BERNHARD TAKES INFINEON GT2 POLE DESPITE 145-DEGREE F TRACK SURFACE; PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSRs TOP THREE ON GRID FOR SUNDAY'S CBS-TV EVENT Defending ALMS GT2 champion Timo Bernhard put the Alex Job Racing Hyatt Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on class pole for...
BERNHARD TAKES INFINEON GT2 POLE DESPITE 145-DEGREE F TRACK SURFACE; PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSRs TOP THREE ON GRID FOR SUNDAY'S CBS-TV EVENT
Defending ALMS GT2 champion Timo Bernhard put the Alex Job Racing Hyatt Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on class pole for tomorrow's Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma, with Jorg Bergmeister giving the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche second position on the grid and Lonnie Pechnik propelling the Flying Lizard Porsche into third position--
SONOMA, Calif. - July 16 - With Michelin reporting the track surface temperature at 145 degrees F, and the ambient air temperature at 100 degrees F, defending American Le Mans Series GT2 champion Timo Bernhard planned to turn only one flying lap for his qualifying lap, and that lap gave his Alex Job Racing Hyatt Porsche 911 GT3 RSR the class pole for tomorrow Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma Sunday.
With the rules stating that teams must start the race on the tires used for qualifying, Timo was cautious not to wear down his tires in today's session and sacrificing performance for the race tomorrow, which promises to be just as hot at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma.
"The race will be decided on the final stint of the race tomorrow with the winner driving the car that has the best tires for the last laps," said Bernhard, who will co-drive with Romain Dumas in the team's #23 car. Bernhard won the GT2 class last year with Jorg Bergmeister, and finished first in class with Dumas at the last two events this year (Mid-Ohio and Lime Rock).
It was Timo's second pole of the year, and sixth in his ALMS career.
Second was the #31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR qualified by Jorg Bergmeister, who will be co-driving with Patrick Long on Sunday. Bergmeister waited until half-way through the 20-minute session to venture out onto the track, and took one more flying lap than Bernhard, but could only come within three-tenths of a second to his former teammate. Third was Lonnie Pechnik, driving the #44 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Pechnik, who will be co-driving with Seth Neiman tomorrow, was part of The Flying Lizard Motorsports team that finished third at Le Mans last month (driving with Neiman and Johannes van Overbeek). Last year, van Overbeek and Darren Law crossed the finished line first on raceday, but a pit violation penalty gave the win the Bernhard/Bergmeister.
The Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma event will be televised live by CBS-TV at 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight time on Sunday, July 17, with the network joining the race in progress.