HEAVY RAIN CREATES HAVOC AND FORCES CANCELLATION OF SATURDAY QUALIFYING SESSION FOR TOMORROW'S AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES RACE AT MOSPORT INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY Starting positions determined based on aggregate practice times from Friday and ...
HEAVY RAIN CREATES HAVOC AND FORCES CANCELLATION OF SATURDAY QUALIFYING SESSION FOR TOMORROW'S AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES RACE AT MOSPORT INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
Starting positions determined based on aggregate practice times from Friday and Saturday
Porsche RS Spyders to start 3rd and 5th in Sunday's Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (Canada) - September 2, 2006 - Drivers and crews awoke to a leaden gray sky, signaling the dawn of what became a wet and soggy day. But the stormy weather, courtesy of topical storm Ernesto, held off until mid-day and allowed some of the competitors to hammer out new, faster times including one under the outright Mosport International Raceway track record.
With the dire predictions for rain and wind hanging over their head, every team got down to business quickly in Saturday's first practice session trying to beat the expected downpour.
The #7 Porsche RS Spyder of Lucas Luhr and Romain Dumas was unable to improve on Friday's fastest time, running only a handful of laps, before it retired from the session for precautionary reasons. But the time was still good enough to secure the LMP2 pole in Sunday's race with a time of 1:07.221 at 131.691 MPH.
"Mosport is not an easy track," said Romain Dumas, who set the poll winning time. "The fast corners are very nice and your instinct is to push harder and harder.
"You can go 99% here. Then you try to go 100%, but as soon as you go over the top, you wind up in the wall," he added.
The rains did finally come, just in time for Saturday afternoon's practice session slowing all of the cars down and forcing them to change their settings and onto rain tires, with no one bettering their existing times.
When the intensity of the rain increased, the official qualifying session was cancelled by the American Le Mans Series and starting positions were awarded based on the aggregate of all of the practice sessions. It was the 11th poll of Romain Dumas' career and his 4th of the year.
"For an LMP2 car, qualifying is always important," he explained. It is very difficult for us with less power than the LMP1 cars, to pass on the straights. Now, if it keeps on raining for tomorrow, it will be even more important. You have to see to drive fast!"
The #6 Porsche RS Spyder of Saacha Maassen and Timo Bernhard did better its Friday time in the dry Saturday morning practice and will start 2nd in LMP2 and 5th overall.
The two Porsche RS Spyder prototype teams, prepared by Penske Motorsports, are looking to lengthen their chassis and engine manufacturer championship points lead in the LMP2 class, while drivers Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr continue to fight it out for the driver's Champion-ship. Dumas co-drives the #7 RS Spyder with Luhr and Maassen co-drives the #6 with Timo Bernhard.
As for strategy for tomorrow's race, Dumas said it would be the same, wet or dry. "It is the same - we have to finish the race and take maximum points," he said. "Very simple," he added, smiling.
In GT2, the fastest Porsche 911 GT3 RSR lap was turned in by the driving team of Jorg Bergmeister, Timo Bergmeister and American Patrick Long. The Petersen/ White Lightning car will start third in class behind the two Ferraris 430 GT Berlinettas of Risi Competizione. GT2 points leader Johannes van Overbeek in the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche will start 5th in class.
-credit: porsche motorsport