PORSCHE TEAMS SURVIVE RACE-DAY CRASHES AT MOSPORT TO ADVANCE TOWARDS 2009 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES GT2 CHAMPIONSHIPS BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - August 30 - The two Porsche 911 GT3 RSR teams were involved substantial track incidents today at Mosport...
PORSCHE TEAMS SURVIVE RACE-DAY CRASHES AT MOSPORT TO ADVANCE TOWARDS 2009 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES GT2 CHAMPIONSHIPS
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - August 30 - The two Porsche 911 GT3 RSR teams were involved substantial track incidents today at Mosport International Raceway, but yeoman work by the Farnbacher Loles Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports crews, along with the stout Weissach- built 911 racing chassis help Porsche march closer to its overall goal - another American Le Mans Series championship.
For the Patrick Long (USA) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) Flying Lizard Porsche, it was a three-way shunt caused by a prototype cutting of the BMW racer ahead of Patrick, causing the BMW to slam on the brakes unexpectedly, and the Lizard Porsche ploughed into the back of the BMW.
"The accident we got into near the beginning of the race would have put us out in any other car. A prototype cut off the BMW, and I was so close I didn't even get a chance to brake. I hit him full on, and I radioed in and told the crew that I had major damage - to empty out the parts bin. But when I came in, it was only superficial damage; the crew made short work of the repair and I was on my way. The strength of the GT3 RSR chassis saved our day," said Long.
The pair was unable to run with the Corvette/Ferrari fight for the race lead after the extra pit stop, and a subsequent ill-timed yellow flag, but finished a credible fifth place to retain their 31-point GT2 championship points lead of the Kaffer/Melo Ferrari, which finished second. The winning Magnussen/O'Connell Corvette was the first win for their new GT2 effort, but they are not in the points chase.
Porsche maintains a 140 - 107 lead over Ferrari in the manufacturers point.
The Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR faced even great odds to score a top finish, having to start at the back of the pack even though Wolf Henzler (Germany) qualified the car third. Henzler's co-driver, Dirk Werner (Germany), missed all the practice sessions because of a race conflict on Saturday, thus putting the car at the back per IMSA rules. To add insult to injury, the car was found out of compliance due to an illegal wing adjustment, which cemented their rear-starting position.
Then, Werner stepped into the car this morning and lost control after hitting the rumble strips in turn two, causing major damage on the left side of the car. The crew worked tirelessly right up to the start of the race, and Wolf said their effort paid off.
"Dirk did a great job bringing the car from the back of the field to fourth place during the first stint, so I started my stint in a good spot. After our accident this morning in warm-up, the crew had to replace the entire left front and left rear suspension and we barely made it out to the grid. The car really ran well all weekend, but the handling was understandably a bit off today after the accident. We got close to the lead pack in the end, but could not quite make it to the podium. In these conditions, a fourth place was good for us, thanks to the crew," said Henzler.
The other Flying Lizard Porsche, the Johannes van Overbeek/Darren Law entry, which also had to start at the back of the pack due to Law's Saturday racing commitments, finished seven in GT2.
-credit: porsche motorsport