Sascha Maassen, Alex Job Racing put in extra effort for Petit Le Mans pole; top six GT grid positions finalized on last qualifying lap. ATLANTA -- October 17 -- Just like the American Le Mans Series event in late June at Road Atlanta, Friday's...
Sascha Maassen, Alex Job Racing put in extra effort for Petit Le Mans pole; top six GT grid positions finalized on last qualifying lap.
ATLANTA -- October 17 -- Just like the American Le Mans Series event in late June at Road Atlanta, Friday's GT qualifying session started with a steady rain falling. The rain caused the cancellation of qualifying in June, but this time, the rain only lasted a few minutes, and alert tire changes reacting to a rapidly-drying race surface led to drama over the last five minutes.
Sascha Maassen, driving the #23 Alex Job Racing McKenna mail2webPorsche 911 GT3, started qualifying on intermediate Michelin Pilot rain tires, but came in for racing slicks as the rain let up about half-way through the 20-minute session. In the last three laps, Sascha cut more than two seconds off his time to grab the pole from his competition. Maassen and co-driver Lucas Luhr have already clinched the ALMS GT drivers championship.
"I was off the driving line several times before finding the dry line around the track," said Maassen, who is the winningest driver in ALMS history with 20 first-place finishes. "Both Lucas and I don't feel well, so completing the 10-hour event with just two drivers will be a lot of work."
Second was Alex Job Porsche teammate Timo Bernhard, who had held the pole position for co-drivers Jorg Bergmeister/Romain Dumas until the last lap, while UPS Porsche Junior team driver Mike Rockenfeller put the YES Network Orbit Racing Porsche in third spot for co-drivers Leo Hindery/Peter Baron. Robin Liddell, who stayed out on the intermediate rain tires rather than changing to slicks, led the field briefly before settling for fourth position for co-drivers Alex Caffi/David Warnock in the PK Sport Porsche.
Johnny Mowlem, who also had the fastest qualifying time for a brief period during the session, was sixth in the White Lightning/Petersen Porsche he will share with Craig Stanton, while local Cumming, GA driver David Murry put the J3 Racing Porsche he co-drives with Justin Jackson and Brian Cunningham seventh on the GT grid.
Petit Le Mans will be broadcast live on Speed TV starting with coverage at 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight time on Saturday, October 18 with seven hours of racing action(11:00 AM -- 12:30 PM; 3:00 PM -- 6:00 PM, and 7:00 PM -- 9:30 PM). The entire 10-hour event, along with Friday qualifying, will be broadcast live online on the American Le Mans Radio Web, which can be accessed on the Web at www.americanlemans.com. Live timing and scoring for qualifying and the race are also available at www.americanlemans.com on Saturday and Sunday.
<pre> Petit Le Mans - ALMS GT Qualifying 1. #23, Sascha Maassen, Germany; Lucas Luhr, Germany; Alex Job Racing McKenna mail2web Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), 1:29.391 2. #24, Timo Bernhard, Germany; Jorg Bergmeister, Germany; Romain Dumas, Ales, France; Alex Job Racing McKenna mail2web Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), 1:30.212 3. #43, Leo Hindery, New York, NY; Peter Baron, Deerfield Beach, FL; Mike Rockenfeller, Neuwied, Germany; Orbit Racing YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT) -- 1:30.376 4. #60, Robin Liddell, Scotland; David Warnock, Alderly Edge, England; Alex Caffi, Monaco; PK Sport Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), 1:30.864 5. #6, Bill Auberlin, Rolling Hills, CA; Hans Stuck, Delray Beach, FL; Boris Said, Carlsbad, CA; Yokohama BMW M3, 1:32.848 6. #31, Johnny Mowlem, London, England; Craig Stanton, Long Beach, CA; Michael Petersen, Las Vegas, NV; White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT) -- 1:33.236 7. #79, David Murry, Cumming, GA; Justin Jackson, Buford, GA; Brian Cunningham, Danville, KY; J-3 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT) -- 1:33.864 8. #35, Ralf Kelleners, Duesseldorf, Germany; Anthony Lazzaro, Acworth, GA, Ferrari 360 Modena (GT) -- 1:34.099 9. #68, Chris Gleason,Johnstown, PA; Marc Bunting, Monkton, MD; Pierre Ehret, Santa Rosa, CA; The Racer's Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT) -- 1:35.959 10. #63, Shane Lewis, Gainesville, GA; Terry Borcheller, Phoenix, AZ; Darren Law, Phoenix, AZ; Ferrari 360 Modena (GT) -- 1:35.656 11. #67, Jeff Zwart, Woody Creek, CO; David Donner, Colorado Springs, CO; Tom Nastasi, Garden City, NY; The Racer's Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT) -- 1:35.933 12. #66, Kevin Buckler, Sonoma, CA; Cort Wagner, Pacific Palisades, CA; Patrick Long, Oak Park, CA The Racer's Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT) 1:36.005 13. #61, Vic Rice, San Rafael, CA; Jon Groom, Boonton, NJ; Romeo Kapudija, Chicago, IL; PK Sport Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT) -- 1:36.353 14. #89, Oswaldo Negri, Miami, FL; Burt Frisselle, Kihel, Hawaii; Inline Cunningham Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT) -- 1:36.419 15. #52, Tony Burgess, Toronto, Canada; Philip Collin, Park Ridge, IL; Andrew Bagnall, Aukland, New Zealand; Seikel Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 1:36.602 16. #03, Joe Foster, Lawrenceville, GA; Brad Nyberg, Houston, TX; Rick Skelton, Atlanta, GA; Panoz Elan (GT) -- 1:37.375 17. #42, Joe Policastro, Latrobe, PA; Jay Policastro, Latrobe, PA; Randy Pobst, Gainsville, GA: Classic Industries Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT) -- 1:40.445