DUMAS ON LMP2 POLE AND SECOND OVERALL IN PORSCHE RS SPYDER FOR FRIDAY'S LONE STAR GRAND PRIX OF HOUSTON; PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR 2ND IN GT2 CLASS HOUSTON - May 11 - Romain Dumas from France, driving the Penske Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 prototype race...
DUMAS ON LMP2 POLE AND SECOND OVERALL IN PORSCHE RS SPYDER FOR FRIDAY'S LONE STAR GRAND PRIX OF HOUSTON; PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR 2ND IN GT2 CLASS
HOUSTON - May 11 - Romain Dumas from France, driving the Penske Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 prototype race car, earned the class pole and placed second overall on the grid for tomorrow's Lone Star Grand Prix of Houston, which is running on the bumpy 1.7-mile parking lot course in the city's Reliant Park.
Dumas, who will co-drive with German Timo Bernhard in the #7 team car, edged his team mate Sascha Maassen from Belgium by seven-tenths of a second to earn his eighth American Le Mans Series pole of his career. He was also less than one-tenth off the overall qualifying leader James Weaver in his Lola B06/10/AER LMP1 prototype class.
Maassen, who, with co-driver Lucas Luhr, won the Porsche RS Spyder's debut race last year at Laguna Seca, will be piloting the #6 car with Luhr from the third position on the grid and second in LMP2.
Dumas did not share many drivers' opinions that the track was too bumpy, and was excited about the car's performance.
"People have complained that the track is bumpy, but there is no advantage or disadvantage for anyone here. We improved our performance after each session, and I was very happy with my qualifying lap. Even after all the Penske team adjustments, the car is still not at its best, but we will continue to work on it. It will be a great race tomorrow," said Dumas, whose previous seven poles were earned with Porsche 911 GT3 RSR GT2 class cars.
Dumas noted that Timo Bernhard, his co-driver, was the fastest overall during the previous practice session, indicating that the Porsche RS Spyder had the speed to compete for the top spots.
The Penske Porsche RS Spyders is supported by Porsche's racing partners led by DHL Global Mail, Mobil 1, Hyatt Hotels, Michelin, adidas, and ZF Sachs AG.
Patrick Long puts Petersen/White Lightning Porsche on Front Row in GT2
In what promises to be a shootout similar to the last event at Sebring, where Porsche, BMW, Panoz and Ferrari all took turns leading the race, the GT2 qualifying session for the Lone Star Grand Prix has Ferrari, Porsche and Panoz in the top three positions.
Patrick Long, driving the Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, qualified second in class in the car he and Jorg Bergmeister will drive in tomorrow's race, just a tenth of a second
behind the pole-sitting Ferrari 430. Third was the Panoz Esperante, followed Mike Rockenfeller/Klaus Graf Alex Job Racing Porsche, but that car will start from the back of the pack to take advantage of fresh tires the team opted to install after the session.
The Lone Star Grand Prix of Houston, round two of the ten-race American Le Mans Series, will be held on the Reliant Park street circuit on Friday night, May 12, from 8:00 PM CDT to 10:45 PM. The race will be telecast by CBS Sports on a delayed basis on Saturday, May 13, at 1:00 PM EDT, and in Europe on Motors TV. Also, a live web radio broadcast can be heard on the American Le Mans Series web site - www.americanlemans.com. The ALMS site will also carry live scoring for qualifying as well as for the complete race.