GT2 CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE IN HOME STRETCH The front of any American Le Mans Series grid gets plenty of attention. But the GT2 action has been fast and furious all season. It also has been the closest championship battle throughout the 2008 season,...
GT2 CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE IN HOME STRETCH
The front of any American Le Mans Series grid gets plenty of attention. But the GT2 action has been fast and furious all season. It also has been the closest championship battle throughout the 2008 season, which is starting to wind down.
Entering this weekend's Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch, Flying Lizard Motorsports' Jorg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler own a 10-point lead over Tafel Racing's Dirk Mueller and Dominik Farnbacher for the class driver championship. The Lizard duo has been leading for most of the season, which started with a victory at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to start the season, a race that currently is the difference. While the Lizards won 30 points for their victory, Tafel finished seventh in class and received just 14 points.
"The points are still very close," said Bergmeister, a two-time GT2 champion with Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing in 2005 and 2006. "Our goal is to finish all of the races from here on out ahead of ahead of the No. 71 car. This is always a tough part of the year because toward the end of the season you have to take bigger risks to pass cars if it's for position. The whole team has done a great job this year - we are in the lead and we will do everything we can do keep it that way."
The gap could have been much closer after Sunday's race at Mosport. Mueller and Farnbacher had finished third in their Ferrari F430 GT after a fierce battle with the Lizard Porsche. But the Tafel pairing was penalized one spot for avoidable contact late in the race, sending the Lizards onto the class podium. Nevertheless, Mueller remains optimistic.
"I am really, really happy," said the 2000 GT champion. "To be in the fight for the championship is something that I was hoping for and aiming for the whole year. Our combination of Tafel Racing, Ferrari and Michelin has been able to fight for it. It is very close. We just need to not make any mistakes. It is important now to finish the races to get the points. In my opinion it will come down to the last lap of the last round at Laguna."
The Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch from Belle Isle is scheduled for 2:35 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 30. SPEED will broadcast the race live, and XM will air it from 5 to 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 31. Qualifying will be shown live online starting at 4:35 p.m. ET on Friday, August 29 on americanlemans.com and SPEEDtv.com. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage of all on-track sessions at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring.