Utah: Michelin race report

PENSKE PORSCHE 1-2 AT UTAH GRAND PRIX Impressive Debut for de Ferran Acura as Michelin Sweeps Utah TOOELE, UTAH (May 18, 2008) - Just 30 minutes into the 2-hour 45-minute Utah Grand Prix, five different cars...

PENSKE PORSCHE 1-2 AT UTAH GRAND PRIX
Impressive Debut for de Ferran Acura as Michelin Sweeps Utah

TOOELE, UTAH (May 18, 2008) - Just 30 minutes into the 2-hour 45-minute Utah Grand Prix, five different cars had led the race and Roger Penske had already made what proved to be the winning call as Michelin technical partner teams swept the first eight positions overall and all four class wins at the fourth stop on the 2008 American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

Penske pitted his race leading #7 Penske Porsche RS Spyder at that point, putting pole winner Timo Bernhard and co-driver Romain Dumas out of sequence with the rest of the field and needing only one green flag pit stop to the finish while the other leaders would need two stops. "We know that we can always trust Roger and the team 100 percent on all of the strategies," said Dumas. It was the second victory of the season and eighth in the last fourteen races for Bernhard and Dumas.

Finishing second was the #6 Penske Porsche RS Spyder of Patrick Long and Sascha Maassen. Long came under heavy pressure in the closing stages from the #66 Panasonic Acura of de Ferran Motorsports. Finishing fourth was the #20 Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder driven by Butch Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti. They were followed by the #15 Lowe's Fernandez Acura of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz, who led the race for 24 laps prior to their first stop. Finishing sixth was the #16 Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder driven by Chris Dyson and Guy Smith.

The #2 Audi of Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner finished seventh overall and first in the LMP1 class after being forced to make an unscheduled pit stop following contact with a GT2 car. Completing a Michelin sweep of the top eight spots was the #26 Andretti Green Racing Acura driven by Christian Fittipaldi and Bryan Herta.

LE MANS READY

Completing their final preparations for the 2008 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen continued their recent hot streak, winning GT1 honors for the third time in four starts aboard the #3 Corvette C6.R over teammates Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta. "One of our greatest assets going into the 24 Hours of Le Mans is our relationship with Michelin," said O'Connell. "We are always learning from each other. We challenge them and they challenge us. We are always learning. To win in the ALMS and at Le Mans you want to be with Michelin."

Also Le Mans bound, is the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche squad whose #45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR took advantage of the first safety car period to take a one lap advantage over the GT2 field and cruise to the second victory of the season for J

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