PANOZ ESPERANTE NIPS PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR FOR SPORTSBOOK.COM GRAND PRIX OF ATLANTA GT POLE - FIRST NON-PORSCHE ON GT POLE SINCE 2001; LIDDELL QUALIFIES THIRD IN SPEED WORLD CHALLENGE ; RENAUER FIRST ON IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE GRID ON BUSY PORSCHE ...
PANOZ ESPERANTE NIPS PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR FOR SPORTSBOOK.COM GRAND PRIX OF ATLANTA GT POLE - FIRST NON-PORSCHE ON GT POLE SINCE 2001; LIDDELL QUALIFIES THIRD IN SPEED WORLD CHALLENGE ; RENAUER FIRST ON IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE GRID ON BUSY PORSCHE WEEKEND
--White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Patrick Long/Jorg Bergmeister, driven during qualifying by Bergmeister, is second on the GT grid, while Jon Fogarty, qualifying the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche to be co-driven by Johannes van Overbeek, is third. The ALMS race will be broadcast live on CBS-TV on Sunday, April 17 at 1:00 PM EDT.-
ATLANTA - April 16 - The expected GT battle between the Porsches and the Panoz', which failed to materialize at Sebring in March, is alive at this weekend's Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta as the Bill Auberlen/Robin Liddell Panoz Esperante out-qualified the favored Porsche 911 GT3 RSR race cars for Sunday's two hour, 45-minute event. It was the first time a Porsche was not on the GT pole in the American Le Mans Series since the BMW V-8 was on the pole here in 2001 for Petit Le Mans.
Series points leaders and Sebring winners Jorg Bergmeister/Patrick Long are second on the grid in their White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, with the Johannes van Overbeek/Jon Fogarty Flying Lizard Porsche third. ALMS 2002 and 2003 GT co-champion Sascha Maassen qualified the BAM! Porsche fourth in the car he will share with Tom Burgess.
Two significant absences from the qualifying session were the Alex Job Racing mail2web/Hyatt Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas (replaced the transmission after losing third gear) and the Seth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik Flying Lizard Porsche (Neiman had a crash during morning practice and car had to be taken to a frame shop for repair). Both cars are expected to start the race tomorrow.
LIDDELL, HENZLER START BEHIND CADILLACS IN WORLD CHALLENGE
In the SPEED World Challenge, Jon Groom Racing's AXA Financial/Pfaff Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, with Scotsman Robin Liddell at the helm, has qualified third behind the two Cadillac CTS-Vs. Defending Porsche Michelin Supercup champion Wolf Henzler, from Germany, who has been on the pole for the first two rounds of the SPEED World Challenge, is fourth in the Farnbacher Loles Racing Applied Materials Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. SPEED TV will carry the World Challenge event on a delayed basis at 1:00 PM EDT.
GERMANY'S RENAUER WINS IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE POLE
The weekend also marks the debut of the five-race IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin, with the inaugural event to run Sunday afternoon right after the completion of the ALMS event. More than 25 Porsche from around the country has entered to compete in this 45-minute event, which features the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars.
German Alfred Renauer, who has racing experience in the Porsche Carrera Cup in Germany in similar cars, has put his Vici Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car on the pole for tomorrow's event, which gets underway at 3:30 PM EDT.
The 2005 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge series schedule includes races at the Grand Prix of Atlanta, Apr. 15-17; American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, May 20-22; Portland International Raceway, July 29-31; Road America, August 20 - 21; and Mazda Laguna Seca, October 14 - 17. Each event will receive a one-minute TV summary on the corresponding ALMS broadcast, except when the event runs after the ALMS race, when the summary will air during the following program (i.e. the Road Atlanta summary will run during the Mid-Ohio broadcast on May 22).
The ALMS Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta will be televised live by CBS starting at 1:00 PM Eastern Daylight time (the race starts at noon, with CBS joining at 1:00 PM and filling in with the first hour highlights) on Sunday, April 17.
The official Porsche media web site - www.press.porsche.com - will have qualifying information for the Atlanta 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 "motorsports news" and "ALMS" to find the Sebring updates. The same information is posted for consumers on Porsche's main site www.porsche.com/motorsport (click on Porsche Motorsports North America and "race reports").
The official race notes and results for all the classes at the Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta 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 event.
For the SCCA SPEED World Challenge, official information can be found on www.world-challenge.com, where fans can follow the qualifying and racing action with live scoring on-line, and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge information is on www.imsaracing.net, including live scoring.