PENSKE MOTORSPORTS PORSCHE RS SPYDER, PETERSEN/WHITE LIGHTNING PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR EARN POLE POSITIONS FOR MID-OHIO ALMS EVENT LEXINGTON, OH - May 20 - The ...
PENSKE MOTORSPORTS PORSCHE RS SPYDER, PETERSEN/WHITE LIGHTNING PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR EARN POLE POSITIONS FOR MID-OHIO ALMS EVENT
LEXINGTON, OH - May 20 - The #6 Porsche RS Spyder, qualified by veteran Porsche factory driver Sascha Maassen, became the first Porsche ever to win the first overall grid position in an American Le Mans Series event by winning the LMP2 pole and out-qualifying the faster LMP1 prototypes for Sunday's ALMS race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Maassen, who has 22 ALMS wins including a victory with co-driver Lucas Luhr at the RS Spyder's debut last fall at Laguna Seca, set an LMP2 qualifying record on the newly-repaved Mid-Ohio track, which provided a smooth, but slippery surface brought on by recent heavy rains.
"The slippery track conditions today favored our LMP2 RS Spyder over the turbocharged LMP1 and LMP2 cars," said Porsche AG Motorsports Director Hartmut Kristen. "Our goal in qualifying was to capture the LMP2 pole. To set the overall fastest time was a bonus. We must now concentrate on winning the LMP2 class in tomorrow's race."
The team #7 Porsche RS Spyder, qualified by Timo Bernhard, was slightly faster during the 20- minute qualifying session, but will start at the back of the pack as officials found the car was four pounds under the minimum weight. Bernhard's co-driver, Romain Dumas, won the pole last week at Houston, giving Porsche four LMP2 poles in a row going back to Laguna Seca last fall.
Alan McNish, the last Porsche driver to win Le Mans in a Porsche prototype (Porsche GT1 in 1998), qualified second behind Maassen in a turbocharged Audi R8.
Patrick Long captures GT2 Pole
Patrick Long, the only American Porsche factory driver, overcame the fast pole time turned by the rival Ferrari and oil on the track late in qualifying to capture the top spot in the GT2 class for tomorrow event. Long, who earned the second ALMS pole of his young career, said the new track surface makes the car set-up critical for turning fast laps.
"Because the turns are so smooth and newly-paved, the late braking into the corner has changed from previous years, and the Petersen/White Lightning team gave me a car which out-performed our competitors," said Long.
According to Long, the track had oil in several of the critical turns, so his fast lap was a balance of late-braking and dancing around the oil in his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Second on the LMP2 grid will be the Ferrari 430, with the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Wolf Henzler/Johannes van Overbeek third.
The American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, round three of the ten-race American Le Mans Series, will be held on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio on Sunday, May 21, from noon EDT to 2:45 PM. The race will be telecast by CBS Sports on a live/edit-on-the-run basis staring at 1:00 PM EDT, and in Europe on Motors TV. Also, a live web radio broadcast can be heard on the American Le Mans Series web site - www.americanlemans.com. The ALMS site will also carry live scoring for the race. Porsche fans can see results and photos on www.porscheusa.com/motorsport.