TOP EIGHT ALMS GT2 QUALIFIERS WITHIN ONE SECOND AT NORTHEAST GRAND PRIX AT LIME ROCK; PORSCHE FACTORY DRIVERS SECOND AND THIRD AFTER INTENSE SESSION LIME ROCK, Conn. - July 17 - Ferrari, Porsche and BMW did battle like it was the last lap of the...
TOP EIGHT ALMS GT2 QUALIFIERS WITHIN ONE SECOND AT NORTHEAST GRAND PRIX AT LIME ROCK; PORSCHE FACTORY DRIVERS SECOND AND THIRD AFTER INTENSE SESSION
LIME ROCK, Conn. - July 17 - Ferrari, Porsche and BMW did battle like it was the last lap of the race during the 20-minute GT2 qualifying session today for Saturday's Northeast Grand Prix here, and the manufacturers qualified in that order - less than a second apart. In fact, the top eight GT2 qualifiers were within a second of the pole-setting time.
The Melo/Kaffer Ferrari has initially turned the fast qualifying lap, and then came into the pits, hoping to save their tires if no one could go faster. But Patrick Long (USA), qualifying the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, put together some terrific laps in the car he will share tomorrow with Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), besting the Ferrari time with six minutes remaining in the session and grabbing the provisional pole position. Bergmeister/Long lead the GT2 class in points after four events.
"We put together a pretty good lap," said Long, "but it was on our 11th lap, and after the Ferrari went back out and re-took the pole, we didn't want to put any more wear on the tires. But we'll be ready for the race tomorrow, and we're happy to start on the GT2 front row.
The Northeast Grand Prix, round five of the American Le Mans Series, takes the green flag on Saturday at 2:05 PM EDT, and will last two hours, 45 minutes. SPEED TV will begin its live coverage at 2:00 PM EDT, and will stay on the air until 5:00 PM EDT.
In third position is the Bryce Miller (USA)/Wolf Henzler (Germany) Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, with Henzler performing the qualifying duties. While the team was happy with the results, Henzler was disappointed based on earlier lap times.
"We turned the fastest GT2 time earlier in the day, but did not have the best setup for qualifying. I thought the car was capable of going faster, and we should be able to make the right adjustments for the race," said Henzler, defending co-champion of the class who is looking for his first win of the season.
The two BMW factory E92 M3s were fourth and fifth, followed by the Doran Ford GT. Seventh was the Richard Westbrook/Johannes Stuck T-Mobile VICI Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, and the #44 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Johannes van Overbeek/Seth Neiman was tenth.
In the new ALMS Challenge class for Patron GT3 Challenge Porsches, the Bob Faieta/Wesley Hoagland Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car is on the pole (qualified by Faieta, the reigning Patron champion), with Martin and Melanie Snow second. The Snows currently lead the class after their win in May in Salt Lake City. Five Porsches in all are in the competition, which runs behind the GT2 class in the ALMS race.
-credit: porsche motorsport