PORSCHE RS SPYDERS CAPTURE FIRST ROW OVERALL FOR SATURDAY'S AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES RACE IN ST. PETERSBURG; TAFEL PORSCHES TOP GT3 RSR QUALIFIERS ST .PETERSBURG, Fla. - March 30 - Romain Dumas (France) and Timo Bernhard (Germany) will start on...
PORSCHE RS SPYDERS CAPTURE FIRST ROW OVERALL FOR SATURDAY'S AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES RACE IN ST. PETERSBURG; TAFEL PORSCHES TOP GT3 RSR QUALIFIERS
ST .PETERSBURG, Fla. - March 30 - Romain Dumas (France) and Timo Bernhard (Germany) will start on the overall pole for tomorrow's American Le Mans Series race through the streets of St. Petersburg after Dumas turned the fastest qualifying time in his Porsche RS Spyder prepared by Penske Motorsports on the 1.8-mile course today.
Dumas, who only turned a few laps on the twisty airport/street course before scoring his fast lap, not only out-qualified all the LMP2 class competitors, but the faster LMP1 class cars as well. As he only ran two fast laps during the session before it was ended early because of an accident, he was surprised to hear he gained the pole.
"The number seven RS Spyder has been fast all weekend , but my co-driver Timo Bernhard had turned all the laps in this morning's practice session, and I really had no experience on this course. I told my Penske engineer that Timo should probably qualify the car, but the team decided to let me try, and the I had two good laps," said Dumas, who has give the RS Spyder LMP2 car its third overall pole since the car's introduction in October, 2005.
The other two overall pole positions were at Mid-Ohio, '06, where Dumas and Bernhard won overall, and Lime Rock, '06. For Dumas, including his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR experience, this was his 12th American Le Mans Series pole.
The number six team RS Spyder, qualified by Ryan Briscoe (Australia), had turned the fast lap for the session (his co-driver, Sascha Maassen, was fastest in this morning's practice), and had brought the car into the pits - the team satisfied with his effort, when Dumas went out in the other car and set the fast time. Right after the pole-sitting time was recorded, the session ended due to an accident, and no one was able to challenge the results.
It will be the first time two Porsche RS Spyders have started a race on the front row.
The other two Porsche RS Spyders - entered by Dyson Racing (Poughkeepsie, NY) - placed sixth and seventh respectively on the LMP2 class grid, with the Number 20 Chris Dyson/Guy Smith entry sixth, and the Andy Wallace/Butch Leitzinger car seventh.
GT2 - Porsche and Ferrari to clash again in GT2
The Tafel Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR racer cars qualified third and fourth in the GT2 class, leading the other Porsche customer teams and putting them right behind two Ferraris on the starting grid.
Fastest was the number 71 Robin Liddell/Wolf Henzler Porsche, followed closely by the Dominik Farnbacher/Jim Tafel team car. The number 45 Flying Lizard Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister/Johannes van Overbeek was fifth in class, followed by the team Lizard Porsche of Lonnie Pechnik/Darren Law. The Rahal Letterman Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, entered by Ralf Kelleners/Tom Milner, fastest in this morning's practice session, crashed during afternoon warm-up, but should be fixed for the race tomorrow. The Team Trans Sport Racing Porsche of Tom Pappas/Terry Borcheller/Marc Bessing qualified eighth in class with Borcheller at the wheel.