BERGMEISTER/LONG TAKE OVER GT2 POINTS LEAD WITH MOSPORT VICTORY FOR PETERSEN/WHITE LIGHTNING PORSCHE; TWO RACES LEFT For the second race in a row, the ...
BERGMEISTER/LONG TAKE OVER GT2 POINTS LEAD WITH MOSPORT VICTORY FOR PETERSEN/WHITE LIGHTNING PORSCHE; TWO RACES LEFT
For the second race in a row, the #31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche found victory circle - despite two peculiar incidents late in the race - to score their second victory in a row, and third of the season, taking over the ALMS GT2 championship points lead from the Timo Bernhard/ Romain Dumas driven Hyatt Porsche of Alex Job Racing, which finished sixth at the Labour Day Weekend, Grand Prix of Mosport in Bowmanville, ON, Canada.
The American Le Mans Series shortened the scheduled 2 hours, 45 minutes race to 2 hours, 30 minutes in the morning before the race due to fuel shortage concerns. "During a week when fuel shortages have been in the news, the American Le Mans Series has not been immune," ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton said.
Bowmanville, ON. - September 4 - Jorg Bergmeister from Langenfeld, Germany and teammate Patrick Long, from Las Vegas, NV scored a most unlikely victory - even though they did not cross the finish line - in their #31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche GT3 RSR during the Grand Prix of Mosport. In a peculiar turn of events, the lead for first place in the GT2 point battle changed hands once again.
In the last remaining laps of the time shortened race, Long's racing seat began to move under him causing him trouble reaching the pedals and seeing in the mirrors. Soon after he wedged himself into the seat, the left rear wheel broke from the car as he exited turn three leaving him, and the car stranded with two minutes left in the race. A dejected Long did not find out he won until track workers informed him during his ride back to pit lane.
"On my way back to the pits in the safety car, the workers turned around, simultaneously, and told me we were on the top of the podium," Long said. "Since then I have been in shock and utter disbelief. I can't say enough about the team's effort and my co-driver Jorg. I look forward in continuing on in the quest for the championship and those final two races."
Romain Dumas from Ales, France starting the race from the pole and with a two point lead, and kept the #23 Alex Job Racing Hyatt Porsche 911 GT3 RSR out in front until the first pit stop - when a 20 second pit penalty was imposed on the team. This allowed Long in the rival Porsche 911 RSR to take the lead. Timo Bernhard from Dittweiler, Germany was able to close the gap between the two cars, turning the fastest GT2 race lap in the process, until a wire broke at the connection to the alternator. The power steering is run off of the electrical system, so Bernhard had no choice but to pit, resulting in a five position drop to seventh place. They ultimately finished in sixth place.
"We were the quickest car all weekend," said Bernhard. "I was able to get back to within tenths of the Petersen car. When the alternator wire broke, the power steering also went. The water temperature began to rise. Even the strongest man in the world cannot be consistent without the power steering as that affects the feel and your rhythm. We had bad luck, Petersen had bad luck, but it was a little better than ours."
Darren Law and teammate Ian Baas, in the #24 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR finished in second, while the BAM! Racing 911 GT3 RSRS driven by Wolf Henzler and Mike Rockenfeller rounded out the all Porsche podium in third.
With two races left on the schedule, Petersen Motorsports teammates Bergmeister/Long hold a 12 point advantage over Alex Job teammates Bernhard/Dumas. Fifty points are still available between the two races, as six extra points are awarded for the 10 hour Petit Lemans Road Atlanta race, and four extra points are available for the season ending race at Laguna Seca.
The next American Le Mans Series event will be at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, on Sunday, October 2.