Utah: Porsche race report

FLYING LIZARD MOTORSPORTS PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR OF BERGMEISTER/LONG SCORE FLAG-TO-FLAG WIN TO SOLIDY ALMS GT2 POINTS LEAD --Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche of Henzler/Lieb second after race-long battle-- TOOELE, UT. - May 17 - By the time the ...

--Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche of Henzler/Lieb second after race-long battle--

TOOELE, UT. - May 17 - By the time the thundering field of 23 cars completed their first lap of the 3.048 mile Miller Motorsports Park, the site of today's Utah Grand Prix, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs of Flying Lizard Motorsports and Farnbacher Loles Racing had established themselves 1-2 at the head of the GT2 field and would never relinquish that lead.

Porsche's two top GT2 class challengers - the second place qualifying Ferrari of Melo/Kaffer and the fourth place qualifying BMW of Milner/Mueller - tangled on the front straight just yards past the green flag on the very first lap. They placed themselves at a tremendous disadvantage for class honors when came together, sending the damaged BMW to the pits for several laps for repairs and sending the Ferrari spinning wildly off in to the infield.

The #45 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Patrick Long (USA) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and the #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Wolf Henzler/Marc Lieb (both Germany), ran like a freight train as they lead every lap , going flag-to-flag to claim an impressive GT2 one-two class victory.

"Yes, it was 'flag-to-flag' but it was not that easy," said Bergmeister, co-leader in the GT2 points standings. "I tried to conserve the car and maintained our 10-second lead over Marc (Lieb, driver of the #87 Farnbacher Loles Porsche). Then I handed our car over to Patrick and he finished the job."

The Flying Lizard Motorsports team had come to the Salt Lake City track - 4,135-foot in elevation - immediately after the Long Beach round of the ALMS season to test. Both drivers felt that it was time and money well spent.

"The biggest thing in our win today, to me, was the test after Long Beach," added Bergmeister. "The car was really dialed in and the team really had everything prepared perfectly."

His comments were echoed by his teammate and co-leader in the point standings, American Patrick Long. "The Flying Lizard team goes through its list and makes sure every box is checked. They do a phenomenal job." He said. "It's a testament to Porsche, our team and our sponsors that they are willing to go all these the extra yards to continue to improve."

Long also had words of praise for his partner, who he said gave him a perfect car at their first pit stop. "The rest of the race was really pretty much of a chess game, keeping the lead, keeping our distance and conserving the car. And we did not have a single yellow flag period during the entire race. That meant another stop for a 'splash-and-go'. The Lizard crew made it absolutely perfect."

The finishing order was reversed, however, when the results of the Michelin ® Green X ^Ù Challenge were announced with the #87 Farnbacher Loles Porsche taking the GT class honors, beating out the #45 Flying Lizard car. The rules for the Michelin Green X Challenge measure a combination of performance, efficiency, and fuel economy.

The Ferrari of Melo/Kaffer recovered from its first lap spin and subsequent tire stop, to work its way all the way back up to third place. Fourth went to the Panoz of Farnbacher/James. Finishing fifth, despite a rapidly deflating puncture which sent driver Johannes Stuck (Austria) careening through a gravel trap and to within inches of the tire wall, was the T-Mobile VICI Racing Porsche co-driven by Nicky Pastorelli (Netherlands). Finishing sixth was the #44 Flying Lizard Porsche of Seth Neiman/Johannes van Overbeek (both USA).

The inaugural race of the ALMS Challenge class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, was won by the husband and wife team of Martin and Melanie Snow. The Snows are no strangers to competing amongst ALMS' best; they won the GTS class (now known as the GT1) at the very first ALMS race at the 12 hours of Sebring in 1999. The disqualification of the #08 Porsche GT3 Cup car of Brown/Sweedler and the #47 of Baker/Cosmo for ride height violations, elevated the #02 of Parker/Skerlong to second and the #36 of Faieta/Hoaglund to third.

Bergmeister and Long now lead the GT2 drivers points with 80, with the Melo/Kaffer Ferrari drivers with 59 and the Farnbacher/James Panoz drivers with 52. Porsche holds that same 80-59 lead over Ferrari in the manufacturers points.

The next American Le Mans Series race is the North Eastern Grand Prix at July 18 at Lime Rock Park, in Lime Rock Connecticut.

-credit: alms

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Patrick Long , Marc Lieb , Seth Neiman , Wolf Henzler , Nicky Pastorelli , Johannes Stuck , Melanie Snow
Teams Flying Lizard Motorsports