Road America: Porsche Motorsport preview

PORSCHE ALSO "FEATURED" MARQUE AT AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES WEEKEND AT ROAD AMERICA; 40 PORSCHE 911s AND AN RS SPYDER TO RUN IN IMSA AND SCCA SERIES ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin - August 12 - Porsche motorsports enthusiasts have their interests split...

PORSCHE ALSO "FEATURED" MARQUE AT AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES WEEKEND AT ROAD AMERICA; 40 PORSCHE 911s AND AN RS SPYDER TO RUN IN IMSA AND SCCA SERIES

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin - August 12 - Porsche motorsports enthusiasts have their interests split this weekend between being the "featured marque" at the Rolex Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca in California, and the predominant car of choice for the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase this weekend at Road America.

For those attending the proceedings at the famous four-mile Elkhart Lake circuit, they will see a Porsche RS Spyder in the LMP2 class in round seven of the American Le Mans Series, three Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs in the GT2 class, seven Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in the ALMS Challenge class, 27 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama (two races), and six more 911 GT3 Cup cars in the SPEED World Challenge.

The Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase will get the green flag Sunday, August 16, at 3:05 PM ET, and be broadcast live on SPEED TV. The race, which will last two hours, 45 minutes, can also be heard live on American Le Mans Radio at www.americanlemans.com, which will also provide live timing and scoring.

There were many Porsche highlights from last weekend's racing at Mid-Ohio that lead into the race Sunday at Road America:

--Patrick Long (USA) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), already leading the American Le Mans Series GT2 championship by a wide margin with their Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, beat back the challenge from factory Ferraris, BMWs, and two new factory Corvette V8 to score their fifth win in a row and make it very difficult for anyone else to challenge for the championship. They accomplished this with not only a fast car and accurate set-up, but by skipping the last chance to fuel under the yellow flag as the Porsche was able to go an hour and 20 minutes without stopping. A win this weekend would virtually clinch the GT2 title for the two Porsche factory drivers.

--Greg Pickett (USA) and Klaus Graf (Germany), after purchasing the LMP2 Porsche RS Spyder from Dyson Racing, finished a close second in their first race out-of-the-box at Mid-Ohio, prompting car owner Pickett, who had never run a Porsche before, to exclaim:

"The engineering on this car goes beyond anything I have ever experienced in my 30 years of racing. From hoping we could finish to being mad because a driving mistake I made might have cost us a victory is amazing. The Porsche V8 was responsive at all RPMs, and the chassis and suspension was so well designed that I knew the car was a brave as I dared be," said Pickett. Pickett and Graf will run their Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder this weekend at Road America as well.

--The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car runs in the SCCA SPEED World Challenge, also at Mid-Ohio last weekend and Road America this weekend. Tony Rivera (second) and James Sofronas (third) came in right behind the winning Ford Mustang Cobra V8. Porsche continues to lead Ford, 45 - 41, in the manufacturers points race.

Other Porsche entries in the ALMS race this weekend include the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which will be piloted by Porsche factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA). Henzler, co-champion last year with Bergmeister, has been on the pole and turned some of the fastest race laps this season, but is yet to win a race this season. He hopes that Miller, who was one of the Farnbacher Loles drivers that won the GT2 class for the team last year at Road America, will bring good luck for him this weekend.

The other Porsche 911 GT3 RSR entry is the second Flying Lizard entry driven by team owner Seth Neiman and 24 Hours at Daytona winner Darren Law (both USA).

The third class to feature Porsches in the Sunday race this weekend is the ALMS Challenge class for matched Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars that also run in the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama series. Martin and Melanie Snow, husband and wife team from Pleasant Valley, Utah, will try to make it three out of four races in their Porsche, which will also run two races in the Patron series this weekend. Martin has also won three races in the Platinum Cup class in that series, while Melanie has won four races in the Gold Cup class.

The Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama features semi-professional drivers racing head to head in Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars - one of the world's most successful race cars - with sealed motors and transmissions. The latest purpose-built race cars have sealed 420 h.p. engines and six-speed sequential transmissions, providing for close racing where the driver's talents are exemplified. Porsche Motorsport North America provides technical support for the series with personnel, parts and expertise both away from and at the track.

Two points separate defending series champion Bob Faieta, Tujunga, Calif., and Martin Snow going into the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at Road America.

"The battle continues," Faieta said following round six at Autobahn Country Club. "I like Road America. I've been there a couple times. And it's not an Alan Wilson designed track; finally something else."

Snow won both rounds at the Alan Wilson designed Miller Motorsports Park in May. Faieta and Snow each won a round at Autobahn Country Club in July. Series veteran Galen Bieker, Burbank, Calif. is third in points followed by Mitch Pagerey and Amadeo Quiros.

The competition in the Gold Cup, the class designated for 2005-2007 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, has been no less exciting. Melanie Snow, won her first Patron GT3 Challenge race at Sebring and has a total of four victories this year.

Brian Wong, Newport Beach, Calif., missed the first two rounds at Sebring, but has won at least one round at every venue since then. Wong and Snow have had some great on-track battles.

"Brian and I have done this a lot now. We've gone wheel to wheel, side by side through the turn going into the braking zone," Melanie explained. "It's clean and fun and we get out of there and that's what racing is."

Wong is hoping to add two more wins at Road America to his resume before it is time for the college student to return to classes for the fall semester.

"I like Road America a lot," Wong said. "It's very fast, it's very technical and it's got a lot of high-speed sweepers, so I'm looking forward to it."

-credit: porsche motorsport

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About this article
Series ALMS , IMSA Others , PWC
Drivers Klaus Graf , Darren Law , Patrick Long , Greg Pickett , Tony Rivera , Martin Snow , Seth Neiman , James Sofronas , Wolf Henzler , Galen Bieker , Bryce Miller , Brian Wong , Melanie Snow , Bob Faieta , Mitch Pagerey , Amadeo Quiros
Teams Dyson Racing , HART , Flying Lizard Motorsports