St. Pete: Yokohama race report

FULLERTON, CA (Apr. 6, 2009) -- The Yokohama Tire Corporation-sponsored Panoz Team PTG is on a roll -- literally. Another third place finish -- this time at St. Petersburg, Florida, on April 4 -- propelled PTG to second-place overall in points...

FULLERTON, CA (Apr. 6, 2009) -- The Yokohama Tire Corporation-sponsored Panoz Team PTG is on a roll -- literally.

Another third place finish -- this time at St. Petersburg, Florida, on April 4 -- propelled PTG to second-place overall in points in the highly competitive 2009 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT2 Class season. Drivers Ian James and Dominik Farnbacher, who placed third at Sebring in March, once again drove the strong-running Yokohama ADVAN0x00ae A005-shod Esperante GTLM, battling factory-backed Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and BMW E92 M3 teams, as well as the Riley Corvette C6, to the wire.

"You can't beat going two-for-two in podium finishes to start the season," said Mark Chung, Yokohama director, corporate strategy and planning. "We're really on an ALMS streak because we ended the 2008 season with a podium finish at Laguna Seca, so this makes three in row."

Chung said the St. Petersburg race was a thriller. "Team PTG really came through again with some top-notch driving. They were in a dogfight most of the race and it was a great, hard-fought contest. Congratulations on another strong performance by the Panoz team."

Just as in Sebring, the drivers praised the consistency of the Yokohama ADVAN race slicks. "During the battle with the Corvette, our tire was better," said Farnbacher, 24, of Ansbach, Germany. "Our tires lasted longer, which gave us the advantage. Since we had no problems with the tires, we made it back to the podium."

Added co-driver James, 34, of Phoenix, Arizona: "We are excited to be back on the podium. The tires stayed consistent throughout the race. We are 100-percent focused on improving throughout the year."

Next up for the team is the Long Beach Grand Prix, April 17-18 in Long Beach, California.

-credit: yokohama

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Series ALMS
Drivers Ian James , Dominik Farnbacher