Bernhard/Bergmeister elevate Porsche to 12th straight ALMS win. ATLANTA - June 29 - German Porsche factory drivers Jorg Bergmeister and Timo Bernhard drover their "good luck" ...
Bernhard/Bergmeister elevate Porsche to 12th straight ALMS win.
ATLANTA - June 29 - German Porsche factory drivers Jorg Bergmeister and Timo Bernhard drover their "good luck" #24 Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS to a six second win to score their second American Le Mans Series GT win at the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta. Dating back to Sebring 2002, it was Porsche's 12th American Le Mans Series win in a row. Porsche already owns the ALMS class win streak - 13 - spanning races from 1999 - 2001.
The pair's last appearance at Road Atlanta in October resulted in a mechanical DNF, a result that was much too familiar last year to Bergmeister, who hoped a new car and a new car number would change their luck for 2003.
"When we got a new Alex Job Porsche this year, the team decided to erase the memory of last year's luck by changing the number of the car as well, and now the number 24 has brought us victory in only the second race of the season," said Bergmeister, who won the Porsche Michelin Supercup championship in Europe in 2001 before earning the Porsche factory assignment in 2002. Bernhard/Bergmeister's previous win in the series was at Road America last July. Bernhard has earned the pole for the Road Atlanta event yesterday.
Second was the #23 Alex Job Porsche of Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen, whose memories of Road Atlanta last year included clinching the ALMS GT drivers championship, but luck was not on their side today. Both Maassen and Luhr held the lead during the event, but, while braking to avoid the another car which cut him off, Luhr spun and lost 20 second - time he and Sascha could not make up against their younger teammates. The #66 The Racer's Group Porsche of Kevin Buckler/Cort Wagner, which spun early in the race, finished third, three laps down from the leaders.
The local Atlanta-based #79 J-3 Racing Porsche, piloted by David Murry and Justin Jackson, rebounded from an early-race flat tire to finish fourth, ahead of the first non-Porsche finisher - the #63 Ferrari of Shane Lewis and Andrew Davis.
The #43 Yes Network Orbit Racing Porsche of Leo Hindery/Peter Baron ran as high as third place, but a persistent clutch problem relegated them to a tenth-place finish, while the #42 Classic Industries Orbit Porsche was ninth after a deflated tire halted their progress just a lap after a routine stop and driver change.
Luhr and Maasen won round #1 of the series - the 12 Hours of Sebring - which earned them six extra points because it was an endurance event, so they lead Bernhard and Bergmeister by six points after two events in the GT class point standings. The next American Le Mans Series event will be at Infineon (Sears Point) Raceway in Sonoma, California, on Sunday, July 27, and it will be broadcast live on the NBC television network.