Sears Point: Porsche qualifying report

Qualifying for Infineon Raceway ALMS GT Class lasts only 12 minutes - "Wait for clear lap" strategy backfires; Jorg Bergmeister puts AJR Porsche on pole SONOMA, Calif. - July 26 - Starting with an accident taking out the Leo Hindery/Peter Baron...

Qualifying for Infineon Raceway ALMS GT Class lasts only 12 minutes - "Wait for clear lap" strategy backfires; Jorg Bergmeister puts AJR Porsche on pole

SONOMA, Calif. - July 26 - Starting with an accident taking out the Leo Hindery/Peter Baron Orbit Porsche during practice, and finishing with a qualifying session accident for the PK Sport Porsche of Robin Liddell/Alex Davison, the Saturday racing action a t Infineon Raceway was fast and furious for Sunday's Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma.

Liddell's accident, which shattered the tub after the car hit the tire wall, effectively ended qualifying after only 12 minutes. It was the worst of the two incidents, but team owner Mike Pickup reported the car should be ready to race tomorrow. Hindery w as driving the Orbit car during the last practice session before qualifying when he spun at the crest of a hill, and was hit by a 675 class racer. Liddell managed to qualify fifth before the accident, but Hindery's car could not make the qualifying session . The Orbit car should also be ready for tomorrow's event.

Lost in the shortened session and the incidents was the record-setting pole-winning performance of Jorg Bergmeister, who put the #24 Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS at the front of the grid with just one qualifying lap. Bergmeister and his co-d river Timo Bernhard won the previous ALMS GT race last month at Road Atlanta.

Qualifying second was the Ferrari of Kelleners/Lazzaro, with the Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Johnny Mowlem/Craig Stanton third and The Racer's Group Porsche of Kevin Buckler/Cort Wagner fourth.

"Our car is running very well," said Bergmeister, who has won the 24 Hours of Daytona two years in a row and this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. "I'm sure that the other cars, including our other team car, would have made the pole contest close if the sessio n went the full time, but no one can control these things."

The Alex Job Porsche of Lucas Luhr/Sascha Massen did not get a qualifying lap in at speed and will start near the back of the pack.

In all, Porsche teams grabbed nine of the top ten GT class positions during the abbreviated session.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Robin Liddell , Lucas Luhr , Kevin Buckler , Leo Hindery , Peter Baron , Jörg Bergmeister , Timo Bernhard , Johnny Mowlem , Craig Stanton , Alex Davison , Alex Job , Cort Wagner