-Now that the American Le Mans Series is headed down the home stretch, and the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR competitors have settled into their development program for the season, the top three teams fighting for the title are so evenly matched that it...
-Now that the American Le Mans Series is headed down the home stretch, and the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR competitors have settled into their development program for the season, the top three teams fighting for the title are so evenly matched that it will be the little things that yield victory at Road America-
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin - August 19, 2004 - Among the Las Vegas-based Petersen/White Lightning Porsche, the two Tavares, Flordia-based Alesd Job Racing Porsches, and the two Sonoma, California-based Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsches, no one is going to gain an advantage in this weekend's GT class battle with more horsepower or better drivers in the Road America 500 presented The Chicago Tribune.
With the top three Porsche GT teams so evenly matched, it will come down to good pit strategy, mistake-free driving, and set-up for the 5.2-mile, 14-turn course to determine the winner.
"Our drivers have led the last two races for more than 50 percent of the event, and were leading at Mosport with ten minutes to go, yet we have not won an event so far," said Petersen/White Lightning crew chief Dale White.
"We're just as fast as those other guys with David Murry and Craig Stanton driving, but we have missed on the little things so far. But Stanton and Johnny Mowlem won Road America last year for us, so we think that our time has come," said White.
But White's team is looking uphill in the point standings to Alex Job Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports. Darren Law and Johannes van Overbeek lead the GT driver points in their Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR by virture of a win at Mid-Ohio and consistent podium finishes. The Timo Bernhard/Jorg Bergmeister Alex Job Racing McKenna mail2web.com Porsche is right on their tail, however, with wins at Sebring, Infineon Raceway, and two weeks ago at Mosport. And with a win this weekend, Murry/Stanton could be back in the hunt as well.
The other Alex Job Porsche, driven by Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb, who claimed victory at the ALMS event in Portland, fell back in the points at Mosport when an early race crash results in an 11th place finish - and no points. Still, a victory at Road America could rekindle their hopes for a top season finish.
The Flying Lizard Motorsports team also has a second car, driven by Seth Neiman, of Hillsborough, Calif., and Lonnie Pechnik, of Pacific Grove, Calif. Pechnik, a former Skip Barber driving instructor, claimed the pole at Mosport, and led the first 30 minutes of the event.
The Racer's Group Porsche team, also with two 911 GT3 RSR cars entered, features Patrick Long and Cort Wagner at the helm of the lead car. Wagner, a former ALMS GT champion, and Long, the 22 year-old Porsche factory driver, who was recently on the winning GT team at Le Mans, are still looking for their first podium finish of the year. Long also led at Portland and Mosport for a time, but extra pit stops for mechanical ills and flat tires torpedoed their efforts for a top finish.
Pierre Ehret, from Santa Rosa, Calif., and veteran Phillip Collin, from Deerfield, IL, will drive the second The Racer's Group Porsche.
BAM!'s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR also ran at Le Mans, and had a shot at the win before transmission problems sidelined their effort late in the race. Leo Hindery and defending ALMS GT co-champion Sascha Maassen, who did win at Le Mans, will be driving the BAM! YES Network Porsche at Road America. Maassen had the BAM! entry in the top three for the first half of the event two weeks ago at Mosport.
The J3 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, based in Buford, GA, will be co-driven by Justin Jackson and Tim Sugden. Sugden, who had the J3 Racing Porsche in the lead for almost two hours at Lime Rock, will be shooting to stay with the leaders again with Jackson at Road America.
The Road America 500 presented by The Chicago Tribune will be televised live on The Speed Channel starting at 1:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Sunday, August 22 for its entire two-hour, 45-minute duration.
The official Porsche media web site - www.press.porsche.com - will have qualifying information for the Road America event for the Porsches entered, and will post stories and photos during and after the race. Porsche media web site users enter the word "carrera" for both user name and password, then choose "motor sports news" and "ALMS" to find the Road America updates. The same information is posted for consumers on Porsche's main site www.porsche.com/motorsport (click on "news").
The official race notes and results for all the classes at the Road America event can be found on the official site for the American Le Mans Series (www.americanlemans.com), where fans can follow the qualifying sessions and the race with live timing and scoring on-line as well as American Le Mans Radio Web, a live radio broadcast of all qualifying sessions as well as the entire 2-hour, 45-minute race.
Other Web sites that will follow the Road America event include Daily Sports Car (www.dailysportscar.com), The Race Site (www.theracesite.com), the Speed Channel site (www.speedTV.com), Sports Car Pros (www.sportscarpros.com) Motorsport.com (www.motorsport.com), AutoSport magazine's site (www.autosport.com), AutoRacingDaily.com (www.autoracingdaily.com), Motorsport-news.com (www.motorsport-news.com), Crash.net (www.crash.net), racinglines.com (www.racinglines.com), EnduranceSportsCar.com (www.endurancesportscar.com), pitstop.com (www.pitstop.com); and Speed Arena (www.speedarena.com).