MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 20, 2007) -- In an exciting race similar to the event two weeks ago at Road Atlanta, Germany's Timo Bernhard and France's Romain Dumas scored their eighth LMP2 win this season in their Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder at the...
MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 20, 2007) -- In an exciting race similar to the event two weeks ago at Road Atlanta, Germany's Timo Bernhard and France's Romain Dumas scored their eighth LMP2 win this season in their Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder at the American Le Mans Series finale at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway.
Bernhard and Dumas, who clinched the drivers' championship before they arrived at Laguna Seca, finished second overall to the LMP1 Audi R-10.
The Penske Racing Porsches scored eight straight overall victories during the season, beating the more powerful 12-cylinder Audis on both street course and traditional road circuits. And for the race's last hour, Dumas chased the leading Audi, passing it twice in tight corners, but not quite able to make his lead stick on the straights.
"I put more than maximum pressure on him -- I gave it all I had," said Dumas, who celebrated his first ALMS drivers' title. "With 200 horsepower less than the Audis, I think we gave everyone quite a show, and we are pleased with the outcome today, as well as the whole season. We not only won our Class championship, but we beat those guys overall eight times."
Co-driver and co-champion Bernhard, a two-time ALMS champion, said he "could not have dreamed of a season like this, beating the overall Le Mans winners eight straight races."
"Penske Racing and Porsche Motorsport gave us the best of both worlds, and Romain and I are grateful for the opportunity," Bernhard continued.
Bernhard noted the competition for the overall and Class lead was very close in the beginning, and he decided to play it safe and see how things played out. He ended up passing the pole-sitting Penske Porsche RS Spyder of Germany's Sascha Maassen, and then went after the overall Audi leader, but traffic forced him to concentrate on the LMP2 battle. Bernhard and Dumas finished on the Class podium for all 12 ALMS races.
Maassen and Australian co-driver Ryan Briscoe fell to fourth in Class late in the race, but Briscoe passed the two Acuras ahead of him to finish second in Class and fourth overall. Maassen and Briscoe won the LMP2 Class three times this year and produced two overall victories.
"It's been a wonderful season, and this one-two Class finish -- the 11th win in 12 races -- brings back the glory days of the Porsche 917/30 for both Porsche and Penske Racing," Penske Performance President Tim Cindric said. "It's been a huge honor to be a part of this program, and we believe this puts the exclamation point on a season which will put the Porsche RS Spyder right with the 917 in Porsche racing history."
Porsche and Penske Racing swept all of the championships in the LMP2 Class, winning the chassis and engine manufacturers' titles, the drivers' crowns, and the team championship for the second consecutive year. It was the Penske Porsche RS Spyder's third win at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. The first victory came in the car's debut in October 2005.
-credit: penske racing