PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR WINS SECOND 24-HOUR RACE IN TWO WEEKS AT AMERICAN FACTORY DRIVER PATRICK LONG LEADS FRENCH TEAM TO GT2 VICTORY AT LE MANS
ATLANTA -- June 17 -- After missing out on a GT2 class victory last year when leading in the 23rd hour, Porsche returned to the top of the podium in GT2 with a victory for the French IMSA Performance (not related to International Motor Sports Association) Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and the trio of Raymond Narac (France), German factory driver Richard Lietz and American factory driver Patrick Long.
Just last week, the German Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR won the 24 hour race on the Nurburgring with the Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany), Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany), together with German Marcel Tiemann.
It was the second career Le Mans win for Long (2004 in the Petersen White Lightning Porsche) and his third podium in four tries as the IMSA Porsche finished six laps ahead of the Risi Competizione/Krohn Racing Ferrari F430 GT of Nic Jonsson, Tracy Krohn and Colin Braun. For the production-based GT race car based on the Porsche 911 GT3, this marked the eighth class win in nine years at Le Mans, and the 34th class win for the Porsche 911 at the Sarthe.
"Once we forged a good lead, we reduced our speed in the last seven hours to conserve our car and were able to control the pace at the top of the GT2 class," said Long.
Third position after a race marked with changeable weather conditions went to the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR customer team Autorlando with drivers Lars Erik Nielsen (Denmark), Allan Simonsen (Denmark) and Pierre Ehret (Germany and USA).
The Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 Gt3 RSR, making its third appearance at Le Mans, was forced to retire after ten hours, due to a mechanical driveline failure that could not be repaired. Both Johannes van Overbeek (USA) and then Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) set the fastest GT2 lap times during the early part of the race, but could not replace a cracked transmission case as ACO regulations do not allow teams may not replace an entire transmission, only the transmission's internal components.