Frenchman Romain Dumas Scores First Career Pole for Monday's New England Grand Prix; Porsches Grab Top Six GT Positions for ALMS Event --Narrow 1.54-mile, seven turn Connecticut track challenges the drivers with traffic and slippery conditions,...
Frenchman Romain Dumas Scores First Career Pole for Monday's New England Grand Prix; Porsches Grab Top Six GT Positions for ALMS Event
--Narrow 1.54-mile, seven turn Connecticut track challenges the drivers with traffic and slippery conditions, but France's Romain Dumas has qualified on the GT pole for Monday's New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock in the #24 Alex Job Racing McKenna mail2web.com Porsche 911 GT3 RSR-
LAKEVILLE, Conn. - July 3 - In a qualifying session shortened to only 15 minutes as the result of a delay due to asphalt repair, Romain Dumas, Ales, France, has put the #24 Alex Job Racing McKenna mail2web.com Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on the GT pole for the New England Grand Prix race scheduled for Lime Rock Park on Monday, July 5 at 3:00 PM
Dumas, who finished second in GT earlier this year at Sebring and narrowly missed a GT victory at Le Mans in June, said it was his first professional pole position, but he is not entirely comfortable with the fast, tight Connecticut track.
"Even with only 18 cars on the track for GT/GTS qualifying, there was lots of traffic and it was hard to get a clean lap. When we turned our fast lap, we decided that the traffic and hot track temperatures meant that it was not worth trying for a faster lap, so we came in after only four laps. Since we have to start the race on the qualifying tires, there was no reason to put unnecessary race wear on our Michelins," said Dumas, who drove in the winning Alex Job Porsche at Petit Le Mans last fall at Road Atlanta.
For Monday's race, Dumas will co-drive with Marc Lieb, from Leipzig, Germany.
Lucas Luhr, originally from Germany, now living in Monte Carlo, is a guest driver this weekend in the BAM! YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, and earned second position on the grid, less than .3 of a second back. He will be co-driving with regular BAM! pilot Leo Hindery, from New York City. Leo is chairman of the YES Network, the cable network for New York Yankee baseball.
Third on the GT grid is the other Alex Job Porsche of Germans Jorg Bergmeister/Timo Bernhard, with Bergmeister turning the qualifying lap. Rounding out the second row on the grid is Patrick Long, from Los Angeles, driving The Racer's Group New Century Mortgage Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Long, the first American ever hired by the Porsche UPS Junior team in Germany, is in his first full season of American Le Mans Series competition. In the past two weeks, Long has finished fourth at Mid-Ohio with his veteran co-driver Cort Wagner in The Racer's Group Porsche, and second and fourth in the two Porsche Michelin Supercup race at the Indanapolis Motor Speedway in the Porsche factory guest entry.
The 2004 Le Mans GT-winning entry, the Petersen/White Lightning Porsche, being driven by David Murry and Craig Stanton, qualified fifth, while the Justin Jackson/Tim Sugden J3 Racing Porsche is sixth.
After the seventh-place Kelleners/Lazarro Ferrari, the next position is filled by last week's Mid-Ohio GT winners, The Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, with Johannes van Overbeek from San Francisco and Darren Law from Phoenix sharing the driving duties. The Pierre Ehret/Jim Matthews The Racer's Group Porsche is ninth, with the second "Lizards" Porsche, driven by Seth Neiman from Hillsborough, Calif., and Lonnie Pechnik, from Pacific Grove, Calif., rounding out the top ten. It was this car that was "built at the track" this week after Pechnik was involved in an accident last weekend that destroyed their race car tub.
The complete GT qualifying results are listed below.
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).