PORSCHE RS SPYDER SCORES THIRD STRAIGHT LMP2 CLASS WIN AS MAASSEN/LUHR TAKE VICTORY AT INAUGERAL UTAH GRAND PRIX SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - July 15 - The Porsche RS Spyder, entered by Penske Motorsports, scored its third straight LMP2 class win of...
PORSCHE RS SPYDER SCORES THIRD STRAIGHT LMP2 CLASS WIN AS MAASSEN/LUHR TAKE VICTORY AT INAUGERAL UTAH GRAND PRIX
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - July 15 - The Porsche RS Spyder, entered by Penske Motorsports, scored its third straight LMP2 class win of the season as Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr brought it to victory in the inaugural Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park.
The pair, who won their first race of the season, also closed to within one point of the class- leading drivers, Clint Field and Liz Halliday, who finished second in class, ahead of the second Porsche RS Spyder of Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas. Bernhard/Dumas, LMP2 winners of the previous two races and an overall leader of the race, saw their entry suffer throttle problems during the event when a stone lodged in the throttle body from an off-track excursion. It lost a total of ten laps to the leader making repairs to this and related problems, but still finished third in class.
"Lucas and I are really happy to score our first win of the season, and keep our comeback going after early-season problems," said Maassen, who led the race overall for more than 30 minutes. Maassen and Luhr scored the team's initial win last fall at Laguna Seca.
Early pit strategy gave Maassen a clear track after traffic snags, and helped put him into the lead during the middle of the event, and a late yellow flag gave Luhr a chance to catch the Le Mans-winning turbocharged Audi R-10 LMP1 prototype for the overall win. Lucas gave chase for the last two laps, and finished second overall by three-tenths of a second.
"Of course, the most important task was to win LMP2, but I think we gave the fans a good show for the overall finish. I couldn't have passed the Audi without some help with traffic or a driver mistake, but we made our best effort," said Luhr, who now has 21 American Le Mans Series class wins. Maassen scored his 24th ALMS class win.
In the GT2 class, Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long finished second in class in their Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, just 11 seconds behind the Ferrari 430. The first place finisher was the Johannes van Overbeek/Wolf Henzler Flying Lizard Porsche, enabling van Overbeek to extend his GT2 class driver points lead.
The next race is Saturday, July 22, at 9:00 PM EDT at Portland International Raceway. That race will be televised by CBS-TV on Sunday, July 23, at 2:00 PM EDT.