Miami: Porsche preview

Porsche teams look to avoid Miami "vise-like" street course corners. MIAMI, Florida - October 4 - With a ten-hour race - The American Le Mans Series finale at Road Atlanta - coming in just seven days, Porsches entered in the Grand Prix Americas...

Porsche teams look to avoid Miami "vise-like" street course corners.

MIAMI, Florida - October 4 - With a ten-hour race - The American Le Mans Series finale at Road Atlanta - coming in just seven days, Porsches entered in the Grand Prix Americas this weekend through the streets of Miami are hoping to finish the race in one p iece as the first priority, but many competitors need the American Le Mans Series points as the championship competition nears its completion.

"We still have a chance for the team championship, so we would like score a victory here for sure," said Kevin Buckler, The Racer's Group team owner and lead driver.

"Although we are almost out of contention for the driver's championship, we can still compete for the team championship, IMSA Privateer points, and the Porsche Cup points, making this weekend important," said Buckler, who has won ALMS this season at Mid- Ohio and Mosport. The Racer's Group also won the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in its Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

The Porsche Cup is a points fund administered by the Porsche factory for independent Porsche drivers around the world. Points are awarded for Porsche finishes in various events on all continents, with the American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Grand-Am fi nishes earning significant points. Because he has two Grand-Am wins (24 Hours of Daytona and the Fontana, Calif. events), two ALMS wins, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans victory, he has the inside track to become the fourth American to win the Cup since its in ception (Price Cobb, Cort Wagner, and Mike Fitzgerald are the other three).

Buckler is paired with GT veteran Brian Cunningham this weekend in the team's #66 Porsche, while Michael Schrom, who shared Buckler's Grand-Am wins, will be driving with Vic Rice in the #67 The Racer's Group Porsche.

For Alex Job Racing's leading McKenna Porsche team, it's another weekend of trying to make sure the drivers get equal points to create a tie for the championship. Because ALMS awards one point for the pole and one point for most time in the car, it's Luca s Luhr's turn to qualify the #23 Alex Job Racing McKenna Xybernaut Porsche 911 GT3 RS, with co-driver Sascha Maassen having a one-point lead in the standings. Similarly, Jorg Bergmesiter will qualify the #22 Alex Job Porsche, as Timo Bernhard has the extr a point in the standings.

Maassen was almost squeezed by the narrow "Miami Vise" course in warm-up as a car in front of him hit the tire barrier in practice, knocking tires onto the track.

"I was able to make a quick maneuver to avoid the rolling rubber, but the Viper behind me hit the roadblock at considerable speed, damaging the car. It really points out how fast trouble can come on a street circuit," said Maassen.

Other Porsche entries include the #42 Orbit Racing Porsche Roger Scotton/Ron Atapattu; #43 Orbit Racing Porsche of Leo Hindery/Peter Baron; #79 Justin Jackson Racing Porsche of Justin Jackson/Mike Fitzgerald; and the #21 Monaco Perspective Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Michael Neugarten/Angelo Barretto/Thierry Perrier.

With its victory at the Laguna Seca race last month, Porsche now has 28 American Le Mans Series wins, dating back to the beginning of the series in 1999. Only Audi has reached 20 wins, with its Laguna victory giving it 22 wins.

The American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of the Americas will be broadcast live on the Speed Channel television network starting at 4:00 PM Eastern time on Saturday, October 5. It will be broadcast in Europe on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, September 29, a t 20:00 Central European Time on the Eurosport television network. The Miami event will be broadcast live online on the American Le Mans Radio Network starting at 3:00 PM EST, and can be accessed on the Web at www.imsaracing.net. The radio web will also cover qualifying live on Friday, October 4, at 3:00 PM. That same American Le Mans Series/IMSA web site will also have live timing and scoring during qualifying and race event.

The official Porsche web site - www.porsche.com - will have qualifying information on the Miami event for all the Porsches entered, and will file stories and photos during and after the race. Porsche web site uses should click on "North America" from the home page when prompted to select a country, choose "motorsports," then "news" to find the ALMS updates.

The Porsche Motorsport North America pages (www.porsche.com/motorsport) and The Porsche Cars North America media site (www.press.porsche.com - user ID and password are both the word "carrera") also have motorsports news, with the media site containing driv er bios and team information as well.

Other Web sites that follow the ALMS events include The Race Site (www.theracesite.com), the Speed Channel site (www.speedTV.com), Motorsport.com (www.motorsport.com) , AutoSport magazine's site (www.autosport.com), AutoRacingDaily.com (www.autoracingdaily com), Motorsport-news.com (www.motorsport-news.com), Crash.net (www.crash.net), racelines.com (www.racelines.com), EnduranceSportsCar.com (www.endurancesportscar.com), pitstop.com (www.pitstop.com); AmericanRaceFan.com (www.americanracefan.com) and Dail y Sports Car (www.dailysportscar.com).

-porsche-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Sascha Maassen , Kevin Buckler , Leo Hindery , Timo Bernhard , Michael Schrom , Price Cobb , Brian Cunningham , Vic Rice , Justin Jackson , Alex Job , Thierry Perrier , Cort Wagner
Teams Alex Job Racing