PORSCHE LMP2 AND GT1 COMPETITORS ACHIEVE GOAL FOR ALMS QUALIFYING; COSMO/BAKER PUT PORSCHE 911 GT3 CUP ON CHALLENGE POLE FOR SUNDAY ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin - August 15 - When you don't qualify on the pole in your race car, there is a tendency to...
PORSCHE LMP2 AND GT1 COMPETITORS ACHIEVE GOAL FOR ALMS QUALIFYING; COSMO/BAKER PUT PORSCHE 911 GT3 CUP ON CHALLENGE POLE FOR SUNDAY
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin - August 15 - When you don't qualify on the pole in your race car, there is a tendency to rationalize your performance, but for the top Porsche competitors in the LMP2 and GT2 classes, their strategies for the race weekend are coming together nicely for tomorrow's American Le Mans Series race after strong qualifying runs.
The Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase will get the green flag Sunday, August 16, at 3:05 PM ET, and be broadcast live on SPEED TV. The race, which will last two hours, 45 minutes, can also be heard live on American Le Mans Radio at www.americanlemans.com, which will also provide live timing and scoring.
The #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR qualified third behind the two BMWs in the GT2 class, but qualifying driver Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) was not worried about the team's position.
"Our single priority is to win the American Le Mans Series GT2 championship, and are certainly on track to do that. We are 37 points ahead, so a podium finish will be satisfying. The pole would have been nice, but it is not part of our goal for the weekend," said Bergmeister.
Co-driver Patrick Long (USA) added that it was his turn to qualify, but this is Joerg's favorite track, so he stepped aside.
"When Joerg and I drove together in 2005 and 2006 - resulting in Gt2 championships both years - it was always clear that he had something magic going here, so we gave him the shot here. For the race itself, we want to be competitive, finish as high as we can, and gather those precious points towards a title."
The other Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which will be piloted by Porsche factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA).
The team, which won the GT2 event last year at Road America with Miller, Dirk Werner, and Richard Westbrook, put its car in sixth place on the grid with Henzler at the controls. Wolf had the fastest time for the first half of the qualifying, but the others edged ahead of him near the end of the 20-minute session.
Bergmeister was just three-tenths of a second off the pole time, and Henzler was only seven- tenths off the pole, so both teams are optimistic for the race.
In LMP2, the Team Cytosport Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder found itself well of the pace during early practice sessions, but team owner Greg Pickett told the American Le Mans Series Radio announcer Greg Creamer that they found "something" right before qualifying, and told everyone to "watch Klaus (qualifying driver Klaus Graf)" during qualifying.
Graf took more than two seconds off his previous RS Spyder times during the 20-minute prototype session to qualifying fourth in class and only nine-tenths of a second off the pole- winning time for tomorrow's event. Graf and Pickett finished second in LMP2 last week at Mid-Ohio, missing the win by only ten seconds.
The third class to feature Porsches in the Sunday race this weekend is the ALMS Challenge class for matched Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars that also run in the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama series. The pole position for that class was captured by veteran sports car driver Guy Cosmo, who is co-driving with car owner John Baker in the Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Martin and Melanie Snow, husband and wife team from Pleasant Valley, Utah, who lead the ALMS Challenge points, qualified second with Martin at the controls.
-credit: porsche motorsport