Road Atlanta: Porsche qualifying report

FLOWERY BRANCH, Georgia - September 25 - In an afternoon where it was sunny when it was supposed to rain, and all the Porsche, BMW, Corvette and Ferrari factory cars were supposed to go much faster than the privateers, it was former Porsche driver...

FLOWERY BRANCH, Georgia - September 25 - In an afternoon where it was sunny when it was supposed to rain, and all the Porsche, BMW, Corvette and Ferrari factory cars were supposed to go much faster than the privateers, it was former Porsche driver David Murry in a Ford GT who took the GT2 pole for the Petit Le Mans race which takes the green flag tomorrow at 11:15 AM EDT at Road Atlanta.

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.

Porsche factory driver Patrick Long, who drives the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR along with fellow factory pilot Joerg Bergmeister, was the top qualifying Porsche with a sixth-place position on the grid. The Wolf Henzler/Dirk Werner Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, with factory driver Henzler at the controls, was ninth in GT2 after the car underwent extensive front-end repair last night resulting from an incident involving a prototype in practice.

What happened? Lizard driver Long was philosophical about the team's lack of qualifying speed.

"About halfway through the 25-minute session, we didn't feel the car could go any faster with the current set-up, and we didn't want to use up the tires, so we called it quits. We're only a half a second off the pole, and there is no shame being behind the factory Corvettes and BMWs, with the top two privateers have cars that are always a threat to turn fast laps," said Long, whose, along with Bergmeister, lead the class drivers championship by 31 points.

Long noted that the factory Ferrari, which holds second place in class points, had a flat tire during qualifying and will start in tenth place. The Lizards will work overnight to improve the handling and performance of their Porsche for tomorrow's event.

In LMP2, Klaus Graf, who will share driving duties in the Cytosport Porsche RS Spyder with owner Greg Pickett and Porsche factory driver Sascha Maassen, qualified second in class, 1.4 seconds off the pole. Graf and Pickett have two podium finishes in two starts since they debuted the ex-Dyson Racing car at Mid-Ohio in July. From 2005 - 2008, the Porsche RS Spyder had 24 class wins and 11 overall victories, including wins by Maassen, in the Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder.

-credit: porsche

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Klaus Graf , David Murry , Sascha Maassen , Patrick Long , Greg Pickett , Wolf Henzler , Dirk Werner
Teams Team Penske , Dyson Racing