Porsches and the GT Class Should be "The Race" at a Tight Lime Rock Park; Flying Lizard Motorsports Building a New Car st the Track --The Porsche 911 GT3 RS/RSR account for 11 of the 27 entries for this weekend's New England Grand Prix at Lime...
Porsches and the GT Class Should be "The Race" at a Tight Lime Rock Park; Flying Lizard Motorsports Building a New Car st the Track
--The Porsche 911 GT3 RS/RSR account for 11 of the 27 entries for this weekend's New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut; Mid-Ohio-winning Flying Lizard Motorsports, while running its first place Porsche at Lime Rock, is building its second team car at the track after the tub was destroyed last weekend-
LAKEVILLE, Conn. - July 1 - As proven last weekend when the top eight in the American Le Mans Series GT class qualified within 1.5-seconds of each other, the Porsches, Ferrari and Panoz Esperante should have the closest battle of the New England Grand Prix race scheduled for Lime Rock Park on Monday, July 5 at 3:00 PM
The Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, with Johannes van Overbeek from San Francisco and Darren Law from Phoenix haring the driving duties, scored an impressive win last week at Mid-Ohio - the team's first and only - the second Porsche team since Sebring, 2003, to nose Alex Job Racing out of the top podium spot. The "Lizards" will be back with that car to challenge for a second win, but much of the attention in the paddock was focused today on their second car, driven by Seth Neiman from Burlingame, Calif., and Lonnie Pechnik, from Pacific Grove, Calif.
"Lonnie and the GTS Lamborghini collided last weekend, and the tub of our Flying Lizard Porsche was destroyed," said crew chief Tom Sadler, who said the car could have been repaired if they had about three weeks in the body shop, but having a race the next weekend made a new tub the best solution.
"The new tub, direct from the Porsche racing facility in Weissach, Germany, arrived at the track on Wednesday late in the afternoon, and we put about 40 man-hours of work into it yesterday. We hope to have the car done tonight, and on the track for practice tomorrow," said Sadler.
Sadler said that the dashboard, the wiring, and the windshields have come from the old car, but everything else will be new.
"Lonnie is good at setting up a new car - we should be all set to run tomorrow," said Sadler.
Alex Job Racing, the two-time defending American Le Mans Series GT champions, will have its two McKenna mail2web.com Porsche 911 GT3 RSR race cars ready to challenge the Flying Lizards, with Germans Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister in one car and Frenchman Romain Dumas and German Marc Lieb in the other. Timo and Jorg were second last week at Mid-Ohio after a fuel pick-up problem caused them to lose a lap for an early pit stop, and Romain and Marc had shifting problems and a yellow-flag-causing accident and spin into the gravel which earned them a disappointing seventh place finish.
Lurking just behind Timo Bernhard, who leads the points after two events with his win at Sebring and his second place in Ohio, and van Overbeek/Law, who are second with their win last week and a fourth at Sebring, are Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Porsche drivers David Murry and Craig Stanton, who were third in both events.
"We were pleased with the way the car ran at Mid-Ohio, but the timing of the pace car coming out during one of the yellow flags put us a lap down, and we never recovered," said team manager Dale White, whose team had won their class at Le Mans in the same Porsche just two weeks before.
"We chased the Alex Job Porsche for nearly 30 laps early in the race, so we know we can run with the leaders," said White.
Both Murry and Stanton have extensive driving experience at Lime Rock.
The Racer's Group Porsche team, with two 911 GT3 RSR cars entered, finished fourth and fifth respectively at Mid-Ohio, and team owner Kevin Buckler thinks that the leading team car, with Patrick Long and Cort Wagner - both from Southern California - at the helm, should do better here than their fourth place finish last weekend.
"We got squeezed at the start last week, and found ourselves way back early in the race. Patrick and Cort can drive with the class leaders here, and we hope to be in the hunt at Lime Rock," said Buckler.
Veteran racer and car owner Jim Matthews, from Chapel Hill, NC, and Pierre Ehret, from Santa Rosa, Calif., are in the other The Racer's Group Porsche.
BAM!'s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR also ran at Le Mans, and had a shot at the win before transmission problems sidelined their effort late in the race. Leo Hindery and defending ALMS GT co-champion Lucas Luhr - free for the weekend from his regular assignment in the FIA-GT series - will be driving the BAM! Porsche at Lime Rock. Lucas' co-driver, Sascha Maassen, will also drive for BAM! at selected races this season. Both Lucas and Sascha were ALMS champions with Alex Job Racing in 2002 and 2003.
Peter Boss, from Narragansett, Rhode Island, and a newcomer to ALMS, will co-drive in the British-based P.K. Sport Porsche 911 GT3 RS with Hugh Plumb, while the J3 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR will be co-driven by Justin Jackson and Tim Sugden.
The New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock will be televised live on The Speed Channel cable television network starting at 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, July 5 (no racing is allowed at Lime Rock on Sunday due to the proximity of a church to the track).