Sears Point: Porsche Motorsports Friday practice report

Alex Job Racing Mckenna Porsches and Sonoma'S The Racers Group Porsche 911 GT3 Rs fastest in long Alms Sears Point practice. SONOMA, Calif. -- May 17, 2002 -- With 90 minutes of practice time -- twice the length of a normal ALMS practice session...

Alex Job Racing Mckenna Porsches and Sonoma'S The Racers Group Porsche 911 GT3 Rs fastest in long Alms Sears Point practice.

SONOMA, Calif. -- May 17, 2002 -- With 90 minutes of practice time -- twice the length of a normal ALMS practice session -- the two Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS race cars have the edge over the other 10 Porsche 911 GT3 RS racers after Friday prac tice at the Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point Raceway.

With 21 year-old Porsche Carrera Cup champion Timo Bernhard at the wheel, the #22 Alex Job Porsche was fastest, replacing the fast time set by co-driver Joerg Bergmeister just a few minutes earlier. The #23 Lucas Luhr/Sascha Maassen Porsche, the other Ale x Job car, was second, while the #66 The Race Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Kevin Buckler/Marino Franchetti -- the Sonoma-based team -- was third.

Rounding out the top five were two veteran teams with their own versions of season debuts. Las Vegas-based Petersen Motorsports, winners of the 2001 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, was fourth fastest with veterans Randy Pobst and Johnny Mowlem at the helm, whi le Cincinnati's Larry Schumacher, with Porsche ace David Murry from Atlanta, has put his brand new Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the track for the first time and ran the fifth fastest time.

Since the Porsche 911 GT3 RS family of race cars was introduced in 1999, the car has been updated and improved, but race fans will be hard pressed to tell the difference between the 1999 and 2000 GT3 R, and the 2001 and 2002 GT3 RS.

The latest version of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is almost identical to the 2001 model. The engine and drivetrain are the same, and the car still produces 420 horsepower, but improvements have been made in the suspension, including a blade adjustment for the front sway bar for easy pit lane adjustments, and new rear suspension uprights. The bodywork is slightly wider to accommodate the wider offset Michelin tires.

Built at the Porsche Motorsport in the Research and Development Department at Weissach, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS delivers 420 horsepower from its 3.6-liter normally-aspirated engine. In 1999, its first year of competition, the car finished 1-2 in class at Le Mans, and has won its class in the both the Grand Am and American Le Mans Series two years in a row. The car has also won its class three years in a row at the Daytona 24 Hours, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

More than 80 Porsche 911 GT3 RS have been sold so far worldwide, with almost half of those cars having raced in the U.S.

The American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Sonoma presented by Foster's Lager will be broadcast live on the Speed Channel (formerly know as Speedvision) network starting at 4:00 PM Eastern time on Sunday, May 19. The race will be broadcast in Europe on a ta pe-delayed basis on Sunday, May 26, at 20:00 Central European Time on the Eurosport television network. The Sears Point event, along with qualifying sessions starting Saturday, May 18, at 5:00 PM Eastern, will be broadcast live online on the American Le Ma ns Radio Network, which can be accessed on the Web at www.imsaracing.net. That same American Le Mans Series/IMSA web site will also have live timing and scoring during qualifying and the race event.

The official Porsche web site -- www.porsche.com - will have qualifying information on the Grand Prix of Sonoma for all the Porsches entered, and will file stories and photos during and after the race. Porsche web site uses should click on "North America" from the home page when prompted to select a country, choose "motorsports," then "news" to find the ALMS updates. The Porsche Motorsport North America pages are at: www.porsche.com/motorsport.

-porsche-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Murry , Randy Pobst , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Kevin Buckler , Timo Bernhard , Johnny Mowlem , Alex Job
Teams Alex Job Racing