BERGMEISTER/LONG SCORE ROAD AMERICA THRILLER FOR PETERSEN/WHITE LIGHTNING PORSCHE; PORSCHE VICTORY CLINCHES COMPANY'S FIFTH MANUFACTURERS TITLE IN SIX YEARS --Jorg Bergmeister put the ...
BERGMEISTER/LONG SCORE ROAD AMERICA THRILLER FOR PETERSEN/WHITE LIGHTNING PORSCHE; PORSCHE VICTORY CLINCHES COMPANY'S FIFTH MANUFACTURERS TITLE IN SIX YEARS
--Jorg Bergmeister put the #31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche in the lead with a two-hour stint, and Patrick Long then came from behind to pass Jon Fogarty in the Flying Lizard Porsche with one lap to go to score their second win of the season, and rise to within two points of the Bernhard/Dumas Hyatt Porsche of Alex Job Racing, which finished second at the Generac 500 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. - August 21 - Just when it looked like gambling on pit strategy was going to backfire, a late-race pass by American Porsche factory driver Patrick Long, from Las Vegas, gave the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR its second GT2 class win of the season, and pulled Long and co-driver Jorg Bergmeister within two points of the class title chase.
With the victory, Porsche clinched its fifth manufacturers title in the six year history of the American Le Mans Series.
Team manager Dale White gambled by staying out and not changing drivers during a yellow flag, gaining track position but forcing an extra pit stop under green, and it looked like that action would cost them their second win of the season, but Long dove past race leader Jon Fogarty with only one lap to go and recaptured the lead.
"I had to get by a GT1 car and the Panoz GT2 car as well as the Flying Lizard Porsche, and I knew Romain Dumas in the Alex Job Porsche had fresh tires from their recent yellow flag pit stop, so I just went for any open space I could find. The car still had plenty of power, so, when I saw an opening, I had the confidence to go for it, and I was able to get by everyone
and take the lead. I still had to hold off Romain, and I only beat him for .298 of a second. What a great race," said Long.
Because of the pit strategy, Jorg Bergmeister spent one hour, 58 minutes in the car at the start, only two minutes short of the maximum stint allowed by the rules. As Road America is Jorg's favorite track, he spent most of that time in first place, and put Long in position to go for the win. With their victory, Bergmeister/Long now have 110 points, while Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister have 112 points after their second place finish.
Flying Lizard Porsche drivers Johannes van Overbeek and Jon Fogarty, who lead the race with two laps to go before being overtaken by Long, finished third, and are third in the point standings with 82 points.
Early in the race, van Overbeek got a great start at the green flag, and let the GT2 class for the first 55 minutes until the first yellow flag, when Bergmesiter overtook him and went into the lead. Dumas then got in the Alex Job Porsche to replace Time, and they took the lead when Jorg finally came in for the driver change.
The next American Le Mans Series event will be at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada on Sunday, September 4.
In the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge race for spec Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars, Kevin Roush, from Upland, Calif., scored a flag-to-flag win in his Wheel Enhancement Porsche. Also, by finishing third, Jay Policastro, from Latrobe, Penn., clinched the series championship with one event to go in his Orbit Racing Porsche. Policastro won the last race at Portland, and finished each of the four races on the podium.
Complete IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge results are available at www.imsaracing.net.