PORSCHE RS SPYDERS CAPTURE FRONT ROW FOR UTAH GRAND PRIX; PENSKE FIRST AND SECOND - DYSON FOURTH AND SEVENTH OVERALL SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - May 18 - For the first time this season, the 2007 Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 prototypes were able to display...
PORSCHE RS SPYDERS CAPTURE FRONT ROW FOR UTAH GRAND PRIX; PENSKE FIRST AND SECOND - DYSON FOURTH AND SEVENTH OVERALL
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - May 18 - For the first time this season, the 2007 Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 prototypes were able to display the aerodynamic improvements engineered during the off- season as the Penske and Dyson Porsche RS Spyders earned three of the top four positions on the grid for tomorrow's Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix.
After three bumpy street courses where aerodynamics were not a factor, the Porsche prototypes felt right at home at North America's longest road racing circuit. Timo Bernhard (Germany), driving the number seven Penske Porsche RS Spyder, shattered the overall track record by more than 3.4 seconds en route to his pole-position performance. Teammate Sascha Maassen (Germany) was second in the number six Penske Porsche, 0.7 seconds behind in the car he will co-driver with Ryan Briscoe (Australia), with the Fernandez/Diaz Acura third.
Fourth was the Guy Smith/Chris Dyson Porsche RS Spyder - with Smith doing the qualifying, still faster than the overall track record set last year by the LMP1 class Audi. The other Dyson Porsche, driven by Andy Wallace/Butch Leitzinger - with Wallace at the wheel - qualified seventh, still ahead of the fastest LMP1 racer.
Bernhard, who turned only two qualifying laps after the team held the cars in the pits until late in the session, knew he had to turn his fast lap right away.
"Because we were tight on time, about seven minutes left in the session, I wanted to push it as soon as I had a clear lap after my warm-up," said Bernhard, who captured his first overall American Le Mans Series pole. "We were very happy to have such a good lap so fast so we could save the tires. The quality of the track got better as the session continued; everybody got quicker."
The Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park is set for 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 19, and will run for two hours, 45-minutes. The race will be broadcast by CBS Sports on a tape-delayed basis at 1 p.m. EDT (two-hour show) on Sunday, May 20. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing and Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com during the race, while Porsche driver and team information is available on www.porschemotorsport.com.
In the GT2 class, Jorg Bergmeister/Johannes van Overbeek had the fastest time in the morning session in their Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, but the Ferraris took the top two positions in afternoon qualifying, pushing the Lizards to third. The Rahal Letterman Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, with Tom Milner at the wheel, qualified fourth, its best grid position so far this season, the team's first. The Wolf Henzler/Robin Liddell Tafel Racing Porsche was fifth, with Henzler doing the qualifying chores.