St. Pete: Porsche qualifying report

PORSCHES, BMWs, FERRARIS PREVIEW GT2 CLASS BATTLE WITH CLOSE QUALIFYING ST. PETERSBURG, FL - April 3 - The promise of exciting, production-based auto racing from the world's most sophisticated sports cars showed great promise at the season...

PORSCHES, BMWs, FERRARIS PREVIEW GT2 CLASS BATTLE WITH CLOSE QUALIFYING

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - April 3 - The promise of exciting, production-based auto racing from the world's most sophisticated sports cars showed great promise at the season opener last month at Sebring, and has already delivered during today's action-packed qualifying session for tomorrow's American Le Mans Series race through the streets of St. Petersburg.

The race, which takes the green flag at 1:20 PM EDT on Saturday, will be telecast live on ABC starting at 1:30 PM EDT, and will last one hour and 55 minutes - a special length for TV. The ABC broadcast will conclude at 3:30 PM after coverage of the winners circle activities. Both the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche and the #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche will be equipped with ABC network in-car cameras to provide viewers with the best possible Porsche action from the race. Live scoring and American Le Mans Radio are available at www.americanlemans.com for the entire race starting at 1:00 PM EDT.

Wolf Henzler, who will share his #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with fellow German driver Dirk Werner, was on the pole here last year, but his best effort today only yielded the second grid position behind the Melo/Salo Ferrari.

"We have found that our third and fourth laps after we have warmed up the tires give us the fastest qualifying laps, but we left the pits a little late and were just getting started when the Ferrari turned its fast lap. When it came time for our third and fourth lap, there was a red flag on the course and we were forced into the pits, so we lost that opportunity," said Henzler, who managed an eighth-place finish at Sebring with Werner and Richard Lietz despite almost three hours in the pits due to mechanical issues.

The #45 Patrick Long/Joerg Bergmeister Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which was qualified by Long, was running third in the session when Patrick spun and backed into the tire wall, ending his session and allowing time for the two BMW E92 M3s to slip by him in the standings.

"On this street circuit with this competitive field, if you want to move up, you have to push yourself to the limit, and I thought I could improve on third position, but I tried too hard and spun. Fortunately, I hit the tire wall and not the concrete barrier, so the Lizard crew should have the car ready for the race," said Long, who ended up fifth on the grid.

Seth Neiman, who will share the #44 Flying Lizard Porsche with Darren Law, will start 11th.

-credit: porsche motorsport

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Series ALMS
Drivers Darren Law , Patrick Long , Seth Neiman , Wolf Henzler , Dirk Werner , Richard Lietz