the Farnbacher Loles Racing entry of Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Dirk Werner (Germany), which turned the third best qualifying time behind the two leading BMWs. Henzler qualified the car because co-driver Werner was in Montreal for the Grand-Am event, but ALMS has a rule that both drivers must drive the car in official practice sessions, so the car will have to start at the back of the field tomorrow.
"Our Porsche has been fast since we backed it off the truck here," said Henzler, who is the defending ALMS GT2 co-champion.
"We ran well in the practice just before qualifying, but, during the qualifying session, we found even more grip, and I was surprised with the good times we turned. Coming through the field from the back will be difficult as we are all running maximum down force, so we can catch up to people, but unless we can draft the cars ahead of us, we will have problems passing. Dirk will start in the car, so it will be his battle at the start," said Henzler.
After the two Corvettes in fourth and fifth is the Patrick Long (USA)/Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Long wasn't pleased with his qualifying position, but he felt the team made good progress towards the right race setup.
"Qualifying sixth (fifth now that Henzler is in the back) isn't anything to be excited about, but our focus is getting to a balanced car for the race. The positive part about qualifying was that we made a large step this afternoon in the right direction and we are closer to that goal than we've been all week. Before seeing the time sheets I would have told you that we were much closer to the leader's pace based on the feeling and the handling of the Porsche. Obviously there are a few of the new cars in GT2 right now which seem to be in a league of their own, but looking at the grand scheme of things we are confident going into tomorrow --it's about maintaining focus on our own program and being there at the end of the race. Outright straight-line pace is just one part of the equation: strategy, pit stops and consistency are also critical," said Long.
The #44 Flying Lizard Porsche of Johannes van Overbeek/Darren Law (both USA) qualified ninth in class with van Overbeek at helm, but they have to start at the back of the pack as well as Law did not drive any practice sessions because of the Montreal event.
The Melo/Kaffer Ferrari, which is trying to catch Long/Bergmeister in the GT2 championship points, crashed in practice and could not qualify. They hope to make the race tomorrow.