PORSCHE TEAMS SET QUALIFYING RECORDS AT ROAD AMERICA, BUT ACURA, FERRARI CAPTURE LMP2 AND GT2 POLES; KEY TO 4-HOUR RACE WILL BE PIT STOPS, FUEL USE ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin - August 8 - Romain Dumas (France), who shares the ...
PORSCHE TEAMS SET QUALIFYING RECORDS AT ROAD AMERICA, BUT ACURA, FERRARI
CAPTURE LMP2 AND GT2 POLES; KEY TO 4-HOUR RACE WILL BE PIT STOPS, FUEL USE
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin - August 8 - Romain Dumas (France), who shares the #7 LMP2 Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder with Timo Bernhard (Germany), and Jorg Bergmeister (Germany), who drives the #45 GT2 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Wolf Henzler (Germany), both broke the track qualifying records in their classes, but it wasn't quite enough to capture the pole for their Porsche teams for tomorrow's Generac 500 at Road America.
All is not lost for Dumas/Bernhard, who will start in third position in LMP2, as they are only one-tenth of a second out of second place and four-tenths away from the class pole. The Acuras of Montagny/Rossiter and Fernandez/Diaz have the first two LMP2 grid positions in Acura prototypes. The #6 Patrick Long (USA)/Sascha Maassen (Germany) Penske Porsche RS Spyder also broke the track qualifying record, but in this age of ultra-competitive American Le Mans Series racing, Long's qualifying time was good for sixth in class, more than a second off the pace.
"In a four-hour race, we will have four or five pit stops, several yellow flags, and other events that will ultimately determine the outcome of the race," said Long, former ALMS GT2 champion and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner.
"The Acuras are fast, but we can win if we drive smart and out-maneuver the competition," said Long, who, with co-driver Maassen, is looking for his first win of the season.
The Marino Franchitti (Scotland)/Butch Leitzinger (USA) Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder qualified seventh in class, while the team RS Spyder of Chris Dyson (USA)/Guy Smith (England) will start eighth.
In GT2, the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Bergmeister/Henzler qualified third, followed by the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche of Dirk Werner (Germany)/Richard Westbook (England)/Bryce Miller (USA) in fourth. Two Ferrari 430s occupy the first two GT2 grid positions.
Bergmeister, who has won in GT2 at Road America four times in his career, commented, In the No. 45, the car wasn't where we wanted to be for qualifying so we still have some work to do before tomorrow. Even so, we were close to the pace of the No. 71 and the No. 62 Risi Ferrari (in second); I'm optimistic that we'll have a great car for the race."
Werner, who is the defending Rolex Grand-Am champion, was optimistic about his position.
"I'm pretty confident with the lap I did. I think we did everything right - there was a short time for us to develop the car in the free practice and the track was new to Richard and me, so I don't see where I could have made any more time. I'm feeling okay for the race, although we still have to work a little bit in the morning warmup to get the race setup," Werner said.
The Flying Lizard team Porsche of Patrick Pilet (France) and Johannes van Overbeek (USA) was fifth in class, while the VICI Racing Porsche of Nicky Pastorelli/Francesco Pastorelli (both the Netherlands/Marc Basseng (Germany) were tenth and the Flying Lizard Porsche of Seth Neiman and Darren Law (both USA) was 11th.