Porsche Earns Hard-fought Second Place in LMP2 at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring SEBRING, Fla. - March 18 - The ...
Porsche Earns Hard-fought Second Place in LMP2 at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
SEBRING, Fla. - March 18 - The #6 Sascha Maassen/Lucas Luhr/Emmanuel Collard Penske Porsche RS Spyder, which overcame a eight-lap pit stop for an alternator replacement early in the race to take the class lead late in the race, finished second in the LMP2 class at the 54th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The car, which started the race from the LMP2 pole position as Lucas Luhr set a new class qualifying record, came in to the pits only 35-minutes into the race with its alternator problem. The Penske crew replaced both the alternator and the battery, but the car fell down to 32nd place, and the drivers and team worked tirelessly to put their car in the class lead, and second overall.
The dream of a win at the team's first Sebring appearance came to an end, however, with 45 minutes left in the event when the car came to a stop on the course with a drive-train problem.
"Although the result wasn't what we hoped for, the drivers and team persevered to come back and take the class lead and second position overall. Second place championship points will certainly help us to pursue the LMP2 title, and to improve in the season ahead," said Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing, Inc.
The Porsche RS Spyder took the lead from the Field/Field/Halliday Lola/AER with one hour, twenty minutes left in the event, as Emmanuel Collard passed the Lola on lap 310. Sascha Maassen had taken the wheel down four laps and made up most of the distance by hard driving and dramatic passing of other competitors.
"After a very hard fight, we could not capture the last piece of luck to win - but that's racing," said Hartmut Kristen, director of motorsport for Porsche AG.
The #7 Penske Porsche RS Spyder team car of Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Patrick Long, which started second in class, and jumped into the class lead at the green flag, experienced an early radiator failure which cost them 20 minutes in the garage area. From 29th place, the team climbed back into the top three in class and seventh overall before their journey ended with a broken input shaft at the seven hour mark.
In the GT2 class, the Ferrari 430, the Panoz Esperante, the BMW M3, and the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, battled through the day and into the night, with each manufacturer leading the class during different periods of the event. Porsche leaders included the defending ALMS champions - the Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (lost 20 minutes in the garage to replace a lower control arm), and the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, with Johannes van Overbeek/Jon Fogarty/Marc Lieb.
The Alex Job Racing Porsche, with Mike Rockenfeller/Klaus Graf/Graham Rahal at the controls, was also in the GT2 top three during the event, but a control arm problem and two flat tires pushed them back in the pack.
After the last yellow flag, #45 Flying Lizard Porsche with Marc Lieb at the helm closed to within five second of the winning GT2 Panoz, but had to settle for the runner-up spot. The other Flying Lizard Porsche, with Darren Law/Seth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik was the next best Porsche finisher, capturing a fourth place finish.