Sebring 12 Hours
Porsche factory driver Richard Lietz sets best time in new Le Mans GTE-AM class; Flying Lizard Porsche Sixth in GT
Sebring, Fla - March 18 -- At the wheel of his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Porsche works driver Richard Lietz secured an excellent grid position for the Sebring 12 hour race. In qualifying for the oldest sports car race in the USA, which kicks off this year's American Le Mans Series on Saturday, Lietz posted the quickest time in the newly-created GTE-AM sports car class in the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Proton Competition. In this class, the regulations permit one professional race driver only per vehicle. His teammates are Christian Ried (Germany) and Italy's Gianluca Roda.
"In the lap where my tires had the best grip I didn't get a free run, otherwise I could have been another tenth of a second faster," said Richard Lietz. "But still, our team is totally happy with the best time in the GTE-AM class at our first outing in Sebring."
In the GT class, Porsche factory pilot Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) was the fastest Porsche driver. In the cockpit of Flying Lizard Motorsports' 911 GT3 RSR, the title defender posted the sixth fastest time on Friday. Bergmeister shares driving duties with his works driver colleagues Patrick Long (USA) and Marc Lieb (Germany). American Bryan Sellers, who teams up with Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany), takes up the race from position twelve with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Team Falken. The Paul Miller Racing Porsche with Bryce Miller (USA)/Rene Rast (Germany)/Sascha Maassen (Germany)qualified 17th,
"Over the last few days we concentrated on finding a good race set-up," Joerg Bergmeister said. "For the qualifying we tried out a couple of changes, but they didn't work. I'm obviously not entirely pleased about sixth on the grid, but it's more important to have a consistently fast car at a twelve hour race than a good grid position."
In GT Challenge, the Bill Sweedler/Brian Wong/Leh Keen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, with Keen at the wheel, recovered from an accident on Thursday that totaled the car to put the #23 Alex Job Racing Battery Tender entry on the pole in class.