BERNHARD/DUMAS MAKE IT FOUR IN A ROW TO TAKE ALMS/GT2 POINTS LEAD IN ALEX JOB PORSCHE; BAD LUCK, ACCIDENT PUSHES PETERSEN/WHITE LIGHTNING PORSCHE INTO SECOND FOR FIRST TIME THIS YEAR --Grabbing the lead from the GT2 pole position and completing...
BERNHARD/DUMAS MAKE IT FOUR IN A ROW TO TAKE ALMS/GT2 POINTS LEAD IN ALEX JOB PORSCHE; BAD LUCK, ACCIDENT PUSHES PETERSEN/WHITE LIGHTNING PORSCHE INTO SECOND FOR FIRST TIME THIS YEAR
--Grabbing the lead from the GT2 pole position and completing the race with only one pit stop, the #23 Alex Job Racing Hyatt Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas driving a perfect event, won their class at the ALMS Grand Prix of Portland, and moved into the points lead for the first time this season-
PORTLAND, Ore. - July 30 - Making it "all the way back" from their disappointing DNF at the Sebring season opener, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas scored a flag-to-flag class win a the ALMS Grand Prix of Portland in their #23 Alex Job Racing Hyatt Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to take the GT2 points lead with four races remaining.
Their flawless race, combined with bad luck and an accident suffered by the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche, has put the Alex Job drivers into the lead by six points, fully recovering from their DNF at Sebring in March. Timo and Romain now have a six-point lead over Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister, but it took them four straight victories to do so, and Bernhard knows there is still much work to be done.
"We had a great car today, and Romain completed the first stint, handing me the car with a one-lap lead," said Bernhard, who is the defending ALMS GT2 champion."
"We had only one pit stop, and stayed out of trouble, so we gained the victory and took advantage of the other guy's bad fortune, but the reverse could happen to us at the next event. This points battle could come down to the last event in October," said Bernhard.
That bad fortune for Long/Bergmeister included first lap wheel trouble which caused an early pit stop, and an accident halfway through the event when Bergmeister hit the #44 Flying Lizard Porsche, breaking the center radiator and losing 15 minutes in the pits. Long/Bergmeister scored only three points for an eighth-place finish, while Bernhard/Dumas scored 20 points for the win.
The BAM! Porsche of Wolf Henzler and Danish touring car star Martin Jensen earned second place, one lap behind the leaders. Henzler and Jensen maintained contact with the leaders for most of the event, staying between eight and 12 second behind the Bernhard/Dumas, but an extra pit stop put them a lap down and out of contention for the lead.
Third place, for the third time this season, was the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Johannes van Overbeek/Jon Fogarty - a finish which keeps the lead Lizard team firmly in third place in the standings. After the two Panoz race cars, which finished fourth and fifth, it was the J3 Racing Porsche of team owner Justin Jackson and SPEED World Challenge star Michael Galati in sixth postion, and the second Lizard Porsche of Seth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik in seventh. An early race battle between Pechnik and Panoz driver Robin Liddell for fourth place captivated the SPEED TV audience for several laps during the first 15 minutes of the event.
The second Alex Job Racing Porsche, piloted by Ian Baas and Darren Law, had to pit on the first lap after the cool suit pump had run down the battery, and then suffered electrical problems near the end of the first hour. Finally, with ten minutes to go, the car broke an axle and was forced to retire.
The next race on the American Le Mans circuit is the Road America Grand Prix presented by the Chicago Tribune, which will telecast live by The Speed Challenge on Sunday, August 21, at 3:00 PM EDT.