Porsche Wins Drivers, Manufacturers Titles With All Road Racing Sanctioning Bodies Including IMSA, SCCA and Grand American Series
ATLANTA - December 8 -- Porsche Motorsport North America customers won championships in every major racing series in the United States in 2004, including the IMSA/American Le Mans Series, Rolex Grand-American Sports Cars, Grand-Am Cup, and Sports Car Club of America National Championships.
"Our customers have again proven that a combination of careful preparation, smart driving, and a good car creates the opportunity for championships," said Uwe Brettel, president of the Santa Ana, California-based Porsche Motorsport North America, the division of Porsche AG that handles motorsports in the U.S.
"Even with changing rules and the usual movement of drivers and teams, we are confident that Porsche will again be prominent in U.S. road racing for 2005," said Brettel.
In the 2004 American Le Mans Series, German Timo Bernhard captured the GT- class driver's title in his Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, finishing ahead of his co- driver Jorg Bergmeister, who missed one race due to illness. The Alex Job Racing Porsches, along with Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsches, the White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Porsche, The Racers Group Porsches, the BAM! Porsche, the J3 Racing Porsche, and the PK Sport Porsche - all strong competitors in the series - enabled Porsche to win the ALMS GT Manufacturers Championship as well for the fifth time in the six year history of the series. Alex Job Racing, with seven victories in nine races, won the Team Championship as well.
Bernhard/Bergmeister captured ALMS wins at Sebring, Infineon Raceway, Mosport, Road America, and Road Atlanta (Petit Le Mans), while Alex Job teammates Romain Dumas/Marc Lieb won events at Portland and Laguna Seca.
While 2002 and 2003 ALMS champions Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr concentrated their efforts in Europe this season, winning the FIA-GT championship, both drivers continued to work with Porsche's North American teams in 2004. Maassen
teamed with Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long to drive the Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to the GT class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while Luhr drove with both Alex Job Racing and BAM! in ALMS.
In the Rolex Sports Car Series, Porsche again won the manufacturers title, this time in the SGS class. Michael Levitas' TPC Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, with drivers Andy Lalley and Marc Bunting sharing the championship, and Levitas winning the team title. Lalley and Bunting have already landed a ride with The Racer's Group for 2005 in one of the team's new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars that will compete in the new Rolex Sports Car Series' GT class. Porsche has won the manufacturers title in either GT or SGS since the beginning of the Rolex Grand-Am series in 2000.
In Grand-Am Cup, Craig Stanton won the GS Class Drivers Championship in The Race Site.com Porsche 911, giving The Race Site team owners Wayne and Will Nonnamaker the team championship and Porsche the manufacturers title.
Team Farnbacher, from Lichtenau, Germany, which fielded the 2004 Porsche Michelin Supercup championship car for Wolf Henzler, made the trip to the U.S. for two SCCA Speed Channel Cup events, pitting their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car against the factory Audis and Cadillacs as well as Corvettes, Vipers, and BMWs. Henzler, who also won both rounds of the Supercup series that ran at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in June, won flag-to-flag wins in the Speed Cup at both Infineon Raceway and Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway in 2004.
In the annual Sports Car Club of America's National Championship race week, David Finch won a national title in a Porsche 944 in the GT2 class, beating a new Nissan 350Z. It was Finch's sixth national title with his 944, with the first one earned back in 1989.