Pit Strategy Ruins Leading Porsche Teams' Chance To Win ALMS GT Event at Lime Rock; Ferrari Breaks Porsche's 21-Race Winning Streak --Confusing weather conditions on lap two, with a quick shower followed immediate sunshine, scrambled the pit ...
Pit Strategy Ruins Leading Porsche Teams' Chance To Win ALMS GT Event at Lime Rock; Ferrari Breaks Porsche's 21-Race Winning Streak
--Confusing weather conditions on lap two, with a quick shower followed immediate sunshine, scrambled the pit strategy of the leading Porsche teams, helping the Kelleners/Lazarro Ferrari score its first win ever in ALMS--
LAKEVILLE, Conn. - July 5 - The same rain shower that caused Leo Hindery of New York City to crash the BAM! Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on lap two brought most of the field in for rain tires, but two teams saw a break in the clouds at Lime Rock and opted to stay on the course with their racing slicks, ultimately leading to end of Porsche's 21- race winning streak in the American Le Mans Series.
The Porsche 911 GT3 RS/RSR had won every American Le Mans Series GT class contest since the BMW V8 scored a win at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in 2002.
Everyone but the Tim Sudgen/Justin Jackson J3 Racing Porsche and the Kelleners/Lazarro Ferrari came in for rain tires when the shower started, but then, as the track cleared, all those teams has to come in again in 20 minutes to change back to slicks.
Sugden, from Leeds, England, stayed out and took the lead for the first hour and 50 minutes, with Kelleners and Lazarro chasing him in second place. Most of the other Porsche teams, including Alex Job Racing, Flying Lizard Motorsports, The Racer's Group, and Petersen/White Lightning, came into the pits for rain tires, losing a lap on the short 1.54-mile course. All those teams then lost additional time changing back to slicks only 15 minutes later.
Then with less than an hour left in the event, with Sugden still driving and leading the Ferrari, Tim headed for the pits during a yellow flag for a driver change when he was blocked by a slower GTS car, causing him to lose valuable time. The Ferrari saw the problem, stayed out and put a lap on the J3 car, and took the lead for good.
Besides the extra pit stops, the other Porsches had their problems as well, but the teams that overcame their early woes ended up on the podium, with the Darren Law/Johannes van Overbeek Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR finishing second and taking the GT points lead after three events. The Alex Job Racing McKenna mail2web.com Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Romain Dumas/Marc Lieb also overcame a stop-and-go penalty for a fuel spill during a pit stop to finish third, just two-tenths of a second behind Law.
Justin Jackson, who took over for Sugden after the fateful pit stop, was fourth in the J3 Porsche, with the Petersen/White Lightning Porsche of David Murry/Craig Stanton fifth and The Racer's Group Porsche of Patrick Long/Cort Wagner sixth.
Timo Bernhard was leading the GT points going into the event, but the Bernhard/Bergmeister Alex Job Porsche lost 15 laps in the pits to change a broken half-shaft. They finished tenth, only gaining one point, and were passed by both the Law/van Overbeek and Stanton/Murry teams in the standings.