Lime Rock Park
Robertson Racing score MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge victory as podium streak continues at Lime Rock Park
Four weeks after their first, Robertson Racing scored a second consecutive international sportscar podium finish with third place at the Northeast Grand Prix, round three of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.
The Atlanta-based team’s #04 Ford GT in the hands of David Murry and Anthony Lazzaro proved a podium contender in the manufacturer-dominated GT class throughout Saturday’s two-hour 45-minute race at the short and tight, but ultra-fast, Lime Rock Park.
What is more, the performance was also a victory for efficiency with the Ford GT scooping its maiden MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge win. Calculated on the principles of ‘Fast, Clean and Efficient’, the end-of-season winner from each class will receive an automatic invitation to the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Murry’s excellent start saw him climb to sixth in the early stages at a circuit where both traffic management and maintaining concentration would prove critical to securing a good result. And so it proved when three of the leading contenders ahead tangled, promoting the Ford to third.
Differing pit-stop strategies, as well as the Extreme Speed Ferrari punting Lazzaro into a spin at turn one early in his stint, saw the car running fifth with just 15 minutes remaining before a full-course yellow seemed to end any hopes of the team’s first ALMS rostrum.
Lazzaro had other ideas though and produced a stunning final run to first exact revenge on ESM’s 458 and then reel in Team Falken Tire’s entry. Despite two seconds separating them with just one lap remaining, the Porsche was forced to weave dangerously on multiple occasions to keep the Ford at bay as the pair raced for the chequered flag.
Series rules do not tolerate such defensive driving and, as a result of an immediate post-race protest, stewards decided to hand the 911 a 90-second penalty, promoting Robertson Racing to third.
Meanwhile, a mechanical issue for Le Mans 24 Hours podium heroes David and Andrea Robertson curtailed their involvement with 45 minutes remaining.
Andrew ‘H’ Smith, Team Manager: “It’s wonderful that for two races running we’ve managed to stand on the podium. Le Mans is a huge event but this result has greater significance given that it was in the overall GT class as there’s no Am division, as well as it being our first in the ALMS. Murry did a great job early on to keep the leaders honest before Lazzaro drove the pants off the car at the end. Clearly the Porsche blocked us on the final lap. I can understand that he was desperate to hang on for the podium but you’re only allowed to move once which is why I immediately went to Race Control. We would always prefer to cross the finish line first but when manoeuvres, which include contact, prevent that, you have no choice. All in all though it’s been a great day.”
By: robertson racing