PORSCHE DRIVERS HEAD TOWARDS GT2 TITLE; LMP2 RS SPYDER RETURNS AT MID-OHIO LEXINGTON, Ohio - August 4 -- On Saturday, August 8, the American Le Mans Series enters the second half of its season with the race on time-honored Mid-Ohio Sports Car ...
PORSCHE DRIVERS HEAD TOWARDS GT2 TITLE; LMP2 RS SPYDER RETURNS AT MID-OHIO
LEXINGTON, Ohio - August 4 -- On Saturday, August 8, the American Le Mans Series enters the second half of its season with the race on time-honored Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course race track. Porsche factory drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) line up on the grid as the clear favorites in the GT2 class. At the wheel of a Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, the pair is anxious to extend their sizable lead in the championship with the fifth straight victory. And the Porsche RS Spyder returns to the American Le Mans Series.
The Acura Sports Car Challenge will get the green flag at 3:00 PM ET, and be broadcast live on SPEED TV. The race, which will last two hours, 45 minutes, can also be heard live on American Le Mans Radio at www.americanlemans.com, which will also provide live timing and scoring.
After four wins on the street circuit of St. Petersburg and Long Beach as well as in Salt Lake City and Lime Rock respectively, Bergmeister and Long are well on their way to claiming their second championship title together after winning in 2005.
For Joerg Bergmeister this could mean his fourth title: In 2006 he became champion with Johannes van Overbeek (USA), and in 2008 with his factory pilot teammate Wolf Henzler (Germany).
"Four wins in five races is a fantastic balance," he says, "but nothing is set in concrete. Our points' advantage is not yet big enough to now ease off the throttle."
Nevertheless, thanks to their comfortable lead, the two certainly don't have to win races at any cost.
Patrick Long says: "Of course it would be great to win as many races as possible, but in the end it's the championship title that counts."
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a race track with its very own character, according to Bergmeister.
"It's very diverse," says the Porsche works driver, whose resume also includes two second places in Mid-Ohio (2004 and 2005 and a win in 2007).
"There are fast straights and many corners, not to mention the constant roller coaster ride. For a driver it's certainly not boring. You are always challenged."
In the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Farnbacher Loles Racing, factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) is hoping for his first win of the series. Henzler shares driving duties with Porsche factory Junior pilot Martin Ragginger (Austria). The best result this season for Henzler has been second place in Salt Lake City. As the points-leading team in the GT2 class, Flying Lizard Motorsport runs the second 911 GT3 RSR with pilots Darren Law (USA) and Seth Neiman (USA).
The Mid-Ohio round marks the return of the factory Corvette Racing team to the American Le Mans Series, this time with new cars running against the Porsches, Ferraris, Panoz, BMW, Dodge and Ford racers in the GT2 class. The new Corvette GT2 challengers are based on the Corvette ZR1.
Five Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers from the Patron GT3 Challenge again contest the ALMS Challenge - a newly created class behind the GT2 class in this season's American Le Mans Series. After two races, Martin and Melanie Snow (USA) lead the points.
In the LMP2 class, where the Penske Porsche RS Spyders won the class titles in 2006, 2007, and 2008, Team Cytosport has entered an RS Spyder for Mid-Ohio. Team owner Greg Pickett and Klaus Graf will drive the prototype, previously fielded by Dyson Racing in 2007 and 2008. Both former Trans-Am champions, Pickett and Graf raced in LMP1 at Mid- Ohio in 2007 with a third-place class finish. As with all RS Spyder customers teams - all in Europe so far this year - Porsche Motorsport will support Team Cytosport with factory engineers and technical information.
-credit: porsche motorsport