THREE RACES TO GO AND TWO CLASS BATTLES FOR PORSCHE ALMS COMPETITORS AS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS RACES FOR LMP2 AND GT2 TIGHTEN UP AT MOSPORT IN CANADA BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (Canada) - August 24 - While Porsche teams in both the LMP2 class and the GT2...
THREE RACES TO GO AND TWO CLASS BATTLES FOR PORSCHE ALMS COMPETITORS AS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS RACES FOR LMP2 AND GT2 TIGHTEN UP AT MOSPORT IN CANADA
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (Canada) - August 24 - While Porsche teams in both the LMP2 class and the GT2 class retained their points lead going into next week's Detroit Grand Prix, no one was really satisfied with the results of today Grand Prix of Mosport presented by Mobil 1.
In the LMP2 class, the Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyders finished third and sixth in class, with the Sascha Maassen (Germany)/Patrick Long (USA) car finished third - their fourth podium finish - and the Bernhard/Dumas car was sixth after running out of fuel on the last lap.
John Erickson, general manager of Penske Racing, was pleased that the number six Long/Maassen RS Spyder finished on the podium, helping both team and manufacturers points, but was disappointed that the right strategy for the number seven Bernhard/Dumas car did not work out.
"We knew it would be close on fuel at the end, so we came in with two minutes to go for a quick splash, and thought we could make it to the end. We didn't put in more fuel because we did want to lose additional track position, but the overall leading Audi passed the start- finish line just after the two-hour, 45-minute time limit, so the whole field had to do another lap. Romain made to within 100 yards of the finish with the extra lap, but he ran out of gas," said Erickson.
Bernhard ran a strong first stint, bringing the car in for his pit stop and driving change during a caution flag at the 44-minute mark, and quick work by the Penske crew got Dumas out of the pits ahead of all the Audis and Acuras and into the overall lead. Dumas lead the race overall during two separate stages of the event, and lead the class several times until the last shuffle of pits stops, when the car was pushed back to fifth in class. He worked his way back to challenge for second place before the splash-and-go and the fuel shortage at the end.
In the LMP2 driving championship point standings, Bernhard/Dumas now lead the Brabham/Sharp Acura drivers, who won the class at Mosport, by ten points, while Porsche leads Acura in the manufacturer points by six points.
The other two Porsche RS Spyders in the LMP2 class, the Dyson Racing entries, ran the race without incident, but suffered a variety of nagging problems to keep them off the podium, including some under-steering issues. The Chris Dyson/Guy Smith RS Spyder finished seventh in class, while the Marino Franchitti/Butch Leitzinger RS Spyder was eighth.
The GT2 contest was a rough and tumble affair, with the Melo/Salo Ferrari outlasting the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Dirk Werner and Pierre Kaffer. Some of the best racing of the weekend was the battle between those two cars - the same two that battled at Road America two weeks ago when the Farnbacher Loles Porsche won the race.
"I'm very happy that we got another podium in our first ALMS season. I think it shows how amazingly the team works together and how good a package we have. With a little bit more luck in finding the right race setup, we could have had a chance to win the race, but today the Ferrari was just a little bit stronger. I had to fight very hard to go the speed I went; I couldn't do it over the whole stint. But we can be happy with the result because everything went right for us," said Werner.
The two leading GT2 cars in the series - the Mueller/Farnbacher Ferrari and the Henzler/Bergmeister Flying Lizard Porsche - also had a healthy scrap, with Mueller muscling his way past Bergmeister by bumping him off the track late in the race. Joerg held on to his car, but had to settle for fourth place against his rival. But the IMSA officials, who had warned both drivers earlier in the race about bumping and blocking, ruled that the Ferrari was guilty of avoidable contact, and awarded the Lizard Porsche third.
Bergmeister, a multi-time IMSA champion, thought justice had been done.
"That was one of the toughest fights that I ever had in a race car. I had to drive very defensively to make sure that the Ferrari would not get by. In doing that, I got more and more tire pickup so at the end I was struggling quite a bit. But we finished ahead of them in the points so that's all that counts. It's a little step, but a step in the right direction," he said.
The Lonnie Pechnik/Seith Neiman Flying Lizard Porsche was seventh after suffering a broken shock, while the Patrick Pilet/Johannes van Overbeek Lizard Porsche was ninth after a starter problem in the pits cost them value time. The Francesco Pastorelli/Nicky Pastorelli/Marc Basseng VICI Racing Porsche did not finish after Basseng suffered a broken right rear suspension at speed and could not continue, finishing 12th.
-credit: porsche motorsports