Road Atlanta: Porsche preview

45 PORSCHE RACE CARS COMPETING FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THREE SERIES AT PETIT LE MANS THIS WEEKEND AT ROAD ATLANTA; FIETA ALREADY VICTORIOUS IN THURSDAY RACE BRASELTON, Georgia - October 3 - Forty-five Porsche race cars, representing the full line...

45 PORSCHE RACE CARS COMPETING FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THREE SERIES AT PETIT LE MANS THIS WEEKEND AT ROAD ATLANTA; FIETA ALREADY VICTORIOUS IN THURSDAY RACE

BRASELTON, Georgia - October 3 - Forty-five Porsche race cars, representing the full line of motorsports vehicles produced by the German sports car manufacturer, will be chasing four championships in three national series as part of the Petit Le Mans weekend at Road Atlanta starting today.

Five Porsche RS Spyder prototypes, powered by the new high-revving 3.4-liter V8 direct fuel injection (DFI) engine, will be challenging the powerful Acura prototypes for the LMP2 class title in the American Le Mans Series 10-hour Petit Le Mans feature race on Saturday starting at 11:15 AM (EDT). In that same event, in the production-based GT2 class, five Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs will battle the Ferraris, Corvettes, Vipers, and Ford GTs for rights to both the drivers and manufacturers championship.

The 2008 Petit Le Mans event will be broadcast live on SPEED TV starting at 11:00 AM EDT. The SPEED coverage will include the first two hours of the event, and will resume at 6:30 PM EDT until the conclusion of the race (approx. 11:00 PM). The race will be broadcast in its entirety on the American Le Mans Radio web - www.americanlemans.com, which will also have live timing and scoring.

In the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Challenge by Michelin series, 28 evenly- matched Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers run against each other for a season points title, with Bob Fieta, of Tujunga, Calif., already victorious yesterday in the first of two 30-minute races to be held this weekend, Fieta, the defending IMSA Challenge champion, drove his Care Level Racing Porsche to 0.7 of a second victory over Germany's Dino Steiner to take a two-point lead over Steiner in the title chase. The two will battle again today in the second 30-minute contest, which will take place at 5:45 PM.

In the Sports Car Club of America's SPEED World Challenge GT Championship, a series to provide teams, manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers a competitive production-based race series in which to prove their products, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and its teams will be competing for both the drivers and manufacturers championship today at 12:20 PM EDT. Randy Pobst, of Gainsville, FL, will clinch his second straight drivers title in his K-PAX Racing Porsche by merely starting the event, while a victory last week in New Jersey by Newport Beach, California's James Sofronas in his Global Motorsports Group Porsche clinched the manufacturers championship for Porsche already. Seven Porsches are entered in the 25-car field for that event.

ALMS LMP2 and GT2 - The Points Battle

With only one event remaining, the Porsche RS Spyder and Acura LMP2 prototype teams are locked in a close battle for both the driver and manufacturer title chase, with each company holding a slim lead the their respective categories.

The Penske Porsche RS Spyder tandem of Romain Dumas (France) and Timo Bernhard (Germany) hold a slim four-point advantage over the Acura duo of David Brabham and Scott Sharp, while Acura holds that same four-point lead over Porsche in the manufacturers points. In yesterday's practice sessions, Dumas/Bernhard were consistently faster than their Acura rivals, topping the class charts during all three sessions. The Penske Racing team has geared up its efforts to help its drivers and Porsche secure additional points by adding a third Porsche RS Spyder to its stable for the weekend, as the Patrick Long (USA)/Sascha Maassen (Germany) car has been joined by an all-IndyCar lineup of Helio Castroneves (Brazil) and Ryan Briscoe (Australia). Porsche factory driver Emmanuel Collard (France) has also been called in as a third driver for the team in case a substitute is needed.

To bolster Porsche's chances even further, the Dyson Racing team will run two RS Spyders in the race, with Chris Dyson (USA) and Guy Smith (England) in one car and Butch Leitzinger (USA)/Marino Franchitti (Scotland)/Andy Lally (USA) in the other.

In GT2, the three-car Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Flying Lizard Motorsports entry will be trying to continue its advance to its first American Le Mans Series championship. The leading Lizard car, featuring Jorg Bergmeister/Wolf Henzler (both Germany) has a 28-point lead of the second-place Ferrari pair of Dirk Mueller/Dominik Farnbacher, and Porsche leads Ferrari by 19 points in the manufacturers points. German factory driver Marc Lieb will join Bergmeister and Henzler for the 10-hour event. The other Lizard Porsches will be driven by Darren Law/Seth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik (all USA) and Johannes van Overbeek (USA)/Patrick Pilet (France).

The Farnbacher Loles Racing team is not in the championship chase this season, mainly because of a disqualification at Salt Lake City and a missed event in Detroit, but the Dirk Werner/Joerg Hardt (both Germany)/Bryce Miller (USA) Porsche is capable of winning the event, as their car already has a GT2 win (Road America) and three podium finishes this season. The VICI Racing team, with headquarters in both Germany and Miami, had a good practice day at the track yesterday, and hopes it will put its Porsche on the podium for the first time this season with Nicky and Francesco Pastorelli (both The Netherlands) and Marc Basseng (Germany) at the controls.

-credit: porsche

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Dirk Müller , Guy Smith , Butch Leitzinger , Helio Castroneves , Emmanuel Collard , Randy Pobst , Sascha Maassen , Dino Steiner , Andy Lally , Jörg Bergmeister , Timo Bernhard , Patrick Long , Marino Franchitti , Johannes van Overbeek , Marc Lieb , Romain Dumas , Seth Neiman , Lonnie Pechnik , James Sofronas , Dominik Farnbacher , Patrick Pilet , Chris Dyson , Francesco Pastorelli , Bryce Miller
Teams Team Penske , Global Motorsports Group , Dyson Racing , Flying Lizard Motorsports