Road Atlanta: Porsche Motorsport preview

FLYING LIZARD MOTORSPORTS, PORSCHE 911 CLOSE IN ON SECOND STRAIGHT GT2 --Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta provides perfect venue to showcase Porsche speed and endurance-- FLOWERY BRANCH, Georgia - September 23 -- On the premiere sports car course...

FLYING LIZARD MOTORSPORTS, PORSCHE 911 CLOSE IN ON SECOND STRAIGHT GT2
--Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta provides perfect venue to showcase Porsche speed and endurance--

FLOWERY BRANCH, Georgia - September 23 -- On the premiere sports car course where Petit Le Mans - fore-runner of the American Le Mans Series - began in 1998, the 1,000 mile/10 hour annual classic endurance race takes the green flag this Saturday at 11:15 AM EDT at Road Atlanta. And both the Porsche RS Spyder prototypes and the 911 GT3 RSR production-based race cars have a rich tradition of victories at this event.

This year's Petit Le Mans presented by Mazda 6 will be telecast live in its entirety for the first time on SPEED TV starting at 11:00 AM EDT on Saturday, September 26. American Le Mans Radio web, along with live timing and scoring, are available on the web at www.americanlemans.com.

The next-to-last round of the season on this demanding circuit in northeast Georgia is regarded, along with the Mobil 1Sebring 12 hour event and the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, as one of the three most important American sports car endurance competitions.

With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports, Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) are determined to tackle this hurdle on the way to successfully defending their American Le Mans Series GT2 championship. The Porsche factory pilots have celebrated five wins so far this season against strong competition from Ferrari, BMW and Corvettes, and have built up a comfortable points' advantage in the particularly fierce battle for GT2 class honors. At the Petit Le Mans event in recent years, Bergmeister has set new standards with five straight wins from 2003 to 2007.

"This is a race that simply suits me," says the reigning ALMS champion. "I like the very beautiful but extremely difficult track, which demands everything from you. And because of the long distance and many pit stops, strategy and teamwork play a decisive role. All these factors make Petit Le Mans a unique challenge."

Aside from the title favorites, who will get additional driving support from Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) for the second longest race of the year, Americans Darren Law, Seth Neiman and Johannes van Overbeek will compete in another 911 GT3 RSR from Flying Lizard Motorsports. The Farnbacher Loles Racing squad fields a 911 GT3 RSR with Wolf Henzler and Dirk Werner (both Germany). After their strong performance recently in Mosport, Porsche works driver Henzler is optimistic heading to Road Atlanta:

"Petit Le Mans is a highlight of the year, a very thrilling race. It would be fantastic if we could continue to improve at this classic and perhaps even manage a win."

The Falken Tire-owned Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which had its successful debut earlier this year at Long Beach, will run its second test race at Petit Le Mans with drivers Bryan Sellers (Atlanta) and Dominic Cicero (Portland, OR). The team hopes to compete for the championship in 2010 with a new Porsche 911 Gt3 RSR.

Klaus Graf (Germany) and Greg Pickett (USA) contest the LMP2 class with the Porsche RS Spyder of the US customer team Cytosport. Against strong opposition from Acura and Lola- Mazda, they hope to continue the successful comeback of the sports prototype from Weissach. In the two races contested to date, the Porsche duo have raised the bar for themselves. In Mid-Ohio, Graf and Pickett claimed second, and, in Elkhart Lake third.

"So now we really need to win," grinned Graf, whose confidence has also been boosted with the addition of Porsche works driver Sascha Maassen (Germany) as back-up for the team in Road Atlanta.

"We have good chances with Sascha. He knows the RS Spyder inside out. That's a bonus."

-credit: porsche motorsport

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Klaus Graf , Sascha Maassen , Darren Law , Patrick Long , Greg Pickett , Johannes van Overbeek , Marc Lieb , Seth Neiman , Bryan Sellers , Dominic Cicero , Dirk Werner
Teams Flying Lizard Motorsports