Jorg Bergmeister Shatters Road America GT Qualifying Record Leading to an Alex Job Racing Porsche Sweep of Grid Front Row --While the GT class for Sunday's Road America 500 presented by the Chicago Tribune should be the best racing of the four...
Jorg Bergmeister Shatters Road America GT Qualifying Record Leading to an Alex Job Racing Porsche Sweep of Grid Front Row
--While the GT class for Sunday's Road America 500 presented by the Chicago Tribune should be the best racing of the four American Le Mans classes, German Jorg Bergmeister bested the field by more than 1.5 seconds en route to the GT pole-
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin - August 21, 2004 - Jorg Bergmeister, from Langenfeld, Germany, driving the # 23 Alex Job Racing McKenna mail2web.com Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, smashed the existing Road America GT track record and grabbed the class pole position for tomorrow's Road America 500 presented by the Chicago Tribune.
Bergmeister, who earned his first pole position is almost a year, will co-drive Sunday with Timo Bernhard, and thinks the car is headed for a good result.
"Our Alex Job Porsche was perfect today - so perfect that I was hoping they would just throw the green flag so we could start the race right during qualifying. This track is great fun, and Timo and I are really looking forward to the race tomorrow," said Bergmeister, who won his first ALMS win here in 2002 with Bernhard in an Alex Job Porsche.
Although Bergmeister/Bernhard have won three races this season (Sebring, Infineon and Mosport) Bernhard is the driver in the points championship contention as Bergmeister was sick at Sebring and did not score any points there.
Second on the GT grid is the other Alex Job Porsche, qualified by German Marc Lieb and co-driven by Romain Dumas, which also broke the GT track record, set last year by former Alex Job racer Lucas Luhr. Lieb and Dumas will try to climb back into the championship chase after an accident two weeks ago at Mosport left them out of the points.
Third is the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche of David Murry/Craig Stanton (Stanton qualified the car), while the New Century Mortgage The Racer's Group Porsche qualified Patrick Long, and co-driven by Cort Wagner - both from Los Angeles - is fourth. Murry and Stanton have lead both of the last two races in their 2004 Le Mans-winning Porsche, while Patrick Long, after crashing at Mosport and missing qualifying, started at the back of the pack and was first at the half-way mark at the Canadian track.
After the David Saelens/Gunner Jeannette Panoz Esperante, which is fifth on the grid, is the first of the two Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsches. The # 44 Lizard, driven by Lonnie Pechnik, from Pacific Grove, Calif., and Seth Neiman, from Burlingame, Calif., also ran among the leaders at Mosport earlier this month when Pechnik earned the pole and led the first 30 minutes of the event.
Qualifying seventh was Sascha Maassen, two-time defending ALMS GT champion and the only driver to win his ALMS class every year since the series started in 1999 - including a win this year at Sebring in the Alex Job Porsche. Maassen will be co-driving with Leo Hindery in the BAM! YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
In eighth position are the current series GT point leaders Darren Law and Johannes van Overbeek, whose Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche has only won one event, but keeps finishing on the podium to retain the points lead. Law/vanOverbeek won the event at Mid-Ohio, and crossed the finish line first at their home track, Infineon Raceway, but ended up second after a pit lane violation.
Rounding out the top ten in GT are the Tim Sugden/Justin Jackson J3 Racing Porsche (ninth), and The Racer's Group Porsche driven by Phillip Collin/Pierre Ehret is tenth.
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 tomorrow, Sunday, August 22 for its entire two-hour, 45-minute duration.