SONOMA, Calif. - July 27 - It didn't look like the ...
SONOMA, Calif. - July 27 - It didn't look like the #23 Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS, with no qualifying time, a new clutch, and a Friday night engine change, would have luck go its way, but the car came all the way from the back of the pack to score its second GT class win this season at the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonom a at Infineon Raceway.
The #24 Alex Job Racing Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister/Timo Bernhard held the pole position, and led for more than half the event, but Bernhard couldn't hold off Maassen in traffic in the last 30 minutes.
"It was hard to stand in the pits and watch Lucas catch the field from last place in the first hour - he must have put a wheel in the dirt at least ten times. By the time I got in the car, most of the work had been done, but Timo was very fast as well. I was able to keep up, but, during the last yellow flag, Lucas got back in the car and caught and passed Timo in traffic with two laps to go. Lucas was on fire all day," said Maassen.
"On the last pit stop, I stalled the car coming out of the pits, but so did Timo, so I was able to stay with him, but Timo would have won if he hadn't been blocked in traffic at turn #11. He was just as fast as I was - we almost hit twice - but after all the hard work our crew did all weekend, we deserved this win," said Luhr.
It was Maassen's 17th career American Le Mans Series win - giving him a two-win lead over Olivier Beretta, and Porsche 32nd ALMS class win, maintaining the marque's five race lead over Audi, which also won its class today. The Porsche 911 GT3 R/RS has 27 class wins in ALMS. Also, with this win, Porsche matches its own record of 13 straight class wins in ALMS.
Early in the race, there was a good battle between the #31 White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Porsche of Johnny Mowlem/Craig Stanton and the #35 Ferrari of Kelleners/Lazzaro, both of which were running just behind leader Bergmeister, and Mowlem took the lead after the first yellow flag when the other cars pitted. The locally-based #66 The Racer's Group Porsche of Kevin Buckler/Cort Wagner, which grabbed the pole and finished s econd at this track a year ago, finished fourth in GT, the only car beside the Alex Job racers and the Ferrari to finish on the lead lap GT lap.
The Mowlem/Stanton Porsche was fifth, with the J3 Racing Porsche of Justin Jackson/David Murry scoring its best finish of the season with sixth place. The Orbit Racing YES Network Porsche of Leo Hindery/Peter Baron, which has a massive rebuild after a pra ctice accident Saturday, ran as high as third before settling for a seventh place finish, while The Racer's Group Porsche of Michael Schrom/Pierre Ehret was eight. In all, Porsches took nine of the top ten GT positions.
The next race for the American Le Mans Series is Sunday, August 3, at the Trois Rivieres circuit in Quebec, Canada (north of Montreal).
The official Porsche media web site - www.press.porsche.com - has racing results and photos for the Infineon Raceway event for the Porsches entered. Use the word "carrera" for both user name and password, then choose "motorsports news" to find the results. 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 Infineon Raceway event can be found on the official site for the American Le Mans Series www.americanlemans.com.
Other Web sites that follow the American Le Mans Series include Daily Sports Car (www.dailysportscar.com), The Race Site (www.theracesite.com), the Speed Channel site (www.speedTV.com), Motorsport.com (www.motorsport.com) , AutoSport magazine's site (www. autosport.com), AutoRacingDaily.com (www.autoracingdaily.com), Motorsport-news.com (www.motorsport-news.com), Crash.net (www.crash.net), racinglines.com (www.racinglines.com), EnduranceSportsCar.com (www.endurancesportscar.com), pitstop.com (www.pitstop. com); and Speed Arena (www.speedarena.com).