DUMAS, PENSKE STILL STRONG AT ROAD AMERICA
Penske Racing's Romain Dumas led the way in the first official practice for the Generac 500 presented by Time Warner Cable at Road America on Friday morning with a lap of 1:49.970 (133.732 mph) in the Porsche RS Spyder that he will share with fellow factory driver Timo Bernhard.
Dumas and Bernhard are the defending overall race winners from 2007, one of their six overall victories on the season. The LMP2 car was 0.309 seconds clear of Marco Werner and Audi's first diesel-powered R10 TDI that also will see Lucas Luhr driving. The pair of Germans lead the LMP1 championship and won the last Series round at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago.
A pair of Acuras sat next with Franck Montagny third overall and second in P2 with new teammate James Rossiter. The Frenchman's time of 1:49.533 (133.021 mph) was 0.184 seconds better than Simon Pagenaud in de Ferran Motorsports' Acura. The second Audi of Emanuele Pirro and Marcel Fassler sat fifth overall and second in P1.
The Corvette C6.R of Olivier Beretta, who will drive with Oliver Gavin, headed the GT1 class with a time of 2:02.553 (118.910 mph). The second Corvette Racing entry of Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen ran second in class at 2:03.417 (118.078 mph) with Bell Motorsports' Aston Martin DBR9 third in GT1 at 2:06.933 (114.807 mph).
In GT2, Ferrari sat first and second with Risi Competizione's Jaime Melo turning a time of 2:07.495 (114.301 mph) in the F430 GT that he will drive with fellow defending class race winner Mika Salo. Tafel Racing's Dirk Mueller and Dominik Farnbacher sat second at 2:07.656 (114.157 mph).
Panoz Team PTG kept Porsche out of the top three with the Panoz Esperante GTLM of Tommy Milner, Tom Sutherland and Joey Hand at 2:07.727 (114.093 mph).
The Generac 500 at Road America presented by Time Warner Cable is scheduled for Saturday, August 9 from Elkhart Lake, Wis. The four-hour race will start at 4 p.m. CT with SPEED televising the race starting at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 10. XM will air the race from 4 to 8 p.m. ET on Sunday via Sports Nation Channel 144. Live radio coverage will be available from American Le Mans Radio at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring.